STACK: Independent Fashion Magazines Everyone Should Read

Editorial Magazine

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We were excited to send out this Montreal-based oddity on Sampler last month, because we love its strange and inventive view of the world. Pairing young talents like Sophie Andes Gascon and Marie Yat with longstanding cult labels like Maison Margiela and Calvin Klein, their fashion stories are always surprising, and look like a lot of fun to produce. They also source from iconic vintage stores like NYC’s Screaming Mimis and Cherry Vintage, shifting the focus away from those big labels.

Marfa Journal

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Started as the graduation project of a Central Saint Martins student, Marfa Journal’s hardback magazine can now be found in bookstores all over the world. The name was inspired by a trip to Marfa, Texas, when founder Alexandra Gordienko embarked on a road trip with her friend to the desert hub of contemporary art. As she tells Dazed, the magazine became a way for them to befriend people they’ve stalked for years — the result completely embodies this daring, exciting energy.

Recens

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After a successful Kickstarter campaign, 15-year-old Elise By Olsen started Recens Paper with the aim to provide her peers with an antidote to the oppressive perfectionism in mainstream media. The Oslo-based publication is a youth culture magazine for readers who are part of a generation that “will not be limited to gender binaries or accept the obligations of commercialism.” In Latin, Recens means ‘new thinking’ and ‘young’, and you can expect nothing less than invigorating from this publication.

Mushpit

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Mushpit has become renowned for its sharp, satirical wit, and that’s as important in their fashion shoots as it is in their editorials lambasting payday loans, imploding politics and exorbitant rents. From wardrobe webcam photoshoots (below, titled ‘Trapped in the Closet’ after the R. Kelly hip-hop musical) to expensive handbags shot in bathrooms then adorned with Comic Sans, it injects some humour into an often overly serious industry.

Polyester

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Polyester is a feminist fashion and culture publication aiming to “bridge the gap of URL cyberfeminism with the IRL world.” Editor-in-chief Ione Gamble started the magazine as a response to the frustration she felt with the representation of fourth wave feminism and favouritism towards minimalism in the mainstream. You’ll fall in love with their extravagant, excessive and absolutely fabulous fashion narratives.

Pylot

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We sent this magazine out to Stack subscribers in April last year. Showcasing the best of analogue fashion photography, it has a strict no beauty-retouching policy. The magazine also promises not to show material that can be seen elsewhere, so be prepared to have your eyes peeled wide open and immerse yourself in their exciting approach to fashion.

ΠMagazine

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Œ magazine was included in last year’s fashion magazines roundup, and we want to mention them again. As a platform for the fashion talent coming out of Germany, and in particular, Berlin, it’s bold and experimental, and refrains from describing trends to focus on showing individual talent instead. Like all the magazines above, you really have to hold it in your hands to appreciate the thought and beauty that goes into it.

Source: http://www.stackmagazines.com/style-fashion/10-new-independent-fashion-magazines/

Last Accessed: 30th March 2017

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Magazine & Lookbook Layout and Aesthetic Influences/Inspirations

Forming part of my visual/aesthetic research working towards designing my own magazine, I sourced and collated a range of images which reflect the style, tone and aesthetic which I would like my publication to embody. My proposal stated that I would like the magazine to be a hybrid of magazine and look book, echoing a clean, minimal and sleek vibe, allowing for the photography, typography and content to ‘do the talking’.

I made notes below as to why these inspirations were chosen.

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Above: Use of complimentary imagery in the background adds a contrasting aesthetic.

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Above: Really like how this contents page is completely visual opposed to text based. Unusual for a fashion magazine. Also has a really good use of strong photography in a range of black and white and full colour.

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Above: I love the COS magazines as they are minimal, clean and a hybrid of magazine and lookbook. Subtle pops of colour which relate to the imagery for key pull outs and quotes are also very well done. Clean, crisp fonts and lots of white space allows the images to talk to the reader opposed to being text heavy.

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Above: Another example of the COS magazine yet with more colour. I really like how their spreads and gridded and consistent in regard to format and structure.

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Above: Clean look book aesthetic with key text, i.e.photographer, garment name. Really like the overlaying imagery on the right hand side breaking the grid structure.

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Above: Great use of breaking a grid system whilst being structured, minimal and streamlined. Again lots of white space with key information, minimal text and good photography explaining the text visually.

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Above: Good example of an image based look book only using two variants of layout. Little to no text across pages with imagery which I really like as makes the visuals much stronger and more impactful whilst feeling very editorial for a look book.

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Above: I really like the use of collage mixed with clean imagery and sophisticated typography, echoing a strong editorial yet feminine aesthetic and tone.

