WE BITCHES TEAR OUR MAGAZINES…

SOMETHING I wrote recently for someone…

magazines-and-me

MAGAZINES AND ME

A few years ago when I moved house the removal men had to deal with over 80 boxes of magazines that included copies of Vogue, Elle, Tatler, BLITZ, i-D, The Face, Per Lui, Jil, Ritz, Interview, L’Uomo Vogue, Arena, Numero, AnOther, Dazed & Confused, Frank, Honey, Maison and even a few copies of My Guy.

Why do I like magazines so much? It goes back to when I was a child and my dad would read illustrated comics to my brothers and me. At an early age my mum bought me World of Wonder and TV21, dedicated to the Thunderbirds sci-fi TV show, as well as a girl’s magazine called Bunty, with a cut out dress-up doll on the back page. I also got Lady Penelope, a spin-off of TV21. The first issue came with a free gift: a pink insignia ring.

As a teenager I got all the music papers – Disc, Record Mirror, NME, Sounds and Melody Maker – as well as pin-up poster magazines like Jackie, FAB208 and Popswap. Music writers Julie Burchill, Tony Parsons, Paul Morley, Paul Rambali, Nick Kent and the wonderfully sounding Jane Suck inspired me tremendously, so while studying fashion design at St Martin’s School of Art I also started writing. I kept books filled with cuttings by favourite writers such as Michael Roberts, fashion editor of the Sunday Times.

At Art College I pored over RITZ newspaper, the brainchild of David Bailey and David Litchfield. I adored it from cover to cover, from the fabulous clothes on the gorgeous models to the beautiful people in the gossipy columns. I dreamt of being part of that glitzy, glam world. I now count as friends many of the people who were featured in RITZ. Dreams can come true.

During my career I have worked on a variety of titles, which I think is essential to discover your personal style, including Blitz, The Face, NME, Elle, Harpers & Queen, The Evening Standard, L’Uomo Vogue, The Guardian, The Times, US Harper’s Bazaar and Ponystep. I am currently Fashion Features Editor at Large of Rollacoaster.

In 2008 I launched my own fashion fanzine called UNCOOL. The idea was simple: I asked my front row friends (people who inspired me) to write about things that inspired them. It featured articles on 1960s film Smashing Time, designer Hussein Chalayan and Coco The Musical written by Simon Doonan, Rebecca Lowthorpe and Colin McDowell respectively. I stitched the photo copied fanzine together on the same sewing machine I used decades earlier at St Martin’s and distributed it free of charge at the collections in London and Paris to influential members of the fashion pack including Vogue editors – Franca Sozzani, Carine Roitfeld and Alexandra Shulman, David Sims, Mario Testino, Suzy Menkes, Cathy Horyn, Manolo Blahnik, Jean Paul Gaultier, Vivienne Westwood and Stephen Jones. The whole thing was very personal. I wanted to get away from shopping magazines filled with advertising featuring the same old, same old labels. 10 magazine editor Sophia Neophitou asked, ‘Who is your art director?’ Well, it was I with a pair of scissors and a tube of glue. There will be another edition some day…

Magazines can enlighten or entertain. Everyone is dealing with the same information so it’s important for the editor to have a unique viewpoint. It is also necessary to continually reassess and repackage to keep the readership excited. But, whatever the magazine – a brand new issue of Johnson or the faded dream of an old copy of RITZ – all I know is that I can’t put the darned things down, which I guess is the biggest compliment for their creators.

END

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4 comments

  1. Loved this and eagerly awaiting another issue of UNCOOL magazine

    1. THANX so much for your kind comment!

      I would LOVE to do a second issue of UNCOOL magazine but as you can tell by my slow-coach approach to the blog it may take some time…

      Keep your fingers crossed!!!

      Best wishes
      Iain

  2. lien degol · · Reply

    I think you are great !! I followed you and your work forever.. I boucht ELLE UK just for your foreword Beeing a belgian woman in her fifties ,i might sound a bit strange but since i worked many years as a costumiere and later became the queen of makeovers in belgium it makes sense doesn’t it?? Love to follow your blog . Maybe i can buy you a nice gin and tonic next time i visit london Keep safe Lien degol xxx

    1. Lien,

      THANX so much for your kind words.

      I apologies for this tardy reply but as you can tell by my slow-coach approach to the blog I don’t live in the fast lane!

      I believe you also take a look at my Instagram – I tend to use that more now, but HOPE to put more things on the blog in the future.

      It would be LOVELY to meet up some time for a drink…I will take a look at my schedule and be in touch soon…

      THANX again for writing.

      Best wishes
      Iain

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