Lisa Trautmann - elysium.e Interview (Editor @ The Spellbound Mag)

A conversation with
Lisa Trautmann


"A couple of years ago I had the chance to talk to Alexander Brenninkmeijer about his fashion label Clemens en August. He has a very arty and considered approach to fashion, his clothes are only available on his homepage and in his studio. Right now we like the German designers too, namely Michael Sontag or Malaikaraiss."

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e.e: It appears 2 is the magic number, will you consider expanding the team at The Spellbound Mag develops or do you feel this sturdy duo allows for a better-realized and concise vision?

L.T: We started as a duo because this way you can easier realize your ideas, there are no outside clashing opinions. Of course we had some help with the grooming and make up. But we almost entirely realized the complete magazine alone.

We are very open minded when it comes to expanding the team. This month we met with a nice girl from a big blog here in Berlin who wanted to join. If this works out well, she’ll be a part of The Spellbound. Still, we will always be more of an indie magazine, so we are not able to pay anybody.


e.e: Remaining on the topic, how did this convincing artistic partnership emerge?

L.T: This is very simple, we are a couple and it just so happens that Benjamin is very involved in photography, magazines and layout. I am a graduate fashion journalist so we had the perfect base, I guess.

e.e: ‘New cult of personality...’ Cult: A group of people who are involved with practices regarded by others as strange or sinister. Could you dissect your sub-header a little further?

L.T: We / our magazine wants to create a cult around these people, but in a positive way. We don’t want to be like a sect but more like fans. We really think that you have to dig deep to find the real masterminds in fashion. Most of the time its not the person that smiles in every camera.

e.e: You’ve garnered some delightful comments re: the elegantly svelte cover of your first issue, featuring the enchanting Laragh McCann. As the external representation of the compiled publication in its entirety, is there an intense pressure to make an accurate decision? (What makes a cover?)

L.T: It was really hard to choose the cover picture, since we're a magazine of personalities. But showing for example Pierre Dinand on the cover was never an option, I don't believe anyone would have bought that. We went for Laragh as she has this very unique look. We organized a polaroid shooting, so the whole cover has this simple look with a vintage feel. Of course you have to follow some rules in order to be successful, model works better than old man. Though we're conscious of communicating our own style, which is more silent and thoughtful choosing quality over the super fashionable, loud bling and busy colours.

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e.e: What is considered ‘fashionable’ naturally alters from eye-to-eye. Surely this true quality cannot warrant anything other than mass-appreciation, right?

L.T: Yes, that’s right. By super fashionable I was more referring to trend orientation. Our magazine is being released once or twice per year so this alone would hinder us transporting trends to our readers in the first place. So we don’t even try. We transport a certain zeitgeist. We seriously think about what we are showing and presenting in both the fashion and the portrait-content. We hope people can look at what we're doing in one or two years later and think 'interesting, beautiful, I like it!'

e.e: Laragh certainly benefits from Saskia Diez’s exquisite metallic wonders. Do you seek out such creative prowess to act as a strong foundation for each editorial, a source from which to gather and build the remaining blocks of a ‘look?’

L.T: We never just said 'let’s make this and that with some model.' Of course you have to choose setting, styling and model to build a perfect alliance. If you have an experienced model like Laragh, it is obvious to use her in a very unobtrusive editorial. She does not outshine the subtle jewellery from Saskia, instead she underlines their beauty. Also Dominika was a very good choice. She’s a very funny and vivid girl who worked well on this theatre stage.

e.e: The decision to feature a conversation with perfume bottle designer Pierre Dinand was absolutely inspired in its uniqueness. Do you hope to use your creative canny to approach the magazine from a different angle?

L.T: We are working on a new 'look' for the next issue of the magazine that underlines exactly our message. I cannot tell you in detail what it will be but some catchwords would be fanzine, cult & obsession.

e.e: There is a notable lean toward a monochromatic finish within your pages, is this omission of vibrant hues to avert from any additional drama?

L.T: We want to keep the magazine simple and focused on the content without being boring. We think being loud, colourful and very trendy is for other magazines to do. We have a lot of new ideas for the next issue and we want to take more time as well. But we will be sticking with the clean, monochrome look of our magazine. Very often it is exactly that 'added drama' that makes a magazine too dependent on trends free from any clear identity. We want people to look at our first issue in 2 years without thinking, "Oh my god, what was with all that pastel!"

e.e: Speaking of time, do you work to a stringent 'bi-annual'(for example)deadline or are the ideas allowed to develop and mature naturally?

L.T: We are planning to get there. Since this was only the first issue we are full of ideas, improvement suggestions and such things. Our next magazine will not be launched this year but we hope by getting more experience and finding our 'look' we will level out as a biannual.

e.e: I’d like to extend a bona fide thanks to you and ‘The Spellbound’ for introducing me to the spell-binding garments created by Gabrielle Greiss whom dreams up ‘dresses that like her, aspire to be free.’ Do you have any other tasteful tips?

L.T: Via Gabrielle Greiss we found out about the stunning creative director Marc Ascoli. A couple of years ago I had the chance to talk to Alexander Brenninkmeijer about his fashion label Clemens en August. He has a very arty and considered approach to fashion, his clothes are only available on his homepage and in his studio. Right now we like the German designers too, namely Michael Sontag or Malaikaraiss. This may not be the best kept secret in fashion but I think there’s a lot happening over there right now. Of course we have some other new discoveries, but since we're looking to take some of these on to the magazine I have to keep quiet.

e.e: After considering the wardrobe within the pages of your magazine, it might be worthwhile quickly highlighting your own style. What would be the first outfit you would impulsively 'throw-on' in the morning?

L.T: I guess my style is more the streetwear kind of thing. I’m not too much into ladylike or grown-up looks. Right now my first outfit would be a basic tee, some wide pants like the Stine Goya Energy trousers and a pair of Superga. Or I’d go with tight black jeans from Wood Wood, a long top and my New Balance. I’m afraid everybody in Berlin looks like this right now.

elysium.e: a place or state of perfect bliss. When are you at your happiest?

L.T: That's a tough one. I guess that would involve having nothing to do and hanging around with my loved ones, eating sushi.

All images by Benjamin Lindenkreuz visit his online portfolio here





Lisa Trautmann:

Editor in Chief / Co-Founder

The Spellbound Magazine