Open Call Press & Fold, Notes on making & doing fashion, Issue #0 – The Street

Issue no5
okt / nov 2017
REMIX

OPEN CALL Press & Fold, Notes on making & doing fashion, Issue #0 – The Street

We are looking for contributors for the first issue of Press & Fold magazine. Press & Fold | Notes on making and doing fashion is a critical fashion platform. The goal of Press & Fold is to reclaim the word "fashion" by developing a versatile visual and textual language that matches the changes that are occurring within the fashion system. Press & Fold aims to generate a part of their content through an open call to involve critical fashion practicioners from all over the world. With each issue, we aim to explore a specific topic. The topic of the first issue is “the street”.

The current state of fashion media

As we were collecting notes to write the text for this first open call of Press & Fold, an interview with Lucinda Chambers appeared on the Vestoj website. Chambers was fired from her job as fashion director are British Vogue after 25 years of service, and decided to spill the beans. The interview contained many juicy passages, but what struck me most was the last paragraph, where she said: “What magazines want today is the latest, the exclusive. It’s a shame that magazines have lost the authority they once had. They’ve stopped being useful. In fashion we are always trying to make people buy something they don’t need. We don’t need any more bags, shirts or shoes. So we cajole, bully or encourage people into continue buying. I know glossy magazines are meant to be aspirational, but why not be both useful and aspirational? That’s the kind of fashion magazine I’d like to see.” This statement kept us busy in the following days and reaffirmed our ambition to start Press & Fold | Notes on making and doing fashion.

Because what does “usefulness” actually mean in relation to fashion magazines and what is it they should help us aspire to? Ever since the first fashion magazine appeared, Le Mercure Galant in 1678, the goal has been to show and sell – some magazines more explicit than others – the latest fashions. With the birth of consumer culture in the slipstream of World War I – enabled through the rise of mass production and consequently modern advertising – fashion magazines steadily grew into explicit mediators between market and consumer. In The Fashion System (1967) Roland Barthes describes fashion magazines as “machines that make fashion”. Perhaps at this point, we can even say that fashion magazines (and their affiliated websites, instagrams and snapchats) are machines that predominantly sell fashion. Through growing technological possibilities and a booming fashion market, the world of fashion media has become increasingly more complex, with commerce and creativity intertwining. The rat race for the attention of the fashion consumer has led to an increasing homogeneity on the pages of mainstream and niche fashion magazines, sometimes making it difficult to distinguish what’s what. Deals are made between fashion conglomerates and magazines about what and how to shoot certain looks in exchange for advertisements. A significant number of writers, photographers and stylists are simultaneously writing/photographing/styling for magazines, as well as consulting for the fashion houses they write about and use clothes from to feature in their editorials. These dubious intertwinings are not made visible for the audience. With all this going on, we believe it’s time for an alternative approach.

Ultimately, Press & Fold magazine wants to reclaim the word “fashion” and show it in all its rich and diverse meanings. What would “usefulness” mean in relation to a fashion magazine? What should it help its readers to aspire to? These are questions we would like to research through making Press & Fold | Notes on making and doing fashion.

The street

The topic of our first issue is “the street”, in all its diverse meanings and imaginations. In the context of the 1960s, the street stands for democratization. From that moment onwards, it was no longer the catwalk that dictated fashion, but it was the youth on the street who initiated fashion trends. As such, the street has always been associated with youthfulness, a certain rebellion, and democratization, and has functioned as a stage for the newest fashion trends, that where then adopted by high fashion houses. A lot has changed since those days. Even though the street is still an essential platform for fashion and an elaborate source of inspiration, with the rise of the Internet and social media it now functions more as a backdrop or décor for what happens online. Does this make the Internet the new street then?

And what about streetwear? Originating in (Western) youth cultures related to pop music genres such as punk, mod, hip hop, goth and rave music, one of its characteristics was that its clothing was always somewhat accessible to those participating in it. With the introduction of the Internet, streetwear has democratized, making a global exchange of information and goods possible. But at the same time, perhaps playing into the possibilities of an expanded market, streetwear has been co-opted by luxury fashion, resulting in collaborations such as between streetwear label Supreme and Louis Vuitton, producing 1000 dollar sweatshirts among other things. Another elitist approach to streetwear – well-disguised in avant-garde coolness – is the fashion of Vetements and Gosha Rubchinskiy. Inspired by Russian street culture and post-Glasnost style, these brands are having a laugh by selling the fashion crowd cheap and ill-fitting Western (streetwear) clothing as desirable luxury items under the guise of authenticity. Price tag: a mere 990 dollars for a Vetements x Champion hoodie (as opposed to the 60 dollars a Champion hoodie costs).

These are a just few examples of topics that come to mind when thinking about the street in the context of fashion. Of course there is many more to discuss.

Contributions

We strive to release Press & Fold’s first issue in January 2018, and we are looking for people who want to contribute in creating the magazine and its vision on fashion. Press & Fold is first and foremost a collaborative research project exploring the possibility of a more sustainable, inclusive, non-capitalist fashion medium. What happens when we take away the need to sell something through the magazine – take away advertising and editorials – and focus on having conversations on clothing and the context within which they exist? We are curious to find out.

Contributions in any form, be it photography, personal essays, think pieces, fiction, interviews, haikus etcetera are all welcome. Contact us at mail [​at​] pressandfoldmagazine.com if you have an idea. Please send your idea in PDF (max 3 pages, 10 MB) to us. We will contact you within a week of receiving your idea. Deadline for the concept of your contribution is September 13th 2017.

We are looking forward to your ideas!

Hanka van der Voet

Founder / Editor-in-chief

Beau Bertens

Art director

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