Celebrating the best magazines of the moment
"Magazine months" are usually February/March and September/October, the time when those biannuals (including our titles) drop and the monthlies/bi-monthlies up their page counts. December, it seems, judging by the pile on our desks, is the time the smaller, lesser known titles release their new issues. There are countless options available so, as the good friend we are, we've cut it down to a list of standout favourites. Be warned – they sell out fast so act quick.
Memorandum, edited by Dal Choda
Sometimes, a brand will surprise you and deliver a publication that is as strong and striking as all of the other titles available on the newsstand. Just because there's a single brand behind it (financially) no longer means the result has to be one dimensional. Sunspel's Memorandum is our new favourite 'brandazine', celebrating "craft, community and nature". It boasts a handful of brilliantly executed features including Hands Down (portraits of artisans' hands) and a potted history of English tea, and many of its contributors hail from the AnOther family, including Harriet Walker, Harley Weir and Ananda Pellerin.
Standout points? Brilliant selection of paper stock and a satisfying pace.
"Sunspel's Memorandum is our new favourite 'brandazine', celebrating craft, community and nature"
Modern Matter, edited by Olu Odukoya
Describing itself as a publication that uses "the physical page in the same way that a curator or a gallerist might use a gallery space", Modern Matter first launched in September 2011 (under the title Matter) edited by the man behind Kilamanjaro, Olu Odukoya. The issue featured Google's Aaron Koblin, Rick Owens and Lawrence Weiner. There is never a set theme for each issue – "an idea for an issue presents itself organically as the content comes together," says Odukoya. In the latest, Sarah Lucas features on the cover, in a candid portrait shot by Jay Jopling in 1993 alongside an edit of personal Polaroids. "Given how current she is as an artist, with her appointment as our representative at next year's Venice Biennale, it was important to remember where she came from. Which was a scene which, in British art history, was crucial and very exciting... Sarah is genuinely iconic, and because of the way that she features in her own photographic works, she's also instantly recognisable... Her captions really give an insight into what that scene was actually like at the time: Brit Art was always a very social movement, with a “lifestyle” element, so I think it's as valuable to look at those private moments as it is the actual artworks."
"Making art and making magazines are similar, in that both are completely dependent on what you can get," furthers Odukoya. "Just like an artist puts their signature on something, so an editor puts their signature – their taste and their outlook – on the contents of a publication, and the whole becomes more than the sum of its parts. Sarah gave me the Polaroids after we'd had a discussion about zines, and in particular the zines made by the late Franz West. She hadn't considered their potential, but something about our talk had made her see some possible new value in them. I'm glad that it did, because I'm very happy with the results."
Standout points? Art features sit alongside striking fashion features, including a collaboration between Robi Rodriguez and AnOther's fashion director Katie Shillingford.
Hot & Cool, edited by Alice Goddard and Theo Sion
London-based stylist Alice Goddard, together with her boyfriend photographer Theo Sion, founded Hot & Cool magazine to fulfill their creative desires. Made up of original features, the picture-dominated publication's humorous fashion spreads (take issue No 8’s typo heavy story ‘nothing can psosibly go wrong’) presents this stylebook in a fresh, but filtered, light. Want to know who the exciting creatives of the moment are? Look no further than the pages of this magazine.
Standout points? A magazine that demonstrates brilliant editing. Less really is more.
"Want to know who the exciting creatives of the moment are? Look no further than the pages of Hot & Cool"
The Happy Reader, edited by Seb Emina
This "Bookish Quarterly" sets out to inspire and re-engage readers with classic literature. Issue No. 1, which launched this month from the team behind Fantastic Man, is a two part publication that mixes long-form interviews with in-depth exploration of Penguin Classic titles. Unearthing an array of invigorating angles, The Happy Reader is a calming literary luxury. The issue features snippets of industry gossip, a flashback from a former Eastenders scriptwriter and a fashion story, courtesy of AnOther's senior fashion editor Agata Belcen, inspired by The Woman in White, a novel first published in 1860.
