In 2008 I published one of my most popular blog posts ever, How To Become a Fashion Editor. It was a no holds barred guide to making it on the magazine intern circuit, inspired by my years as a magazine fashion editor. To this day, I still get comments on it and only yesterday someone tweeted me to say it was the best advice they had read. As it’s coming up to school-leaving/graduation time, I thought it was a good time to revisit some of the advice.
But wait! You can do better than read a solitary blog post, the Teen Vogue Handbook has just been published! I was very excited to be invited to the launch (yep, I still buy Teen Vogue religiously every month, even though I’m more than double the median reader age. And?). Held at the Marc by Marc Jacobs shop, it was wall-to-wall under-16s with a few grown ups of the Katie Hillier, Venetia Scott, Pixie Geldof variety thrown in. No alcohol but plenty of cupcakes and Percy Pigs.
But back to the book. The Teen Vogue Handbook – An Insider’s Guide to Careers in Fashion really is the handbook to end them all. It has sections on photography, styling, design, journalism, modelling, beauty – the lot. And it’s packed full of case studies and Q & As with the best of the best in fashion – can I interest you in Rodarte, Stella McCartney, Bruce Weber, Pat McGrath? How about Anna Wintour? As if the words of wisdom aren’t enough, the pages are then brought to life with the upbeat editorials we all know and love from Teen Vogue, as well as product-heavy still life ‘tool kit’ pages (hey, a budding editor is nothing without her Smythson notebook).
This really is a very thorough and beautiful handbook for anyone wanting to get on the first rung in fashion. But it’s even a must-buy for those already in the job. After all, lesson number one is: you never stop learning…
If anyone ever asks my top 5 brands I can reel them off in under 5 seconds. Sony, Gap, Disney, Levi’s, Coke. Easy.
Sony was really cool when I was growing up (hey, they invented the Walkman and had a great logo). Even though their products got less reliable over the years I still have an allegiance to them, I can’t help it. Maybe it’s because Big Audio Dynamite wrote a song about them.
Gap is just a brand I love the idea of. Great American classic wardrobe staples and their ad campaigns are always so beautifully produced. Plus, I have just found the perfect ankle length chinos I’ve been looking for all my life. Disney? Well, duh, can I just say Mickey Mouse? What other reason do you need? Levi’s – again, all about American heritage. I love everything this brand stands for, it’s a nostalgia thing. And finally, Coke. It’s weird, even when I hear bad things about the brand, all I can think about are the red and white colour combo, the iconic logo, the even more iconic bottles and those brilliant ad campaigns.
And now, Nails Inc has collaborated with Coke to launch the Diet Coke City Collection of nail polishes. WTF has Diet Coke got to do with nails? Not a lot, but I really don’t care. I’m not even a Nails Inc fan but I will be making it my business to nab one of those ruby red bottles. That’s the power of the brand for ya.
The Nails Inc Coke set is available from Boots between now and 30th June, free when you buy two 500ml bottles of Diet Coke from selected Boots (subject to availability).
Most photographers have to wait to be commissioned before their work appears in a magazine but some photographers have their own free-spirited way of doing things. Andrew Hobbs launched Centrefold, a beautifully-produced A3 format magazine, to showcase his work and that of other creatives whose work he admires. Issue 5 – ‘The Vintage Issue’ – launched a few weeks ago and was guest-edited by art director Tom Lardner. It features the work of Hobbs alongside the likes of Ben Weller, Iain McKell and Clare Shilland, with all shoots predominantly styled using vintage clothes. The result is a collection of 70s-tinged stories that speak for themselves.
Thinking beyond the traditional magazine format, Centrefold is bound by a single elastic band which can be removed, leaving a collection of standalone A2 posters to pin on a wall or perhaps put in a frame. Or the issues can be collected, with each one neatly folding inside the next.
I had an email chat with Andrew Hobbs…
Disneyrollergirl: When did you start Centrefold and why? Andrew Hobbs: Centrefold was founded in 2003. I was working with creative director Warren Beeby on Nike, Orange and Levi’s. At the time, Warren designed a series of posters for Christies that folded like a map. I thought the design would make a great showpiece for my work as a mailout. The concept evolved into folding posters that would wrap around each other to form a building collection over time and we began collaborating on Centrefold.
DRG: Were you inspired by any other publications? AH: When I started there weren’t any other A3 or “ folding A2” format magazines as far as I’m aware. The only other conceptual publication was Visionaire, by Stephen Gan. Their format was changeable for each issue whereas ours is fixed in terms of format but changeable in terms of design.
DRG: How is it financed? AH: It started out as a self-funded project then we began to get sponsorship as more people became interested in the magazine.
DRG: How do you choose the art directors for each issue? AH: Centrefold is mailed to creatives within the industry, so often people approach myself to work on the magazine. I choose them based on their ability to make an issue work, whether that be through their vision for a particular issue or what they can bring to Centrefold in terms of a creative team who understand the concept of the magazine and can bring the most out of the format.
DRG: Do you have your own shoot in every issue? Did you set out for this to be a platform for your own work too? AH: I like to be very involved with the magazine so I do a shoot for every issue. It’s interesting to see what an art director will come up with as a concept but also to offer my own interpretation of their theme within my shoot. It’s something that works out very well for everyone involved. As I said, the initial Centrefold concept was a kind of showpiece for my work that then turned into the magazine. As a photographer it’s imperative that you have that outlet where you can push the boundaries of your work and experiment. You also want people to see the fruits of your labour which is why we mail the magazine out, put it in shops, make sure the right people see it and keep it going.
DRG: Volt and Kai Z Feng’s new project, Name Magazine, are both magazines run by photographers, is this an emerging trend? AH: Not really if you consider Andy Warhol and Interview, Steven Meisel’s relationship with Italian Vogue, Rankin and Dazed/Another/Intersection to name but a few. I think the most interesting style/art magazines are run by photographers, stylists, and art directors, rather then corporate-run publishing houses. I’m looking forward to seeing Kai’s new project. He did a great shoot for us on issue three.
DRG: What do you see as the future of paper magazines in this digital age? AH: Centrefold. Bespoke publications designed for a specific market.
Centrefold is available at £7.50 from ArtWords, Magma, RD Franks and The Serpentine. Don’t miss the Centrefold blog and this atmospheric behind-the-scenes video featuring Alice Dellal…
I have some rather bad news, so I hope you’re sitting down. *Deep breath.*
There’s no easy way of saying this… but there is a very real chance of the *wince* ski pant becoming a key fashion item. Its casual cousin, the stirrup legging has already been inching its way into our wardrobes and now, thanks to a nostalgic nod towards sixties classics, the tailored ski pant has been spotted at the AW10 press days – namely on the rails of COS and MaxMara – and on the Stella McCartney runway. With the pointy kitten heel now a dead cert for AW10, we will no doubt see endless shoots of Bardot-esque babes encased in ski pants and clingy mohair tops, with backcombed barnets and eyelinered to the max, posing in the glossies. And then non-models will try to emulate them. Gulp.
I know it’s a shock to the system and that it will take some getting used to but remember, it won’t be forever. Give it a season and things will be back to normal. I hope.