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Novembre 15
Photography Marie Deteneuille

The new issue of Novembre delights in the beautiful and the grotesque

TextAlex Peters

Editor-in-chief Florence Tétier reveals all about the latest issue

Pushing the limits of what we consider to be beautiful, to be ugly, to be ‘bad taste’, biannual art magazine Novembre strives to challenge prevalent visions of art and fashion and produce innovative images that both shock and delight.

Created by Jeanne-Salomé Rochat, Florian Joye, and Florence Tétier – who also takes the role of editor-in-chief and creative director alongside Rochat – Novembre revels in straddling the delicate line between the beautiful and the grotesque, in work that is messy, accidental, bizarre, and disturbing. 

For the magazine’s 15th issue, the focus sharpens on beauty in all shapes and forms which is offered up as an antidote to the current troubled global climate. “In a world in crisis, we are witnessing less tolerance and increasing fear of the Other,” they write. “Presented in the form of a puzzle, not fully resolved or finished, we try to show the world in its vulnerable state, highlighting the beauty and possible openness in it.”

Here, we share some images from the magazine and speak to Tétier about the ideas behind them.

Til Janz shot a story around retouching. What was the concept behind that shoot?

Florence Tétier: He shot 90s model Iris Palmer with a subtle variation of make-up but no retouching and we sent two pictures from the shoot to a selection of retouchers across the world. All of them had the same brief which was:

Make her look beautiful, based on your cultural experience and personal taste.

Feel free to explore and add beauty and make-up touches if you feel it’s needed.

The skin has not been treated on purpose to give you space to explore how much or how little you feel is needed to make her look ‘beautiful’ – whatever that would mean to you.

You can also create a make-up look if you feel it’s needed: adding make-up, eyeshadow, change skin colour, add foundation, eye make-up, make her look 10 years younger or keep her real.

Please be free to experiment and work towards your own perception of beauty without being scared to go too far. Use her face as a canvas.

The result is quite surprising!

How do you think the ease with which you can edit pictures now is affecting us?

Florence Tétier: I’m not comfortable with editing, except in this specific editorial which was an essay on retouching. We choose our photographers because they do not use too much editing if at all, because we want to represent people, as close as possible to reality.

Florian Joye shot a beauty packaging story where the boxes are empty and crumpled. What do you think those images capture and convey to the viewer?

Florence Tétier: We had an ongoing theme about waste and packaging, and I thought it would be interesting to shoot only the outside – even remains of shoots. You don’t see the product itself, but everything you waste or throw away when you buy it. We really want to start speaking about ecology and sustainability in our own way.

How do you use beauty products throughout the magazine?

Florence Tétier: In a very formal way, we use it for their looks, so we can showcase a super small brand of lipstick in full double spread, and only use the plastic wrapper of a huge luxury company for another editorial there’s no rule besides showing what it inspires to us.

If someone was reading through the issue in 100 years what do you think they would take away from what our current society is like?

Florence Tétier: Hopefully inclusive, diverse and mixed society with a lot of freedom and creativity, that still believes in paper!

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