Standout points? Fantastic captions and a handy size.
The Plant, edited by Cristina Merino & Kate O'Brien
A botanist’s journal, The Plant shares various people’s unique perceptions and experiences of plants. From visual artists to illustrators, these greenery enthusiasts present monographs of specific plants alongside more practical pruning procedures. Issue 7, launching next week, features fashion's favourite florist Mark Colle, and an essay on the brilliance of samphire by anothermag.com editor Laura Bradley.
Standout points? A chic house is one filled with plants. The chicest house always a copy of The Plant on the coffee table.
The Gourmand, edited by Dave Lane, Marina Tweed and Ananda Pellarin
The biannual food and culture journal blends archival appetisers and gherkin chandeliers with passionate shorts and food styling. Issue No. 5 is available now in print and online through their newly launched website.
Standout points? Liberace in the kitchen. The dream!
Girls and Boys, edited by Edward Quarmby and Claudia Sinclair
Issue 02 of the poster magazine launched in November 2014, inviting a team of contributors to compile its inaugural issue. Gaining unprecedented access to one of Taylor Wimpey's new communities in Nottingham, the issue premieres with a minimalist style uncovering of Wimpey’s building process – from rubble to the imagining of future residents. Available in London, Amsterdam, Paris, Seoul and Tokyo, stockists in Italy and the USA are on the horizon, and the team for the next issue will include photographer Tom Ordoyno and Another Man Fashion Editor Ellie Grace Cumming.
Standout points? Unique construction.
The Printed Dog, edited by Luis Venegas
Stocked by Luis Venegas (the creative director, editor and publisher of Fanzine137, EY! and Candy), The Printed Dog is an ode to man’s best friend. This cheery mag features creatives who are canine crazy. The limited edition boasts eight different pooch clad covers of proud owners Steven Klein, Terry Richardson, Ryan McGinley, Marcelo Krasilcic, Daniel Riera, Christian Lacroix, Alasdair McLellan and Juergen Teller. Everything Venegas does always sells out – IDEA Books just sold out of copies but are expecting more next week.
Standout points? It was only a matter of time until someone got a hold of all of the fashion industry's dogs. Hats off to Luis Venegas.
Let's Panic, by Greg Kadel, Jade Berreau and Aaron Ward
Exploring the creative territories of this cultural publication, Let’s Panic, a New York-based annual, trustingly gives contributors free reign over the magazine’s production. Founded by photographers Greg Kadel and Aaron Ward, Let’s Panic is a compilation of all your favourites in fashion and photography forged in one artfully crafted object. Stressing the importance of printed material, Inge Foneyne, Yoko Ono and Harmony Korine have coneyed their words and thoughts to the overized periodical.Standout points? One of the most exciting art titles to come out of New York.
"Let's Panic – one of the most exciting art titles to come out of New York"
Buffalo Zine, edited by Adrián González
The intrepid independent Spanish magazine, exemplifies timeless design with its free-falling format. Buffalo reads like a personal diary, exploring art and youth culture, with contributions from the likes of Patti Smith and Patrick O’Dell. Issue two’s fun layout leads the eye lustfully through the two siamese volumes which tackle adolescence, the importance of normal things and art without a gallery.
Standout points? True zine aesthetic.
Holiday, edited by Marc Beaugé
Produced in Paris, the international biannual, written in English, is a conception of lifestyle – mixing fashion and reporting. Labelled as one of the most exciting magazines in the US between 1946 and 1977, the revival of Holiday recaptures the essence and journalistic adventure of its original. Writers deliver extended visionary reports of ‘place’ – for its N°374 The Scottish Issue, Holiday wholly flung into tartan territory.
Standout points? Beautiful, carefully considered concept and editorial.
Compiled by Laura Bradley, Ellie Grace Cumming and Gillian Hopper
Special thanks to IDEA Books