Archive for the ‘Kate Moss’ Category

Eagles, comics and magazines at the V&A’s NAL

May 21, 2012

Comics blog Cor Blimey! has visited the Eagle-era comics exhibition at the V&A and his review starts off cool but warms up.

The Eagle exhibition was mounted by Marc Ward of the National Art Library, which is housed at the V&A – but, despite its size, is easy to miss! The NAL has a very easy to search catalogue – you can just search on periodical names for example – which is useful not only for planning what to see but also for checking dates, publisher (even if they do not have a particular item).

They have complete runs of magazine such as Vogue and while it’s biased towards fashion and design titles, has issues across a range of areas, including international titles It’s a reference only collection but worth becoming a reader if they’ve got what you want.

As an example, I was in there a few weeks ago to look at Dazed & Confused. I could check what the NAL holds and a search on the main V&A website showed that Nick Knight had donated a selection of his photographs and I could look at them too – including prints of Aimee Mullins from the Fashion-Able issue. Tip: search on the surname. And, of course, the NAL holds a copy of last year’s Dazed history published by Rizzoli by Jefferson Hack with Kate Moss on the cover.

Family life at Dazed & Confused

November 3, 2011

There was a pivotal moment this morning as Dazed & Confused founder Jefferson Hack and Emma Reeves were showing me round the Somerset House exhibition of the book celebrating 20 years of the magazine. Reeves was reeling off the names of celebrity portaits by Rankin (the magazine’s other founder – they met at the London College of Printing): ‘Michael Stipe … Beth Ditto…’. Then Hack breaks in ‘… and Kate’.

He meant Kate Moss, of course, his former partner and mother of their daughter. Moss is the face on the exhibition’s publicity and the cover of the Rizzoli book. The tour changed then. It was no longer just about a great magazine with images and ideas from  many of the greatest illustrators, styists and photographers of the past two decades (though the names drop thick and fast, Bjork, Taylor-Wood, Coldplay, Hirst, the Chapmans, throughout the exhibition). Instead, it was about family. And philosophy and technology.

Both Reeves and Hack talked of the magazine’s staff and contributors as family. And there are two rooms celebrating a lost member of that family: Alexander McQueen. The fashion designer and couturier hanged himself in February 2010 a week after his mother died.

I asked Hack what was the best-selling issue. He responded not with numbers, but the fact that the Fashion-Able cover (September 1998) is the most requested back issue. This led us into room 5 of the exhibition where Nick Knight’s fashion portraits of men and women without legs, or arms, are projected on three large screens – the shoot was the idea of McQueen with styling by Katy England. It is a great cover – a model, who on first glance could be Kate Moss, with prosthetic legs. Arresting.

‘That was the point were the magazine grew up,’ said Hack, taking us into the room. ‘With that issue we were on page two or three of the world’s newspapers. We realised that you didn’t have to be the best-selling magazine to have an influence on culture. That has been our philosophy ever since.’

Getting editors to talk about philosophy can be difficult; for many it is too ethereal, even sounding pretentious. But the best magazines have one. The Economist has a page on its philosophy: ‘We are international, we stress the links between politics and business, we are irreverent and we are independent,’ says John Micklethwait, editor-in-chief. Mike Soutar had a ‘mantra’ in 1997 at FHM – ‘funny, sexy, useful’. US satirical monthly Spy was ‘smart, funny, fearless’.

Many magazines have a family feel. Take Sir Luke Fildes, who was illustrating The Mystery of Edwin Drood when Dickens died half way through the monthly serial being written:

‘… at the request of the family, who wished me to fulfil the desire of the great writer, they asked me after the funeral to come and stay with them, and it was then, while in the house of mourning, I conceived the idea of ‘The Empty Chair,’ and at once got my colours from London, and, with their permission, made the water-colour drawing a very faithful record of his library; and stayed with them until they left the house prior to the sale.’

Woman’s weeklies have long talked about a family of staff and contributors, so Woman’s Own in the 1950s would discuss the lives of its writers and artists – showing a photograph of cover artist Aubrey Rix with his new baby for example, and discussing the roles and lives of young members of staff. And the promotion of the royal family in this era was a boon to magazine sales.

As for technology, Hack described a software installation by Nick Knight as ‘an app ten years ago’. Run your finger across the image to reveal layers of other images underneath. The software was developed for manipulating images – as in Knight’s cover for the Yohji Yamamoto exhibition for the V&A catalogue. And Reeves identified a watershed – eight years ago – for the switch to digital imaging at Dazed. Going back beyond then was ‘a nightmare’, she said. After that, the illustrators and photographers had digital archives of their work. Before then, ‘I’d end up at their mum’s house with a box in the garage.’

The free exhibition 20 Years of Dazed & Confused Magazine opens at Somerset House in London tomorrow. You can buy the Rizzoli book - a hefty 300-plus pages for £35 with more pictures than you can shake a stick at – at the exhibition or from the Dazed website.

Eat and drink nearby: American Bar at the Savoy; Gordon’s Wine Bar by Embankment Tube; and The India Club on the Strand.

Dazed & Confused at Somerset House

October 10, 2011

Dazed and Confused biook at Rizzolo

Dazed & Confused magazine is to celebrate 2o years on the news stands with an exhibition at Somerset House in London and a book (shown above with Kate Moss on the cover).

‘Making It Up As We Go Along’ will run from 4 November 2011 to 29 January 2012 and is being curated by Jefferson Hack (who founded the title with photographer Rankin) and Emma Reeves in collaboration with Somerset House.

The exhibition features Dazed & Confused magazine’s ‘most infamous visual stories, legendary photoshoots, iconic covers, controversial editorial content and artwork from influential photographers, designers, and artists’.

Work includes commissions by Rankin, Nick Knight, David Sims and Terry Richardson, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Damien Hirst and Sam Taylor-Wood, Katie Grand, Katy England, Alister Mackie and Nicola Formichetti, Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood and Gareth Pugh.

This exhibition coincides with a book on 20 years of Dazed & Confused published by Rizzoli.


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