These images are part of a series of work I did a long while back with stylist Sarah Bell. The shoot was based around the idea that nature and humanity becoming so involved and confused with technology that they are inseparable, which if anything feels even more valid today. I have quite a soft spot for these still, it’s that natural light I love. Lot’s of staring off into the distance, but hey, we were at uni, we had delusions of grandeur.
(apologies for the reaaally long post, i got a bit too excited…)
Elle Collections has fast become my absolute bible for each new season. I’m anything but a trend follower (who’s got the cash for that?) but I still like to know what’s occurring, and stay in touch with what’s going on in the forever spinning world of fashion. When I first bought Elle collections it was just that – a vehicle to allow me some insight. Little did I know I was opening up a masterpiece.
Elle Collections is so fucking inspiring. The combination of writing tone, images and content manages to show this ever so shallow industry in its most fabulous, artistic, passionate and awe inspiring light. If Vogue is a carefully constructed billboard for commercial fashion, Elle have created a sonnet to sing its creative praises. Sigh.
And this edition, SS14, is a true love song to the fashion show itself. The opening letter from Editor Rebecca Lowthorpe gave me goose bumps, and a bad case of that Fashion Week Feeling. To read her essay is to experience the true adrenalin fuelled fervour of fashion week, the passion, the excitement, the thrills, distilled into words on a page. She is unashamedly worshipping the hands on, seeing-through-your-eyes-not-a-screen fashion show experience, and that makes me smile. It makes me remember what first fashion weeks felt like, the first time I got a press pass with my name on it, and the first show ticket I got sent. It reignites the love I have for this industry, that love I seem to forget about when away from Somerset house for too long.
The trends and collections are presented so imaginatively, like the still life feel to the accessories, and the conceptual take on details.
To read Elle collections is to truly be a part of the fashion week experience. From backstage images, collection close-ups, innovative trend round ups to unique insights into a fashion aficionados life (Paul Smiths collection of bunnies and Susie Lau’s wardrobe laid bare for all to covet) and it drags an exclusive world into an inclusive arena, one we are welcome to run into with arms wide open. The fashion world of course is becoming more and more inclusive, with live streaming and instantaneous catwalk updates shedding any element of surprise, and certainly any need to buy Elle or any other publication to get a hit of the shows – it’s all there a few clicks and finger swipes away. But where Elle succeeds is their depiction of true passion for the spectacle of it all, the story behind every element of the process, melted down into slightly bigger than A4 pages filled with beautiful pictures to gawp at, yours for £7 from WHSmiths.
It really is a very experimental and open way for such a celebrated mainstream fashion magazine to present their information. Take the Fashions Scrapbook section – a literal scrapbook layout, displaying the inspirations for SS14. Complete with an illustrated map, comic strips, fake screenplay and a playlist, it’s about as far away from a season round up as you can imagine, and I love it for that. Looking at its DIY aesthetic makes you hungry for teenage angst and brave fashion choices, something this new season is all too willing to accommodate.
The art direction is consistently lovely, with great type work and strong layout, you can really feel every element has been so well thought out, including how it appears on the page.
If you’re a fashion lover who’s fell out of love, buy Elle collections, and I promise you it’ll raise a smile. Even if you don’t think ‘blogger style’ is actually anything to do with style, Elle manages to present trends in a way other publications completely miss – as something we can all join in with. After all, isn’t that what makes a trend?
Despite being thoroughly sun damaged, this first issue of Mirage is easily one of my favourite magazines. It sits in one of 2 magazine files that are reserved for the greats, a high privilege in my hierarchy of magazines.
Mirage is a completely beautiful magazine, featuring ‘Fashion, Swimwear and Jetset Hedonism’, or so it’s tag line tells us. In my eyes, its an aviator framed, tobacco tinged collection of ladies clad in swimwear, stunning architecture and interior design, with a smattering of travel, classic cars, and plenty of boobs. It’s unapologetic and screams suave – had James Bond had time to read a periodical, it would have been this one.
The lovely ladies are only a beginning of the sensuous tone of the book – a mixture of matt and glossy stock keep texture and touch at the forefront of your mind when you flick through, and the photography reflects this too; from dreamy and soft focus, to clear and glossy, to gritty and black and white.
The fashion is sharp and timeless, and mainly womenswear, despite the continuing nod to luxury bachelor lifestyle reportage. I must admit, I don’t really understand if Mirage is intended for women or men, but I don’t really feel that needs to be defined – it’s just a 352 page chance to escape into this luxury idealist world.
The main attraction for me when buying it, many moons ago in Franks whilst at uni, was the editorial direction. They use clear, big, bold lettering which I’m always a sucker for, and an interesting linear graphic throughout, followed by a catchy tag line or title to each story. The navigation is a breeze, you just fly through the book, with the odd double page spread of a classic car or impressive interior design punctuating the endless full-bleed fashion stories. It’s very image heavy (which gets a tick from me) but the odd article is given so much space to breathe, that it doesn’t break up the flow at all.
Mirage is essentially a lot of boobs on beaches, ladies lounging in studios, sunglasses, cars and yes, hedonism, which is very far removed from my lifestyle. But I think that’s why I adore it, it’s not out-of-reach-aspirational like high-fashion magazines can be with their fashion I can never afford, but rather an insight to this indulgent world, that I want to simply be a voyeur to. Mirage gives you the opportunity to bathe in that gloriousness, and if magazines are experiences, Mirage would be a bloody good holiday.
I have a confession. I haven’t read this magazine. Well not all of it, yet, in fact I’m barely half way through, but then to my credit it is 512 pages long.
This is Rankin’s 2nd edition of Hunger, I’m sure you’ve seen it’s thick wedge in your local lovely mag shop, its been out a while. I bought it based solely on its opening editorial letter, an unashamed unbridled love letter to the reader for still believing in print and giving the magazine our time and money. It’s the ultimate coffee table mag; a quick flick shows a flash of nipple, lashings of gorgeous editorial and some wonderful silver paper stock, the kind that only this immense budget could afford.
And that’s probably my only issue with it. It appears to be (and please correct me if I’m wrong) entirely self-funded; no ads, no recognised advertorial, and certainly no expense spared. It’s obviously a labour of love, the editorial is uncompromisingly lavish and that metallic paper stock and front cover embossing did not come cheap, and this gives me two, opposite, impressions: On one hand, its indulging a dream any magazine lover or creator hardly dares to dream, but on the other, Hunger puts in to harsh perspective the fact that there is no way many magazines can compete with this level or production, with a cover price at less than a penny a page (just £5). It makes me feel like I’m missing a trick somewhere, and doesn’t have that bear faced honesty that so many of the independent publication I adore do.
My somewhat jaded reasoning aside; there is no denying its beauty, easy to devour navigation and endless pretty pictures, mainly shot by Rankin himself. In fact, it’s such a well put together publication that Rankin writes in his opening letter rings true, “I love you because you’ll spend time looking at this. You’ll hopefully go back to it a few times and maybe you’ll keep the magazine for a few years”. And I will.
Update: I finished it eventually, and yes, I do continue to go back to it, often to use Hunger as an example to my non-mag-obsessed friends as to why I love ‘proper’ fashion mags.