Recently, I received my free copy of Pigeons and Peacocks (issue 4), the London College of Fashion magazine.
I was amazed at the quality and diversity of the work published.
The first editorial, Rumours, by Haley Louisa Brown, is simply exquisite: a hippie/gypsy fantasy of black-and-white proportions. A stunning draped white dress with long, romantic sleeves by Meadham Kirchhoff takes center stage in the first page of the magazine, setting the mood for the editorials to come. It is a nod to nostalgia. Nostalgia, as explained in the Editor’s Letter, ‘is what imbues ordinary objects, places, people and things with a mythical power they would never have naturally possessed’. The issue aims to rescue those things vintage, ethnic, antique and cherished and reclaim them, assigning them a new forum (the published magazine) imbedded with new significance.
The editor, John William, strives the perfect balance between linking a common theme, nostalgia, in both picture editorials and relevant articles, with self-promotion for LCF’s fashion students. The writing is not superfluous, and it reaches new heights by providing a space for academic discussion. Case in point, Alexa Gould-Kavet’s article, ‘The Demise of the Subcultural Identity: Towards a Postmodern Theory of The Hipster and Hipster Style’, reflects on the need for redefining what subculture means and how that affects understanding hipsters. All in all, contrary to other subcultures, hipsters are not defined by ‘culture’, but by ‘taste’; the hipster subject rejects mainstream culture and embraces all that is ‘indie’, bohemian and/or different. Of course, if you go to Central Saint Martins, and to LCF itself, you’ll notice the abundance of these hipsters and they are easily identifiable by their dress: skinny pants, dishelved appearance, vintage clothes, red lipstick. They’ll raid vintage shops or Topshop. They all look the same.
On a lighter note, other editorials include Paint, by Saga Sig, featuning mostly painted dresses by Tanya Ling. The beautiful Babes of Benin, also by Sig, displays the talent of LCF’s students to the fullest with Sara Arsenén’s upside-down bra. This ‘bra’ completely redefines the object as an purely aesthetic one, denying its main function: to support the bust. Colorful, creative, and innovative, this editorial blends African conciousness and fashion sense with European fashion taste. This is accompanied by an article, ‘Black-sploitation? Opening the debate’, about the exploitation of the past, and in this case, of African cultural past.
I highly recommend this magazine, it was a pleasant and unexpected surprise. The quality and professionalism of the content is something fashion students should all aspire to. I think that, by subscribing to this magazine, many students will be more conscious of their environment and of the tools available to study fashion, trends and its cultural background. Well done!