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System #15

System #15

We’ve already mentioned here how the latest System responded to production during lockdown, but I also wanted to highlight one feature in the issue of special interest to magazine makers.

The magazine’s art director Thomas Lenthel invited 17 creative directors to ‘conceptualise and deliver a fashion portfolio with your current means and from your current location,’ referring to the restrictions on travel and collaboration during what was still the height of the lockdown. The resulting visuals each offer very different directions; Fabien Baron shoots a fashion story and David James shares some personal art; Ezra Petronio screen grabs Zoom virtual backgrounds using shots by famous photographers (below).

Each set of work is accompanied by an interview with the creative director, examining the work they submitted and general thoughts on creative direction. It’s a fascinating read, fashion-focused of course, but with plenty of broader information and thoughts.

I enjoyed Veronica Ditting’s use of objects and work found around her Barbican office (above). The most editorial of the portfolios – the images are accompanied by considered captions – it captures her method of working and the interview spins on into a discussion about why she’s the one solo woman CD featured in the entire 280-page story.

Another highlight is the interview with the two principals at OK-RM (above), in which they discuss their outsider status in relation to fashion. Like Ditting, they are graphic designers addressing fashion. The same goes for David James, who shares his history in record sleeves.

The other interviewees – Marc Ascoli, Giovanni Bianco, Franck Durand, Dennis Freedman, Ben Kelway, Patrick Li, LJBTN, M/M (Paris), Ezra Petronio, Jamie Reid, Christopher Simmonds, Lee Swillingham and Ferdinando Verderi – are more traditional and fashion-centred, their interviews giving valuable insight into the fashion bubble.

These are experienced people with strong stories and opinions, and the result is another fascinating look inside the world of magazine publishing from System, one highly recommended to anybody interested in creative direction.

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