The Problematic Discourse on "Philippe Starck’s" Delano Hotel (1999) - Appendix C

Appendix C: Examples for Claims about Genres

1. Ian Schrager Hotel Publicity Genres

The press kit information consists of publicity genres (See Figure 6 and Bibliography A, Promotional Genres), yet employ different genre strategies of an "authoritative" news report format, and "focal point"-orientated language hits (sexy combinations of language that excite and create sensation). For the statement on Ian Schrager, it takes the form of a news report, yet infuses promotional vocabulary like "revolutionized", "international recognition", "has added ’immeasurably’", etc.; the announcement of the hotel name change takes on the form of a news report; "A Sampling of Those Who’ve Met at the Delano" consists of a typographically-centred list of focal point notable companies; DavidBartonGym employs a similar strategy with service notables, hours, and prices; the 6-page bathhouse "Agua" information offers a first-page description taking on the visual form of a poem, and detailed information about services. Meanwhile, the statement on Starck takes on a different strategy combining a poetic approach, a narrative of his childhood which casts him as the "misunderstood genius", a series of descriptive and notable completed designs preceding the Delano (1995), which results in ecstatic triumph, and he is typified as the God of design: "Starck is a man who is in our lives because he loves us and because all of his creations carry this message in them."

For other pieces of writing in the press kit, the Delano fact sheet takes in what I’d call the fact sheet genre composed of a list of "facts", infused with promotional language; this can be used as information for articles and confirmation. It appears to be authoritative information, particularly with its heading "Fact Sheet". An article in The Exec, a Southern California business publication, acts as an independent review of the hotel and its services; yet, its inclusion in the press kit gives it a publicity role. Further, The Mondrian, taking the name of the Los Angeles hotel, is the in-house hotel magazine for that hotel; it is not known if the Delano has one for itself as well. It contains several upscale advertisements— upscale art galleries, fashion, and other luxury items. It takes on the appearance of a design lifestyle magazine with: a feature on the hotel, a Q & A on Schrager, and a profile on Rande Gerber, who runs a bar in the Mondrian. The combinations offered in the Delano press kit are strategically employed in the press kits of the other properties.

For brochure genres, the Delano brochure— which is sent to prospective guests, it is entirely filled with sumptuous, selected photographs— through the "indoor / outdoor" lobby, into the bathroom and room, to the rooftop bathhouse; in fact, the selection is composed of visual focal points, which emerge in many of the writings, and, for example, show up in Nasatir’s Interior Design article (October 1995). The final page lists the hotel properties, inserted with very selected quotes from lifestyle and news magazines, such as "America’s coolest hotel" apparently in Vogue; a white card is inserted in the photo-based brochure with room rates. Meanwhile, the Ian Schrager Hotels brochure takes on a similar strategy focusing on photos of hotel entrances and listing fairly standard hotel notables. It is important to note that the Delano press kit mimics the hotel’s visual emphasis of white-on-white— white type on white paper— aligning the color emphasis.

The fact that public relations material appears to share similar features as journalism is characteristic of the incestuous nature of the training of both parties: "The writing of both has very much in common... PR writing aims, with information and education, to create a favourable environment or market to sell in... Publicity writing aims to get past editors into the editorial pages of newspapers and magazines... The writers must behave as journalists, and the work must fulfill the requirements of journalism" (Hennessy 1997: 313-324) [25].

2. Newspaper, Magazine, and Starck-survey Book Macro-Genres

The newspaper, magazine, and Starck-centered book macro-genres consist of a variety listed in Figures 7, 8, and 9. For the selected published writings on the Delano, they include a news report (New York Post, 1999) on the suspicious fire concerning the Delano’s beach village installation. For features they include those approaching the hotel, Starck, Schrager, Schrager and restauranteer McNally fighting, South Beach, the hotel restaurant, the Mondrian Hotel, on designer hotels, and on the theme of whiteness. Further, the selections include a piece from a "Best of" section— referring to a fictional book "Delia at the Delano" (See Bibliography A for breakdown of newspaper material by macro-genre and angle), and a Letter to the Editor is included. Meanwhile, the magazine press takes on similar genres of reports and features: divided into categories of lifestyle magazines, art and design trade press, industry publications, and news and business weeklies. For lifestyle publications, features include those on the Delano, on Schrager working relationships, on designer hotels, and on South Beach. For the art and design press, selections include a news report on the Delano and on activities concerning upcoming Starck-Schrager London hotels; for features, those on the Delano; on Starck; on Starck and Schrager; on Schrager, his hotels, and the Starck connection; on awards; on South Beach, on the Mondrian hotel; on designer hotels. For industry publications, the selections include features on the Delano in travel, meetings / conventions, and lodging publications, and other combinations via specific industry and their slant towards the hotel. News and business weeklies include a hotel profile in Newsweek (Miller, 10 July 1995) and a small Forbes piece (Bohner Lewis, 4 December 1995) questioning the financial health of Schrager’s hotels. Lastly, the Starck-centred survey books (See Bibliography A) which address the Delano consist of heavily disproportionate photo-saturated books with very short essays which contain little, if any, negativisms (Juicy Salif? Hot Bertaa kettle? Destruction of historic interior at the Delano? xxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxxx xxxxx xx xxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx

Philippe Starck Delano hotel - table of contents | Appendix C: Examples for claims about genres