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March 06

Ladies Love Print

By Julia Jarvis-Knell

I have a confession. I love the smell of freshly printed ink on a high quality paper. Pressing my face into the centrefold of a beautifully published magazine, to fully immerse myself in that distinctive chemical aroma. Yeah I know, some people might call it a quirk or a fetish perhaps, there were always those kids in school that liked the taste of that anti-bite nail polish (weird) or Elnett hairspray…but hey, look in the end, you can’t talk!  You’re on a shoe blog for christ’s sake - you’ve only just got your object lust in check right?

Anyway, I’m not alone. Karl Lagerfeld apparently said, ‘the smell of a freshly printed book is the best smell in the world’ He as ever as already been there and done that, having worked with book publishers Steidl, perfumer Geza Schoen and Wallpaper magazine back in 2012 to create Paper Passion. Whilst Commes Des Garcons classic scent Odeur 53 smells of Xerox fluid and ozone, but I digress. The point is I love independent print magazines. Especially when they are a true labour of love, crafted with passion and integrity.

 

A current favourite of mine is Riposte that describes itself as a smart magazine for women. Like the an ice cold beer on a summer’s day, it’s totally refreshing. No Kate Moss, Kardashians or beauty reviews. No bashing over the head with stock phrases and ideas of how women should behave or look or be. But interviews with bold, fascinating women whose achievements speak for themselves.  From the likes of 82 year old feminist and activist Gloria Steinem in conversation with one of her oldest friends visual artist Barbara Nessim to make-up creative Isamaya French to model Paloma Elsesser who’s breaking the ’skinny model’ mould. On that subject she says,

‘I don’t dream of being skinny anymore. Unfortunately, it had to come from external confirmation, you know, “that, I am worth it, I am pretty, I can make money, I am special and people do care!” Elsesser continues, ‘When I do tap into that emotion of feeling unworthy, it’s normal for any girl of any size. Women are programmed to think that that they’re not good enough, and its important to acknowledge that - acknowledge what triggers it and take it into account.’

 

I want to read about the journey, the difficulties, failures as well as the successes because that’s what life is about. Inspiration comes from being able to relate and identify with these women as well as being impressed by their ability to carve out a niche despite the obstacles.

 

Then’s there’s the brilliantly named Ladybeard. This magazine takes on big issues with a poignant directness. Their first issue on Sex covered everything from masturbation to porn and rape and their second themed around the mind, has probably the most powerful start to any magazine I’ve read.  9 first-person accounts about losing your mind, from a man telling is Nigerian father that he had HIV, to coping with parents death and re-living the moment a woman was sectioned. There’s an interview with Paul Ford, a writer and programmer who’s created a spam bot that emails people with anxious, urgent and upset email in order for them to delete the email and the anxiety at the same time - POOF! And a photo essay of analyst’s couches by artist Sarah Jones. Uncompromising and visceral, Ladybeard through photography, illustration, essays art, poetry and interviews reflects the dirty work of living.

 

In fact, there’s an indie print magazine out there for everyone.

So if you like fast talking, quick witted humour with commandeering slogan typography, bizarre fashion stories and features like ‘Lies You Tell Your Landlord’. You’ll need to get yourself some Mush Pit.

 Want fashion and fine art all shot in analogue with no beauty re-touching? Check out Pylot magazine.

See your world through rose-tinted spectacles surrounded by flamingos and My Little Ponies on acid? Buy Polyester Magazine.  It preaches ‘having faith in your own bad taste’ and is a self-published intersectional feminist fashion and culture publication bridging the gap between URL cyberfeminism with the IRL world.

 

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