Reading Material

Yesterday's Birthday Blues quickly turned into Birthday Chills.  Last week I spoke far too soon about the cold snap ending as some creepy Arctic wind is heading London's way again and unfortunately the first of the chill knocked its way into my head rendering it all foggy, clogged up and somewhat clouded.  The brain is not fit to be processing say a Chekhov play, but it can just about plough through an array of fashion-related printed matter that in their own ways are trying to combat the notion of being overly fash-on.  By the way that's not to insult any of these publications to say they can't equal Chekhov… or perhaps they wouldn't want to.  I'll leave you to judge should you wish to support any of them with your parting of pennies…



Manzine РIssue IV (£3 Can be bought online here)

I'm a fan of stealing reading material from Steve be it Fantastic Man, Monocle or Fire & Knives (above ALL magazines, it's my favourite read at the moment – except it's about food so I can't chant about it here…).  The latest steal was Manzine, edited by Kevin Braddock who recently explored the 'changing face of masculinity' in this article in the Guardian through the media landscape of mens' mags.  I'm not sure I entirely agree with a whole sex being defined by the media trend epochs that sees the rise and fall of various men's mags but I did have a fun time thumbing through Manzine which doesn't really try to be aspirational and in fact tries very hard to be completely down to earth and being as ordinary as possible.  A good old fashioned witty moan n' groan gives a helping hand… namely about topics such as cupcakes, people who answer the phone with 'Yellow' and how rugby is misunderstood by the world.  It also extolls the delights of a donor kebab, bars of soap as opposed to gels and pits black pudding vs. scotch eggs which makes for a categorically British zine which I suppose Manzine doesn't pretend not to be.  I also like the inclusion of a diverting short story on a separate leaflet that compels me to read it more so than if it has been integrated into the zine.  I'm not sure why that is.  I don't know what the sum of all these parts add to the dialogue about mags aimed at men and but it does pipe up as a levelled voice, an agenda-free zine that gives you a chuckle, not a didactic bible to follow. 








Pamflet РIssue XI (£1.50 Can be bought online here)

I hearted Pamflet before but seeing as issue XI might be its printed last, it definitely needs another inclusion here.  Wonder what it is with zines like Manzine and Pamflet and their love of Roman numerals but I do think both seem to hit the nail on the head in their rants-with-a-point-to-make (as opposed to the pointless rants that I get myself into, ending up without consequence or a point to be made).  In its editorial letter, the Pamflet girls Anne-Marie and Phoebe pinpointed precisely what makes the rise of zines again relevant – that they're "focused on stuff we love and stuff we hate".  No grand statement of intention or crusading spiel.  Therefore we go onto to issue XI which gives its blessing to claddah rings, Jamie Hewlett's Tank Girl and exposed plasters on cuts/scrapes (a look I've rocked since the year dot due to my proneness to spontaneous bleeding…).  Fashion wise, the issue delves deeper into their suspicion of 'trends' and everyone's right to be a bit vain and how consumption does not equal style – all obviously get positive yay points from me and are expressed ever so eloquently by the Pamflet troop of writers.  These issues getting under Pamflet's skin aren't necessarily ones that everyone will relate to but then again, Pamflet never professed to be an all-rounder guiding beacon for dis-enfranchised women if ever such a thing exists or will exist.  Still, Pamflet's gripes and points to make are ones that I personally nod my head to and I'm looking forward to their existence to live on as an updated blog as well as the possibility of a get-together London-based discussion salon which provides substantial basis for the gentlewomen's club that I was banging on about a while ago.  Mind is cogitating…









Rubbish РIssue 2.5 (£9.99 Can be bought online here)

It's been quite gappy in between Rubbish's Volume 1 and 2 hardback annuals that I wouldn't even put in the magazine category.  They've now compacted it down to an A3 sized cardboard covered issue that they've termed as issue two and a half.  For those not familiar with Rubbish's previous issues will get a good taster from this one here themed around everything PLAYTIME. Rubbish is determined to get away from the po-faced and serious persona that fashion can sometimes take on and look upon the joys of it in as irreverant a way as possible.  For this issue in particular, engaging with kids and their untainted sense of fun is what Rubbish have put forward be it getting six year olds to draw portraits of Henry Holland or getting them involved in shoots (totally legit and responsible as the kids are from modelling agencies…).  The main subject this issue revolves around Lady Gaga and writer Jessica Brinton likens Gaga's attitude to dressing to childsplay dressing up hence why Sasha Sunshine has shot their favourite young friends getting creative with the contents of the under-sink cupboard. 

