Hot and Cool #10
Editors Alice Goddard and Theo Sion of fashion/ art title Hot and Cool keep it cool when it comes to their relationship with their readership, stringently believing that ‘you should never go to them, let them come to you’. It’s this at-arms-length kind of thinking that makes the biannual so utterly irresistible – it’s true that you always want what you can’t have.
To find Hot and Cool, you really have to search it out. It’s not readily available and doesn’t shout from social media platforms, and it’s probably this seductive air of indifference – one that gracefully permeates the magazine’s shoots – that makes the title so influential and desirable. And it’s probably because of the mystique and effortlessness of the Hot and Cool brand that photographer-stylist duo Alice and Theo were recently enlisted by Dover Street Market to shoot its SS16 collections, and why the pair were highlighted last year as one of the Dazed 100 stars.
The laid-back title is our Magazine of the Week this week because it’s one that all the others draw from – Hot and Cool is at the centre of things, the silent puppeteer calling the shots in terms of which photographers, stylists, and brands to feature and work with. It’s also reached a stage now where the icons that first influenced the magazine’s aesthetic and approach are being featured as contributions and collaborators: this issue includes shadowy personal work by David Sims shot between 1997-1998 (above).
It also highlights Max Pearmain’s styling (above), and enlists the unmistakable and theatrical Tim Walker for a shoot styled by Alice (below, a rare burst of colour in a largely black and white issue).
A combination of humour and minimalism is a continual part of the Hot and Cool outlook, and the highlight of this issue effortlessly combines these two things. Reviews and features of Hot and Cool continually describe the title as ‘minimal’, ‘understated’, ‘lo-fi’, and the unmistakable originator of ‘normcore’, so the image-less shoot in issue 10 by artist Aleksandra Mir seems like a brilliantly self-referential addition. Each white page is graced simply by a description of an image (below), and at the end of the ‘shoot’, a deadpan list in the margin reads ‘typeset page, 8 x 10 inches’ as if it were labelling clothes.
Hot and Cool is also a contemporary art title, so a piece on Mike Kelley’s ironic collaged responses to 90s visual culture sits seamlessly alongside the 90s infused shoots (above). At the back of the publication, Louise Benson’s interview with sculptor Don Brown – whose work also combines a light sense of humour with simplicity and minimalism – roots the magazine firmly in the present (below).
The way that Alice and Theo curate each issue means that every six months (sometimes less, sometimes more) I will gladly hunt through the shelves in search of elusive Hot and Cool.
Over the weekend, Alice and Theo emailed us with this note:
'This issue didn't have a theme which is unusual for us. We wanted to put together things that we'd been interested in over the last few months. Theo and I are involved in every part of the magazine, so hopefully that helps it to feel cohesive in the end. We have been doing the magazine for 6 years now! I'm happy that it still feels like a really personal and unrestricted process for us.'