In June, while on holiday in Canada, I received an email from Crystal Gentilello introducing herself as Editor-in-Chief of Rue Magazine, a San Francisco-based online luxury lifestyle and home interiors magazine. Crystal was in the midst of producing Issue #6 of Rue, which was to be the title's first all-international issue, featuring homes from around the world. There was a home that Crystal wanted to feature from Singapore, and her search for a Singapore-based photographer to shoot it had led her to me via a referral by a mutual friend.
Admittedly, I was not familiar with Rue, but I perused their back issues and was extremely impressed with the magazine's photography and design, not to mention it's unique value proposition of being only available online (and being free).
Interestingly, Rue -- like many other online "shelter" publications, I have since learned -- appears virtually identical to a traditional print magazine in it's format. As The Globe and Mail explains in a recent article about Rue and the thriving online "glossy" magazine business in general, "[it’s] important to note: [these] aren’t just cool websites or fancy blogs, but a convincing replication of the magazine experience. You get a highly stylized cover, a table of contents, professional photos of striking interiors, and yes, you get to ‘turn’ the page."
Crystal had me at "hello". I agreed to work with her, and the shoot was set for when I returned to Singapore in July.
The home I photographed is in the luxury private condominium of Draycott 8 in downtown Singapore. It belongs to Agnes Verrier and her partner Christopher, and their story is as unique as the home they share.
As the Rue feature details, Agnes' life "took several unexpected turns once she had settled in Singapore [14 years ago]. Following her divorce, she began work with a British client [Christopher] who wanted her to decorate the flat he had just bought. 'Draycott 8 is actually a love story. I did the flat, fell in love with the owner, and ended up moving in after completion!' And the rest, as they say, is history."
I worked together with stylist Marie Maglaque on the shoot, which was both inspiring and enjoyable; Marie did a fantastic job bringing the space to life and highlighting all the beautiful touches inside the home.
Browse more stunning homes from around the world, including Iceland, Sweden and Brazil in Issue #6 of Rue online now. See more of my (unpublished) images from Draycott 8 are on Marie's blog. And view more of my luxury lifestyle photography on my website.