The new A Magazine Curated by is curated by Kim Jones, creative director of Dior Homme. Each issue of the Belgian fashion magazine is guest edited by a different invited international designer or fashion house.
Taking a systemic approach, Jones chose to create 26 sections based on a letter of the alphabet, and invited his veritable Rolodex of who’s-who to design each one (plus, more often than not, people have designed the letter that their name beings with). The alphabet sticker sheet (above) that comes inserted into the contents page is a nice touch, and a visual overview of all the different styles and moods brought to each section, which are themed based on their designated letter.
We’re gonna focus on ‘M’, which happily in this case is for Magazine. Jefferson Hack (co-founder of Dazed) rifles through Jones’ extensive fashion magazine collection, musing on the ‘barometers of culture’ that such a collection can trace. Jones is indeed a collector, and his clearly gone out of his way to collect these ‘time capsules’ of fashion, that trace his influences and inspirations, not just through trends he’s lived through, but back to the beginnings of counterculture.
Hack picks out a couple of absolute treasures. Firstly, an issue of Vogue Paris that Jones guest-edited, and collaborated with none less than Salvador Dalí for the cover (above). The Vogue logo is almost unrecognisable – a kind of space-age art deco, as though ready to blast off to an interstellar catwalk. Marilyn Monroe’s face is merged with Chairman Mao’s to create an unsettling and un-Vogue-like visage smiling out at us.
A series of fashion mags from San Francisco, called Rags, epitomise San Francisco in the 1970s as the birth of American counterculture.
Finally, a 2013 Dazed cover, which Jones also directed, with Justin Timberlake, is ‘pure pop fantasy’.
Elsewhere in the magazine, Jones keeps us on our toes as the dynamic of each section changes rapidly with each re-imagination of the concept and letter it’s based on – black and white film portraits for those close to him in ‘Wisdom’, colourful sketches and photos for ‘Queer’, and metallic cyborgs for ‘Nudes’.
The two cover options are chosen from a shoot called Gabba/Gabber’, playing on the hardcore European techno records that Jones also collects. The youthful male models with parts of their face painted in clownish block colours, or glitter-rimmed third eyes, stand out behind the glossy capital ‘A’ that unites this magazine series, of which this issue stands out.
Guest curator: Kim Jones
Editor in chief: Dan Thawley
Art director: Mike Meiré