Flaunt gets political
I hadn't seen US style title Flaunt for a while but picked up the latest issue and enjoyed the design. It's got that loose, free-wheeling feel that's a definite theme out there at the moment: a basic grid around which elements (usually pictures) can float, and a varied set of fonts that can be used pretty randomly, if only in black. The following spreads give a flavour.
They also show how the content has become quite politicized, though how serious the magazine is about this is hard to tell from the one issue. The editor's letter claims to be looking to effect positive change on the world, acknowledging the current misinformation about Iraq in the US and expressing a desire to contribute to debate without adding to the confusion.
John Lennon is used as both hero and as a measure against which to test current anti-war campaigns. An excellent piece by Joe Treen asks 'What Kind of Antiwar Movement is Led by Dolly Parton?', and gives a history of the Nixon administration's victimisation of Lennon as it describes the differences between the US public's response to the Vietnam and Iraq wars. This is the most political piece of writing I've seen in a US magazine other than lonely liberal voice the New Yorker, and it's slightly disconcerting to find it in Flaunt, a title more accustomed to celebrity interviews and fashion shoots.
Then just when you're thinking they're serious they switch from history and polemic, as above, to a fashion story, below, based on Lennon's bed-ins with Yoko Ono.
Now, is that right? Can you switch editorial direction so suddenly and retain the belief of the reader? Does the fashion story belittle all that preceded it, or is this the smart way to infiltrate political argument into celebrity culture? I'll give then the benefit of the doubt, and look forward to the next issue.