tl;dr: I regret purchasing Glen Luchford’s Roseland. This feeling is a first for me, I think. The photography would be interesting and potentially of historical interest, but it’s entirely ruined by very poor layout and printing decisions.
If you want to continue on, please feel free…. If they come out with a repaired edition—perhaps one printed in landscape orientation or square or something where the subject (Kate Moss) isn’t swallowed by the gutter—it might be worth picking up. Stay far, far away from this book.
I’m loathe to give bad reviews to books. If this was a self-published thing or something, I’d probably just stick it on the shelf (or in the Goodwill pile: it’s so bad as to not be worth trying to sell to Half Price Books or something). As it is, Roseland was a highly publicized production from Idea Books, and I paid full price for it. It’s hands down the worst waste of money I committed in 2023.
The idea for the book is interesting: it was 1994 and Kate Moss was fresh off her breakthrough Calvin Klein campaign. She and Luchford and some other friends shared an apartment or something, and Harper’s Bazaar wanted some color pictures. So Luchford took 200 rolls of black and white film, his good friend Moss, and a fashion person, bodyguard, and some other hangers-on out on the streets of New York City…
It wasn’t what Harper’s wanted, of course, and now, 30 years later, we have this book.
It could’ve been great: mid-1990s NYC looks like I remember from one of my first trips to the City; Moss looks great (in retrospect: at the time, I thought she was just too skinny… how times change, I guess?, and anyway); and the people wandering by, mostly uncaring as only good New Yorkers can be, make for a great sociological study. Sadly, though, Idea—and designer Edward Quarmby—ruined it for me and everyone else by printing landscape-oriented pictures, mostly with the subject smack in the middle of the frame, across the gutter of a portrait-oriented book.
What the hay hay were they thinking?
And on top of that, when the book arrived it absolutely reeked of printers ink and it took several weeks to offgas and stop smelling up my office. Yuck. Overall, I rate the book a disgusted 1.5 stars. DO NOT BUY IT.
Honestly, Roseland could’ve been great, and I feel sorry for everyone who bought copies of the sold-out first printing of 1000 copies, and encourage anyone who has preordered the second printing to cancel their orders.
I’m not going to link to Idea books. If you want to waste your money, you can find the book with a quick google. Dazed have a nice interview with Luchford, and you can see a few of the images there and in a much more positive, what, not a review, announcement? of the book on the Guardian.