Our latest page 23 comes from the seventh issue of MacGuffin, which takes The Trousers as its theme.
The page is the final part of a text headlined ‘Trouser Essence’ by artist Joke Robard, who shares three sets of images from her archives. The pictures, mainly from shoots in the likes of L’Uomo Vogue, i-D and Interview, illustrate several themes: the meaning of the word ‘Trousers’; the origins of saggy trousers; the shift to skinny stretch pants.
Page 23 contains a a quote from Roland Barthes that Robard promises is the most insightful comment about trousers and their essence.
And indeed it is; Barthes addresses the difference between the smooth new pair on hangers in the store and the discarded, worn pair, left on the floor. He’s thinking philosophically about the difference – ‘The essence of an object has something to do with its decline…’ – but there is something every trouser-wearer can relate to here. A favourite pair will only ever exist briefly in the perfect state: not stiffly new, not thinly worn.
Sometimes it seems the very moment you note a pair’s ideal state, it is gone. A true MacGuffin moment.
Editors in chief: Kirsten Algera, Ernst van der Hoeven
Graphic design: Sandra Kassenar