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Fragment of "DANSK" cover. ISSUE Nº 26. Cover photo: Aitken Jolly

A Different Kind of Fashion Magazines 0

Evita Goze, photography student at Brighton University

Forget about the glossy and boring Vogue, Elle, Harper's Bazaar and other magazines of their ilk – they're as indistinguishable as eggs. A wave of independent fashion magazines, first popping up in the 1990's, has rejuvenated the fashion publication industry – which has increasingly become overshadowed by bloggers, internet magazines and music videos – with new blood. In fact, I'd have to say that it's a bit early to begin forecasting the death of the printed magazine. You just can't compare leafing through these independent magazines with surfing the net. Thick and heavy, they usually come out just twice a year and are worth collecting. Experimental aesthetics, photography and innovative graphic design play a big role in revealing the experimental, playful and, sometimes, even anarchistic side of fashion. Their circulation numbers are usually relatively low, and in terms of content, they combine fashion with art and pop-culture; often, the target audience is both male and female.

There's a wide array of choices out there: from the Swedish Acne Paper, established in 2005 and each issue having a world-wide distribution of 25,000 copies, to the British Verities, a brand-new magazine that debuted this September with a printing of just 2,000; from London's elegantly classic The Gentlewoman, which tends to use black and white photography and real women as models (made-up to look as good as possible), to the playful Paris/London publication, Ponystep: their first printed edition came out this spring with the goal of “bringing the fun back to high fashion”; to the obviously rebellious British magazine, Re-Bel. I'll introduce you to some of my favorites, including the above-mentioned Swedish Acne Paper and the Danish Dansk.


Cover photo: Daniel Jackson

One of my favorite fashion magazines is the Swedish fashion-label Acne's bi-annual publication, Acne Paper. Although associated with its mother company, the magazine isn't simply an advertising scheme. Actually, it's quite the opposite – you'll barely find any Acne clothing in its pages, or ads of any kind, for that matter. Its introductory pages are filled with rows of musical notes; combining the historical with the contemporary, it consists of not only fashion photography, but also has articles on art, movies, literature, dance and music. The magazine mixes archival images with contemporary fashion- and portrait-photography, working with such photographers as Daniel Jackson, Roe Ethridge, the Gerrit Rietveld Academie-graduate, Julia Hetta, and Paolo Roversi. The magazine is characterized by an ascetic and painterly elegance in calm (often very dark) tones, which evoke a feeling of timely nostalgia, yet it still manages to keep a finger on the pulse of that which is contemporary. Each issue centers around a specific theme, such as exotica, erotica, playfulness, elegance, traditions or legendary parties. The latest edition, which came out this summer, was dedicated to youth.  Printed in A3-format on heavy, matte paper – much like that of an old, yellowed book – it's a covetable object. >>