"It got me thinking.  Words and phrases like "trend," "must-haves," "it-bag," "best-dressed" and "star style" – the motifs of grown-up, modern fashion – suddenly seemed, not stepping stones on the road to fashion success, but prison bars designed to stop us releasing our inner Gaga."

This excerpt from the article DID indeed get me thinking.  I'd agree so far as those terms that Brinton refers have increasingly become style prison bars but I'm not entirely sure everyone has an inner Gaga to be released or if releasing our inner Gaga is the ONLY solution to breaking those shackles.  

In other fashion playtime antics, Henry Holland, Sibling and Holly Fulton dress salad ingredients up in mini outfits, photographer Venetia Dearden imagines a Back to the Future scenario in a photo shoot and Rubbish introduce the new work-out method of 'Voga' – emulating poses seen in magazines such as 'The Lacoste' or 'The Balmain'.  I also like the inside of the mag which instead of a huge ad features Liberty prints, what Rubbish call the 'fabric of play' which I couldn't agree more considering how close they also look like the 'play clothes' that Maria makes up for those tuneful kids in Sound of Music.











Centrefold РIssue 6 (£7.50 Not available online alas but can be bought from Wardour News, Wardour Street, No-One, Magma and KK Outlet)

This one doesn't need so much explanatory text as it is basically a lush oversized visual fest created just to be gorged upon without the need for supplementary articles or extra chat.  It's therefore not really reading material but there's much to be read into regarding the images that Centrefold have put together for this issue, guest-edited and curated by Daniel Baer (Studio Baer) and stylist Joanna Schlenzka with photographers such as Yelena Yemchuk, KT Auleta and Miguel Riveriego contributing.  The richness of textures and stylistic periods evoked by the A/W 10-11 season is distilled quite nicely into the seven editorial stories in the issue which have a greater impact when printed on A-2 folded 150gsm paper chosen carefully from GF Smith. Its ode to colour balance, typography as well as styling and photography means Centrefold exploits the advantage of print more so than others, celebrating what can be done on paper that perhaps can't be replicated digitally. 


(Photography by Yelena Yemchuk)


(Photography by KT Auleta)

Without meaning to make an 'issue' out of 'plus' sized models, I do love this story by Johan Sandberg which matched with the styling, makes for an impactful story that doesn't make these models into freakish entities but rather takes advantage of their shape to showcase the clothes in a beautiful way – particularly the Shao Yen Chen cut-nylon white ensemble…




Winter knits still 100% relevant, especially the matching ensemble by Prada and a vintage Aran sweater painted by the stylist which is making me want to do the same…


(Photography by Esther Teichmann)

17 Replies to “Reading Material”

  1. These magazines all look really cool, I especially like Pamflet Magazine. I’ll definitely support them by buying some issues! One of my own favourite zines is Oh Comely. It’s a UK zine about quirky things and people. You might like it 🙂

  2. I agree about the knitwear editorial. It’s very inspiring what people can do when they don’t think inside the constraints of most fashion magazines.

  3. GAH – real writing on a fashion blog?! gazoots.
    I am ashamed to say that sometimes I will answer the phone with ‘yellow’ – except it has to be ‘yeehloooo’, slowly rising in pitch for maximum embarrassment. Must check out Pamflet, although can’t read Rubbish due to Jessica Brinton overload – seriously, she writes the entirety of Times Style.

  4. That Manzine looks hilarous. Yet also simply amazing. Also, the whole plus size issue is irritating when it comes to fashion and catwalks, when they send out a “largeer model”. Oh, you mean a size 10? Sometimes I just wonder if they design for skinny people so that the ordinary population can just feel belittled (but then I fall in love with some outfit and realise that they love me too, really!)

  5. Love the pic of the big girl in the knit dress. Nice to see a variety of body sizes in print. I love the irony of a blogger doing reviews of print magazines. I had not heard of any of these being from across the pond so I appreciate the insight.
    The Manzine sounds hilarious. Men can be very funny especially when they show how different they are to us ie, hating cupcakes. How can you dislike a cupcake? Also, their crazy idea that shoes should be comfortable. I had an ex who just could not accept that when I wore certain shoes, walking was out of the question. “They’re SHOES!” he would cry. I sense you are in love since you have mentioned Steve in nearly every post recently. I’m so happy for you. It is a dreamy state of mind that I have yet to experience.

  6. read snippets of the articles from ‘pamflet’ looks pretty interesting. got me wanting to buy that zine!

  7. Haha when you said “Yesterday’s Birthday Blues” it made me think of the Beatles. “Yesterday” “Birthday” and “Yer Blues”

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