“Love of beauty is taste… the creation of beauty is art.”
Nature: An Essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson
While each of us has very different notions of what we consider true beauty to be, our long-held obsession with youthfulness and the body beautiful has perpetuated an industry that has thrived on our innate insecurities. Thankfully, however, there has been something of a sea change in recent years, driven in part by those who advocate wellness as well as a more holistic approach. It is a reawakening of the belief that to focus purely on the superficial rather misses the point.
Indeed, as our beauty shoot, photographed so wonderfully by Natasja Fourie, demonstrates, beauty is much more than just a pretty face. For the shoot team, the desire was to convey the celebratory joy of the great British summer, to revel in nature’s bounty and in the simple pleasure derided from an artfully placed flower in the hair. I hope you agree that the whimsical feel the imagery imparts delivers this in spades.
Equally, the editorial team has chosen to become something of a philocalist in this edition, which is why IN London is celebrating the magnificent restoration of the Victorian Temperate House at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, as well as the architectural mastery that can be seen inside Hackney-based concept store LN-CC. Beauty, after all, can come in many different guises. Perhaps the best embodiment of this idea was Frida Kahlo. In this summer’s blockbuster exhibition at the V&A, the Mexican artist’s determination to use her striking appearance as a political statement is laid bare. Way ahead of her time, she celebrated the beauty of her perceived flaws, and there is much we can learn from this uniquely rebellious icon.
Kathryn Conway, Group Editor