19 August 2013

fashion nerd appreciation: the magazines & books that shape me

One of my most frequently asked questions is what books I read about fashion because I have so much to say on the subject, so I thought I'd show you the media I most frequently flip through. I've discussed Style Deficit Disorder on the blog before in 2008 but the pictures don't work anymore and also that post is hella embarrassing. So: here. My current most cherished favorites. I do have many other favorites, but they're at my house at school, so whatevs. Here ya go:

Book info: 
Style Deficit Disorder: Harajuku Street Fashion - Tokyo by Tiffany Godoy
Revue Encens Magazine, Love Magazine (issues 6 & 8 specifically), 032c Magazine, METAL Magazine, Worn JournalThe Japanese Revolution in Paris Fashion (Dress, Body, Culture) by Yuniya Kawamura.

This is a LONG post, so I'm putting it under a cut.

My fashion bible is by my mentor Tiffany Godoy, this blog wouldn't be here if this book didn't fall into my lap and I know I would likely not be the person I am without this book serving as a foundation for how I see the world. This book introduced me to Rei Kawakubo and FRUiTS, and placed them in an international context that established the influence and relationship between East/West streetstyle cultures. I measure up every fashion book to this. This is the standard and very, very few books live up to it. I'm so grateful to consider Tiffany a fashion mommy in my life and someone I can talk to about stuff. I'm only saying this on my blog because she's so busy and doesn't know how much I look up to her....I WOULD PROBABLY DIE OF EMBARRASSMENT IF SHE KNEW HOW HARD I FANGIRL. But anyway, yeah, this book is hella important. When I say this is a gamechanger, I really mean it. It started everything. 

Now, encens  is one of those investment publications but it stands the test of time. I naturally gravitate to the semi-annual magazine publications I think, mostly because they operate more as coffee table reads like art books than of the minute trend analysis or celebrity interviews strategically published to coincide with a new movie or whatever. I'm not interested in that so much as critical analysis about fashion and design. They do photoshoots and retrospectives on harder to find pieces from cult designers, and each shoot is pretty much impeccable. Frame worthy. The interviews are always more in depth, great conversations than emailed bulletpoints that are then negotiated down by PR middlemen. It also is just, like, huge and hefty and beautiful and they use beautiful paper and it has a smell like good old books and all of it is just an experience. I think Meagan got this for me for my birthday or Christmas or something last year -- she knows me very well. This particular issue is heavily dedicated to Comme des Garcons, so surprise surprise, it's amazing. 

Last time I really sat down and had a super nerdy in depth fashion conversation with other fashion nerds -- Tiffany one of them, coincidentally -- I spent like, ten minutes sobbing about how great 032c is because it is actually really great. It's also one of the few magazines here with a readily available in depth online archive of past articles! I've read all of archives by now and still go through my favorite tags just for a refresher because I always learn something new. Here's my favorite article, it's aabout deconstructionism in architecture & fashion and references Rei and favorite feminist psychoanalysts. They actually sent me the wrong issue -- I ordered Issue #20 which is about Rei -- but this issue was so phenomenal I don't really care and actually... literally just now bought the backissue (again) because writing this post just made me really want is all over again. Oops. Forreal, though, I genuinely believe 032c has my ideal combination of intellectual conversations and real pretty pictures with great people working together. 

Excerpts from this particular issue. SO GOOD RIGHT UGH 

LOVE snaps from the issues I'm talkin bout specifically. I could write a million blog posts on these two photoshoots. <3___ p="">

Now, LOVE. Honestly after #8 I stopped buying LOVE because I am not that interested in the direction Katie Grand is taking the magazine, I don't really care about It Girls / the London group of girls she's been using repeatedly. However, #6 & #8 are great standalone issues and I honestly do go through them on a regular basis and am never not blown away by the powerhouse of talent that put together these issues. I love that they did a feature on how statement fabrics of the season were made (a single print might have gone to like 7 places before it was actually embroidered!) and I also love the interviews they did with 'failed' designers and outsider talent. These issues explored innocence & kink and obviously I find both of these things very beautiful and interesting. Now it's more celebrity based, or more so than it was before -- so it's lost me. I am still a big fan of LOVE overall and look forward to future issues that I like enough to buy, I'm sure they'll be great. As it stands, I'm super into what they do using the internet. Lisa Eldridge + Love??? IDEAL COMBO.

METAL has also been a longtime favorite of mine, and I try to buy an issue every time I can. It's probably the most frequently published magazine out of this bunch (I'm guessing). It's more of the moment than the rest, I feel like they published things exactly when I am thinking about them / a lot of the people in them are my friends so I feel like I'm reading an impeccable yearbook (though I do think Rookie Yearbook is the best, natch). Straight up I want to work for them, they're super cool and the art direction is fantastic. I preferred their old art direction actually (sorry) to their newest reiteration but they make up for it with a beautiful website. 

Snaps from METAL. 

Now, from WORN Fashion Journal. Full disclosure they send me the issues, as Anna is their online editor and Haley, the publisher, is a rad and generous person, but even if they didn't I would still consider them one of my favorites. They're a smaller, indie publication and I relate to their approach to fashion a lot. If you read me you probably already know of them anyway. Check out their blog

Last one! My second favorite fashion BOOK is by Yuniya Kawamura. I've read all of her work actually, but this is still my favorite. It's super dense and discusses the history of Paris Fashion as well as designers like Kawakubo, Yamomoto. It taught me much of the in depth specifics that I wanted to know after reading SDD. If you want to know the details of how the fashion cycle works and it's history, I think this is a very valuable addition to your bookshelf. 

Whew.... so much!!! I hope this was a good start for you and you buy a few of them. I have some other favorites but I'll save them for another post. Have you read 'em or have any favorites of your own? Let me know, I'm always up for a new book to read.