Paging: Todd Selby Is In Your Place, and the Window

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Published March 12, 2010

PHOTOS BY GILLES UZAN

 

Californian photographer Todd Selby is sitting on a bed in the window of Parisian boutique Colette, in the midst of recronstructed teenager’s room. Unaffected by a crowd giggling around him, he orders room service and answers interviews. It’s the picture of a master of his domain—or at least someone so terribly fascinated with the idea of a domain that he brings it around with him.

Selby was in the store from March 1–6 promoting his new book, The Selby in Your Place (Abrams). In keeping with the store’s ethos, the book is in limited release there until worldwide release April 1. At Colette, the photographer who has made a career photographing the curated clutter of other people’s homes without revealing his own, offered a peek into his bedroom—or at least a vision of it.

Selby has been around as a fashion and lifestyle photographer for years, but only started his popular interiors web site, the Theselby.com. He made his name by shooting the stuff—the collections and the “matter out of place,” rather than the space, of creative people worldwide. This wasn’t MTV’s “Cribs”; this was serious people whose homes might be seriously interesting. All of it was told with a bit of fun: these people had a lot of stuff, but not an embarrassment of it, and they were willing to share and dress up in different clothes for the occasion.

The, he seems to create an anthropological survey of the city based on its cult heroes local celebrities. Nadège Winter, wife of music producer and Ed Banger founder Pedro Winter, and Pierre Hermé, chocolateer extraordinaire, are featured side-by-side with eternal muse Inès de la Fressange and pop gallerist Emmanuel Perrotin.

The Selby in Your Place includes 33 homes, all of them equally sunny, clean and happy. Each comes with a handwritten interviews, complete with doodles and occasionally raunchy drawings. Most have never been shown before, like those of Karl Lagerfeld, Lou Doillon, and Olivier Zahm.

Why launch in Paris, aside from the tail end of fashion week? “It’s the most beautiful city in the world,” he says. Well, naturally. “There isn’t a trait amongst all French people’s houses, but definitely a different attitude to being photographed. They won’t rush you.”