 

Image sources: collated from a personal archive of editorial imagery.

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Publication Idea: Mind Map

Below shows a mind map which was drawn up whilst reflecting on Semester 2 and Practice 1, in order to move forwards with Practice 2. This formed the basis of my proposal whilst reassuring my objectives which have been carried forward are accounted for. In addition, this allowed for planning to start to take place, noting possible contents sought from previous research and research findings, i.e. interviews/working research trips (both UK and Japan), whilst also using my dissertation as a trigger for specific articles to be added in additionally. This mind map also enabled me to consider briefly whom the audience would be, however I feel the target would mainly be females due to the industries and magazines still being heavily directed that way, whilst in addition, 90% of my research findings show that the vast majority of beauty/fashion bloggers and/or magazine readers/social media users are female. The map also enabled a purpose to be derived, considering aesthetic, tone of voice and purpose.

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Semester 3 Proposal and Objectives for Practice 2

For Semester 3 (Practice 2) I plan on designing and producing a research-led magazine aimed at 18-24 year old females, which synthesises findings from both Semesters 1 and 2. The target audience would have an interest in fashion, beauty and the wider context of the industries.

I plan on collating various forms of research from previously covered research topics, i.e. interviews, questionnaires, research trips, theory and academic findings, for example, in order to produce a publication which explores the ‘real’ fashion and beauty industries; highlighting positives, yet also the negative issues surrounding self-perception and body image. The magazine will focus on Western issues, as well as focusing on issues seen in Japan, which were discussed in my dissertation to add a cross-cultural tone, whilst considering target audience and the interest of reading a range of topics/articles/interviews.

To do this effectively, I plan on researching into look books and magazines, to design and create a publication which is a hybrid of both – reflecting the analytical article led content, whilst posing aesthetically as a highly visual, polished, sleek look book, blurring the boundaries of editorial design and graphic design. I plan on utilising my connections, in order to gain additional interviews (i.e. Milk and Honey), whilst also collaborating with photographers for relevant imagery, (i.e. Talia White for the Tam Dexter interview). In addition, I also plan on working with Japanese Beauty Blogger Nicole Takahashi, whom I met and interviewed on my international research trip to Japan in Semester 2. This collaboration will hopefully strengthen my publication. I also plan on including new subject matters, i.e. the Good American clothing line, which is something I have recently found via research. In some instances, I plan on sourcing imagery via my magazine archives and via online sources, whilst emailing contacts at ASOS for example to see if it is possible to use any of their stock images.

Those who were interviewed or spoken to during Semester 1 and 2 for research purposes, signed disclosure agreements citing their approval of use of any findings for academic writings and work, therefore ensuring that the publication is written and designed ethically and according to the pre-determined policies set out by LCA, whilst ensuring both good personal and professional development is maintained throughout Semester 3 and the production of this magazine.

I plan on distributing the magazine via both print and digital platforms. The digital version I plan on launching via an online platform/website/blog in a similar way to that Milk and Honey operate, whereby like minded bloggers/writers/academics forming a ‘collective’ can post articles from different countries for example, or around their specialism/area of interest/expertise. This would also be rolled out onto social media platforms, i.e. Facebook and Instagram. The printed version I would pitch to be sold in independent magazine stores in the West and even in Japan and the US/Canada for example, where many of these issues are derived. This would add a cross-cultural influence, audience, tone and demographic to the publication, mimicking the online platform. I would like to mock up the online platform to show how it would operate/function as a platform, and I would like to research into which stores/stockists would sell the printed publication, as well as whom I could potentially form a ‘collective’ with if the magazine was to develop into a series/online platform in the future. This allows for local, national and international platforms to be both considered.

In summary, the magazine aims to be a celebration of the fashion and beauty industries, but also aims to be ethical whilst challenging ‘real issues’, identities and truths which lay beneath the surface.

This also works towards the objectives set out for Semester 3, which are shown below, and follow on from the objectives which were evaluated and reflected upon in Semester 2.

Objectives:

1. To understand the ways in which Social Media and Magazines can affect self-perceptions and issues:

A) With body image (Females, 18-24)

B) With body image on a cross-cultural scale (Females, 18-24; Tokyo, Japan).

2. To understand policies and guidelines within the Fashion and Beauty Industries currently encouraging positive body image.

3. To work with and interview those both actively working in the Fashion and Beauty Industries, and those on a consumer/follower/user basis, to compare behaviours and perspectives in relation to body image and self-perceptions.

4. To prototype a range of design work targeted at 18-24 year old women, highlighting impacts of cross-cultural beauty/fashion trends on self-perceptions and body image.

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