After arriving at the Brooklyn Museum on Saturday and finding out that there was a 2 hour wait just to get a ticket to the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit I decided to switch my second review on fashion in the galleries to fashion in magazines instead. I am an avid supporter of fashion magazines and where I hope to find myself working one day but sometimes it can be so disappointing to flip through a publication and feel like you just looked at a ton of ads with little to no artistic merit or value. That however was not the case when I purchased this quarter's issue of AnOther Magazine. Sporting an adorable Mia Wasikowska on the cover clad in sequin tennis shoes, sequin eye-shadow and what seems to be her sitting on a massive canvas piled on top of several mattress like a modern princess and the pea I was immediately drawn in. It only got better as I proceeded to open the pages to the first editorial displaying accessories and make-up products in one of the most interesting and what I'm sure was difficult display I've seen in quite a long time. I love how by having these items balancing on strings and thin steel supports the products become extremely precious and other-worldly; I have never been so mesmerized by a tube of lipstick and the strings of a shoe.
A few pages deeper and I came upon the first human including editorial although I'm not sure I can call this woman a human when she is clearly more of an undefinable creature. Whether she came up with the poses herself or was given instructions by the photographer to be placed in these contorted and often tension building shapes I fucking love it. I think that this is such an incredible way to photograph clothing that gives it a new life that one may have not originally expected. It gives the pieces a story beyond the material. It gives them an emotional and psychological moment. Maybe not one that you have experienced or are willing to admit experiencing but it is something that strikes you and makes you stop and think:
"What the hell is happening here and why do I love it so much?!?"
Yet another beautiful editorial of warped and deflated body positions that make me want to stop writing right now and go take some photos of myself like this. I think what it is that draws me so much to these photos is that I feel so strongly when I see them. It riles up something inside of me that a photo of a model plainly standing in a studio with the same clothes on simply wouldn't do. There's aggression, exhaustion, tension, stress, anxiety, constriction, force and balance to be found in these editorials - things that I feel are missing far to often in fashion editorials which is a shame because the clothing is being shown is an expression of all of those things and more and the photos should be communicating that.
About halfway through AnOther I came across this very different yet extremely pleasing editorial telling the story of poetic and badass relationship between four teenage girls. Every single photo is so killer I can't even stand it. Once again tension, love, jealousy, support, sex and attitude - all of the things that I know we all felt as teenagers at least once if not more so. In every single way this story is perfect because it is a story. I went through such a range of emotions as I turned each page, immersed myself in each image. I understood these girls relationship by the end and had to go back several times to relive it once again. If that's not the definition of a good editorial/photo/art piece then I don't know what is. Also who wants to stand in a staircase with me and take a photo of us eating each other's hair???
Then came this extremely lovely story about a girl in her garden entitled 'I want to BLOSSOM in this area of my life: _____'. Now THAT is a compelling tagline. Every photo was more or less the same when it came to the set up and location but the styling was so incredible, so unexpected and riveting I couldn't contain my joy and may have squealed a little when looking at this on the train. The models strength, courage, hard work, dedication, persistence and unapologetic confidence blew me away and maybe reminded me a bit of myself. When a photo does that to you then there's something to be said about it.
Last but certainly not least I came to my last favorite editorial of this month's AnOther. A story telling us about why Rick Owens after two decades in creative control of his label is unafraid to cause a cultural storm. If you are aware of the latest Rick Owens show last season then this is no surprise to you as the models in this editorial seem to be the same models that did a step-dance on the runway for him in Paris and damn do they look good. Posed nude with chiaroscuro lighting to reminisce baroque painting techniques not much is displayed other than shoes and leather head dresses yet I feel like I understand what Rick was trying to say at his last show so much clearer now. Not that there was a mis-communication before as this is clearly a step forward towards movement, pure, unadulterated life and real fucking people wearing real fucking clothes that aren't only designed for sample sizes and bone thin mannequins. Bravo Rick, I applaud your cultural storm and support you 110% of the way, especially if it comes in jaw dropping imagery like this.
That said there is clearly more to AnOther this quarter than just these select snippets I decided to share so I highly recommend that you save up $20 to go out and buy yourself a copy. It is far a few these days that you come across a fashion magazine so compelling and enchanting. I hope to see much more of this in the future and if not then I hope to be that change I wish to see in the fashion magazine world. Fashion may seem like an empty industry that is about nothing more than materialism and superficiality but it's magazines like this and pictures like these that prove there is art to be found within it.