Sunday, 17 May 2009

Between the Covers

Last Wednesday I went to Black in Fashion: Have We Turned the Page?, an event that explores the relationship between Black people and fashion. It took place at The Women's Library and the panel consisted of Carol Tulloch, a curator at the Victoria & Albert Museum, Carole White from Premier Model Management, Sole Oyebade, founder of Mahogony Models Management, Jennifer G Robinson from Precious and my good friend and fellow blogger, Ashanti Omkar former editor of Henna magazine who invited me to the event. This vivid occasion looked at the history of Black magazine and Jennifer's delightful presentation was a wonderful reminisce of great publications such as Origins and Untold that have come and gone. However, the main debate was regarding the lack of Black models on catwalks and in magazines. We also discussed the presence of Black people working in the media and the impact they were having. Initially when I was invited to this event I turned it down due to work constraints as well as having turned into a couch potato but then I thought to myself 'sod it, I'm going' and I am so glad I did. As well as meeting like minded and creative types, Black in Fashion gave me a much needed zest. Like they say, it is good to get out.

As I mentioned before Black in Fashion took place at The Women's Library and is currently hosting an exhibition called Between the Covers which looks at the history of glossy magazines from the 17th century. Publications such as Spare Rib, The Lady, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Glamour and Grazia are on hand to disect. There are audio recordings on the culture of women's magazines as well as archived copies and visual presentations. Walking round the exhibition, I was in awe of the vast amount of material that had been collected over the years and I guess you could say I was like a kid in a sweet shop. I mean where was I supposed to start? If you like your glossy mags the I suggest you get down there sharpish. The exhibition is on till 29th August and it is FREE.

On the subject of magazines you might have heard that i-D magazine is to decrease their issues to six a year. It looks like the credit crunch is biting everyone. Respect to i-D and Terry and Tricia Jones for staying strong and not throwing in the towel. Sustaining a magazine is bloody hard business at the best of times let alone when there is a recession and particularly when you are a niche title. i-D magazine was founded by Terry Jones, a former art director at Vogue in 1980 it became renowned for it's groundbreaking photography and typography as well as being a training ground for up and coming talents. The likes of Nick Knight, Wolfgang Tillmans, Juergen Teller, Terry Richardson, Dylan Jones, Caryn Franklin all worked here. Terry and Tricia explained the rationale behind their decision in a statement that was published in The Guardian.

"We see this restructure as a reinforcement of position and strength towards a magazine and brand we are passionate about and have protected for so long, As one of the most respected and loved independent voices within the international fashion community, i-D is determined to maintain its unique status bridging the space between high fashion and street savvy."

One of i-D's usp's is it's quirky personality which is reflected on the front cover and always features a model winking.The magazine celebrates it's 300th issue next month and if it is anything the past anniversaries I am sure it will be ultra special.

3 cool comments:

Anonymous said...

love the I-D cover

Marian said...

Great great post,yes magazines are feeling the pinch and many are biting the dust unfortunately. The event and exhibition sounds fabulous, thanks for sharing!
muah x

Shanti said...

So so so annoyed with myself, as I was planning on going to the event but wrote it in on the wrong day in my diary. Sounds like I missed a good debate. There should be more of these events and exhibitions.