LFW Craft 2/3 – Meadham Kirchhoff

Meadham Kirchhoff are notoriously difficult to interview. This is more by rule than by rumour; their distaste for mass media is a sign, I think, that they hate how their message is interpreted.

So, what better way to counter the (usually) well-meaning spin that the media puts on their creativity than to release their own zine? It’s surprising how no-one has drawn on this irony; Meadham Kirchhoff dislikes the output of many journalists, so they craft their own media project.

Their Spring/Summer ’15 cut-and-stick-and-copy ‘zine/show notes are an obvious tribute to riot grrrls, feminism, musician Viv Albertine and pure bloody-mindedness. Full of loves (‘Quentin Crisp’, ‘Jayne County’) and hates (‘cultural appropriation’, ‘Terry Richardson’  – we’re with you there, guys), the Xerox-alike zines have been making the rounds online.

Fashion likes statement, but this zine isn’t a statement. It’s a frustrated, frenzied yowl into a chasm. Meadham Kirchhoff don’t just reject the circumstances of modern living with fashion – they also reject it with words. And tampons.
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(Featured image via)


Things to Read #13 – The behind the paywall edition

Lists. Lists on lists on lists.

Now that the New Yorker has lifted its paywall before instating a different kind of paywall in the autumn, people are curating (ugh horrible buzzword, I love it) their favourites. Here are 20 classic New Yorker stories written by women, a Buzzfeed collation of music longsreads, a selection of the best baseball writing (don’t knock it ’til you try it) by Roger Angell and a selection from Ana Kinsella – who, again, I am blatantly copying with this Sunday lists thing. And, if we’re going to get really meta, here is a longread roundup of the New Yorker longread roundups.

Eleven downloadable issues and a documentary. The late, great Blitz magazine.

Eros magazine, a magazine exploring sexuality, released only four issues in the 1960’s and was promptly shut down. Here are the scans.

The Baffler, home to journalism that doesn’t shy from controversy – but doesn’t necessarily court it either – has made all their back issues available to read online.

Five documentaries on teen subcultures!


Things to Read #11

ben giles

Ben Giles’ new collage series, All in My Head, is super.

How do you solve a problem like the Monty Python reunion? This is a great article.

“With visibility is supposed to come admiration, respect, access, affluence – and for most of such men, it delivers. Yet for the rest of us, with visibility comes harassment, stalking, threats, loss of career opportunity and mobility, constant public humiliation, emotional and sometimes physical violence.” How being internet famous (or just visible to other people) can make women a target for online violence.

“Even today, several generations removed from the devastating critique of their triviality that was at the heart of first-wave feminism, Marie Claire and other women’s magazines remain obsessed with the appearance of female public figures, an obsession that still extends far beyond them into leading news publications like the New York Times and the Washington Post. You can take the woman out of the woman’s magazine, but the style of coverage—and it is all about style—remains the same.”

The London Review of Books goes to London Collections: Men.

Diane von Furstenburg talks Warhol and Studio 54 and some more stuff that she’s perennially associated with.

On being a Times Square Elmo (it’s never as much fun as it sounds, is it?)

This Nabokov essay from 1972 is a must for anyone who struggles with writing inspiration.


A Pop, Op and a Jump – Lacey for Vogue Nippon

British Photographer Lacey was an assistant to Tim Walker – and it really shows. Her inventive use of props (by design pair Craig and Karl) and collaboration with make-up artist Andrew Gallimore have made the pages of Vogue Nippon even more mind-bending this month. Styled by Beth Fenton, it’s part Pop, a little Op and a big, glam wheelbarrow of weird brilliance.








Licentiate Column 14/06/12: Free Gifts in Magazines (and what they say about you).

June the first is a momentous day. Yes, it’s the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. I know how much we all care about that. Yes, Forbidden Fruit is about to kick off the Irish Festival circuit and thus the official start of Irish Summer. And yes, these are all excellent excuses for total inebriation.

June the first is also an important day for frugal women the country over, for June the first is the day that Glamour UK comes out in Ireland – complete with free Benefit cosmetics. Every June Glamour will give away Benefit swag, newsagents will get incredibly annoyed at the amount of punctured plastic pockets and stolen face primers and beauty junkies will buy copies in bulk and leave the surplus paper in their local recycling bins. People will claim their luxury sample size primers, have a flick through a magazine which makes you worry if everyone is kinkier than you (short answer – probably not, it doesn’t matter as long as you’re happy) and hopefully not file it away for future reference.

Today I bought four, count ‘em, FOUR copies of Glamour. This is not reverting to type. I love magazines, but my shopping list usually consists of luxury biannual tomes, thick as the Book of Kells, usually full of Cindy Sherman pictures and chimpanzees in Prada (it’s conceptual, dahling). These magazines are usually called something like Blorft or Zip! and will invariably have a cover image of a supermodel or obese person in the nip or a slightly obscure but actually incredibly mainstream person like Bjork swaddled in cotton wool, diamonds and a smattering of neon pigeon shit.

