“I’m magazine-mad but increasingly disappointed by art and fashion magazines,” says Reagan Clare. “They are often so huge and so expensive, and just rinse the same photographers and models issue after issue.”
A grievance is often a good starting point for a creative project. If something riles you, you make a better alternative.
Homesick is just that. Founded by Clare, the magazine delves into pop culture, fashion and the arts through candid long-form interviews. There’s one particular detail that gives Homesick its edge: the magazine contains only archival imagery. “I wanted to offer a complete alternative,” says Clare, “straight to the artist, with frank conversation and visual content that can’t, for the most part, be found on the internet.”
Homesick #1 sets the bar high. Archival material includes Young Marble Giants tour posters from the 1980s, provided by guitarist and songwriter Stuart Moxham; storyboards from a 1999 David Bowie music video, provided by director Walter Stern (below); and scans from Elegantly Papered, a fashion magazine archive in Margate.
From cover-to-cover the magazine follows the same format: Q&As with an assortment of material taken from the personal archives of those featured. Interestingly, there is no written introduction to each Q&A. Readers are given just the subject’s name, job title and location to go by. This is clever in allowing the reader to make up their own mind about the interviewee – there’s no subjective editorial to encourage a particular interpretation. On the contrary, if you are completely unaware of the person and their work, pinpointing the interview’s initial intrigue and the wider context can be a challenge.
Clare finds each subject by “dipping into” her own archives. An image researcher and archivist by profession – having worked for the likes of Vivienne Westwood, Rankin Photography and fashion communications agency Karla Otto – Clare is very much at home in the archive. The diversity of its subjects is Homesick’s real triumph. While many magazines tend to gravitate towards the headline act, Homesick unearths those just as talented yet working behind the scenes. This clearly requires an applaudable degree of research.
Favourites are Tanel Bedrossiantz, Jean-Paul Gaultier’s muse, model and collaborator; and Michelle Meyer-Masteron, the founder of the largest vintage fashion magazine archive in the world (above). “It’s a conscious decision to feature artists who aren’t so much in the spotlight,” says Clare. “There are so many talented people out there with amazing work behind them. I want to shine a light on these people.”
It is somewhat ironic, yet pleasingly so, that a magazine dedicated to content which has been stored in personal archives for decades is published on flimsy newsprint paper. No doubt this has something to do with the tight purse strings that comes with territory of launching an independent magazine (the magazine is free and, in the inside back cover, Clare asks for financial contributions to “make Homesick a thing.”) but, as a design choice, it works.
In a climate where the same picture (pretty much) of Cara Delevingne, in the same pose, and the same designer clothes, seems to feature in every fashion magazine, Homesick has an undoubtable appeal.