This week we’re browsing through the magazine shelves of Hannah Ewens, a journalist and editor whose by-line you’ve probably spotted numerous times on Dazed Digital, Vice and i-D. Hannah has been collecting magazines zealously since her teens, and today she’s sharing some of her most prized issues with us.
We asked Hannah to pick out three favourites: a new magazine, an old one and a detail.
New Issue: Mushpit
The very best thing about print is paradoxically its problem: it costs time and money. I’m feeling poor in both at the moment and moving around in London means being economical (being sent mags I’ve written in for free, getting copies off my mates and reading them in Soho newsagents even though that’s definitely not helping the industry, sorry). I have to be seriously in love with something if it’s coming home with me. And I’ve fallen for the Mushpit and their Sellout Issue.
Mushpit is like a 90s teen mag for the now twenty-something and feels a bit like your classy, knowing BFF. Instead of real ads, spaces are filled with glossy satirical ones for flats you will never be able to buy. A flip through the dictionary will put names to lived experiences (see: Fauxtester – someone who capitalises on the current trend of being politically outspoken while failing to take any actual steps towards action or Freelance – typically used by young unemployed creatives earning under the tax bracket, often as a means to mollify parents).
The whole issue acknowledges everything is quite shit for young creatives in London if you’re not living out of daddy’s pocket, but still remains positive that whether it’s a new night or new magazine, you can DIY it and probably do it better after all.
Old Issue: Sassy
I’d wanted this issue of Sassy in my hands since my pre-teens. I finally got it last birthday as a present from my boyfriend and if my flat was on fire I’d probably go back and grab this first.
As a Courtney Love apologist I collect old mags with her on the cover and this 1992 print was the crowning jewel. What could possibly be better than Kurt and Courtney on the cover on a teen magazine during their engagement, in the throes of romance-come-obsession pre-Frances??
It’s actually not a particularly great interview. My favourite part is when Courtney says to the writer “Sorry about this zit,” pointing to the characteristically massive one on her cheek, and Kurt says “Zits are beauty marks.” It’s totally iconic all the same. The accompanying photos have become emblematic of their relationship and reblogged over Tumblr three million times or more. Sassy was ahead of its time. It’s basically Rookie before anything like that for teens had dropped.
And another thing: Dazed & Confused
I’ll always have a lot of genuine love for Dazed. The magazine was my alt arts and culture bible growing up far away from the action. You could always trust they were on the pulse of who was pushing boundaries and creating exciting work moments before anyone else knew their names. Their covers have always stood out a mile on the newsstands – I mean, Missy Elliot in a full pink tracksuit in front of palm trees for a Climate Change special. It doesn’t get better than that.
Their old layout and typewriter font really did it for me. Timeless and lacking in frills, it felt as though you could have made it in a word doc with its seemingly random text boxes and white zine-style cut out quotes. On these pages was everything you needed to hear and see from the frontline or interviews with Björk and Lynch and Tilda Swinton. Nothing too clever or quirky but managing to be painfully cool at the same time.