I also buy hard-to-get foreign magazines where the editorials are populated entirely by beautiful transsexual women or frosty Scandinavians. The covers are clean, severe and as close to blank as a brand new A4 drawing pad as possible. The title will have a lot of umlauts or dashes through the letter ‘O’ and the contents will sometimes scare me so much that I’m glad that I can’t understand the text.

Sometimes I will just buy a magazine because it looks like it could be a prop in a Wes Anderson film (The Gentlewoman), or Sophia Coppola’s latest effort (Lula). Sometimes I will buy a magazine because it seems smart, but it is always just pretentious and a little bit sad. Once, I bought a fashion magazine that was about… drum roll.. people who write for fashion magazines. Proof that the fashion industry will one day eat itself. But the magazines really do tie the room together when you fan them out of a coffee table. Martha Stewart taught me that.

In a way, buying these magazines isn’t a measure in the pretension mentioned above, because they are often heavy and unwieldy, and so are totally unsuitable for reading on public transport. If no-one sees you being pretentious, then you’re not pretentious. You’re just being you, which altogether may be a much more depressing prospect.

The Reading List: Stylists


‘Stylists’, the new book by prodigious fashion scribe Katie Baron, promises to be the essential starter book for anyone interested in the relatively recent cult of the superstylist.


The pictures are presented in a scrapbook style, seemingly torn out of magazines and pasted in, or in overlapping, slightly off-centre collage, it’s not just an homage, but also how stylists often start gathering ideas and inspiration (several of the subjects mention tearing photos out of magazines as how they first got on the road to their current career). It’s a clever conceit that neatly ties all the profiles together.



The stylists come from different facets of magazine publishing, from the obvious (Anna dello Russo and Lula editor Leith Clark) to the not so much (Francesco Souriges), the beautiful and the avant garde, the dark and the light. As an accurate cross section of stylists at work today, it’s definitely representational of European stylists. America doesn’t really get a look in.


Each profile comes with a sampling of the stylist’s work and a two page interview, talking about his or her roots, how they got into the industry and what their creative fingerprint is. Like his work, Nicola Formichetti’s personality almost bursts out of the page. Jacob K is as quietly enigmatic as his styling might suggest. Christiane Arp weaves German pride into her issues of Vogue.



If you want to learn more about the superstylist phenomenon, this really is an essential buy. Even seasoned fashionophiles will find something inspiring within these pages. Katie Shillingford’s profile had me reaching for my back copies of Dazed and Confused to remind myself of just how good she is at her job, while I was pleasantly surprised to learn about German magazine, Sepp, which is a blend of men’s fashion and football (I’ve GOT to get my hands on a copy).

‘Stylists’ is informative, beautifully laid out and a great source of inspiration. Highly recommended.

‘Stylists’ is out now and published by Laurence King.

What I did in London, told by the books I bought.

Saturday – a stroll down Portobello Road, a rummage in the market stalls, dinner at El Camion and a root through Oxfam Books for some bedside reading.

Sunday – to Leicester Square Theatre for Stewart Lee’s Carpet Remnant World (Couldn’t wait for him to come to Ireland in May).

Monday – A trip to the National Portrait Gallery, then to Chinatown for Dim Sum…

…then some shopping in Covent Garden. Go to Magma Books. Just do it.

I am a Camera

One of the first lines in Alone in Berlin, Christopher Isherwood’s Weimar-era novella, reads;

I am a camera with its shutter open, quite passive, recording, not thinking

With that slightly depressing line in mind, let’s look at British Vogue’s ‘I am a Camera’ shoot for it’s February issue.

This editorial takes the idea of the front row fashion blogger and turn it on its head.  It’s interesting, considering how much inspiration that bloggers get from magazines, that a magazine should draw inspiration from bloggers so late in the game.

Still, bloggers are outsiders in the fashion world.  ‘I am a Camera’ seems to suggest that bloggers are passive observers of fashion – they never mould or guide what fashion is to become.  Maybe I’m reading into it wrong, but that’s what it looks like to me.

It’s utter bollocks, of course.  Bloggers do help to accelerate and even kick-start trends (um, Susie Bubble anyone? Tavi?) I’ve met quite a few front row bloggers and they spend more of their time editing photos and doing 40+ hours of work in other jobs and less time than you’d think prancing around gritty urban settings/stately homes in the new Prada flame heels and taking pictures of themselves picking their teeth in fabulous hotel suites.

This shoot is still pretty great.  A really original concept, great styling and lovely pictures.  I especially love the photos where the clothes are lovingly organised on the suitcase and the bed – accessorised with a half-devoured room service breakfast.  But of course.

I am a Camera, British Vogue Fab 2012.  Tati Cotliar by Raymond Meier.  Styled by Charlotte Pilcher.  Images via Hey Crazy (

Inspiration: French Women

Is it just me or is November a little, well, flumpish?  You know, it gets dark at six and it’s cold and rainy and it seems that nothing is very inspiring.

I bet French women don’t have that problem.

Lou Doillon

Francoise Hardy

Sonia Rykiel

Francoise Sagan

Emmanuelle Seigner

All illustrations by Isaac Bonan for Milk Magazine.