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How Marvin Rand’s Photographs Inspired Theory’s Pre-Fall 2018 Collection

Theory‘s Pre-Fall 2018 collection recently launched in stores. For the line, creative director Martin Andersson was heavily inspired by the images of mid-century modern architecture captured by the late Los Angeles photographer Marvin Rand. The campaign was even shot at one of the most famous mid-century homes in Los Angeles, The Stahl House.

This week, the fashion brand partnered with publishing house Phaidon to host the launch of California CapturedMarvin Rand’s first monograph co-written by Sam Lubell, in New York. The reception on May 22 was accompanied by an exclusive installation of eight photographs by Rand (another eight will be on view in Los Angeles), on display through June 18 at Theory’s 40 Gansevoort Street store. There, Andersson and Lubell will also be in conversation on June 5.

Theory

Martin Andersson.
Courtesy of Theory.

Whitewall spoke with Andersson and Lubell about the intersection of fashion and architecture.

WHITEWALL: What about Marvin’s photographs inspired your Pre-Fall 2018 collection?

Theory

Courtesy of Theory.

MARTIN ANDERSSON: I love how Mid-Century architecture is so often based around the horizontal line, and simple geometric shapes. This has informed the design language of the Pre-Fall collection. Marvin Rand’s images capture the elegance of these geometric compositions brilliantly. I love how his images capture the tension between the clean architectural forms and surrounding foliage of LA landscape. This was a great source of inspiration for the line: The juxtaposition of botanical prints with an otherwise graphic aesthetic.

WW: What about the images in Marvin Rand’s book California Captured align with Theory?

Theory

Courtesy of Theory.

MA: There’s such a timeless elegance to the images from this book. They were taken a long time ago yet feel so current and modern. This completely aligns with our design ethos here at Theory, creating modern and innovative garments with a classic and timeless appeal. There is a simplicity to our designs that really mirrors that Mid-Century architecture: Less is more.

WW: Tell us a bit about the exhibition, featuring eight photographs by Rand in New York and Los Angeles. 

Theory

Courtesy of Theory.

MA: The exhibit will feature eight individually selected photographs from the estate of Marvin Rand. These images will be professionally printed and installed in a gallery setting in the New York and Los Angeles Theory flagship stores. The exhibit will act as the perfect backdrop to the launch of the Pre-Fall 2018 menswear collection.

WW: The campaign was shot at The Stahl House. Can you tell us about that experience?

Theory

Courtesy of Theory.

MA: It was such a dream come true to shoot at The Stahl House. I’ve studied it in pictures for so long! The design of the house is so deceptively simple, yet it’s one of the most impressive places I’ve visited. The view is breathtaking, and as the collection embodies the casual elegance of L.A., it was the perfect backdrop. For the campaign, we purposely wanted to capture the difference in light, from sharp morning sun by the pool, to the soft pink L.A. sunset. This helped to show the versatility of the collection, from sportswear through to evening wear.

WW: Sam, tell us a bit about California Captured. What does this tell of Rand’s work?

Theory

Courtesy of Theory.

SAM LUBELL: California Captured features the photographs of Marvin Rand, one of the most talented, prolific architectural photographers in California history. It tells Rand’s personal and professional stories, and through his images documents a thrilling time in which Modern architecture and Southern California were both ascending.

WW: What was important for you to highlight in the book?

Theory

Courtesy of Theory.

SL: We wanted to show off Marvin’s fluidity as a photographer while also highlighting the unprecedented explosion of creativity and skill in the local architecture scene during the Mid-Century. We wanted to show off the scope of buildings documented, from homes to civic centers, and give readers a first-experience of what it was like to be in California during the Mid-Century.

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THE WINTER EXPERIENCE ISSUE
2023

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