A Magazine Reader is an ongoing research trajectory and series of zines initiated in 2018 by Warehouse co-founders Femke de Vries and Hanka van der Voet. It revolves around the analysis of a mainstream high-end fashion magazine and its subsequent translation into a new, alternative zine, intending to provide insights into the cultural power and forms of value production at the core of fashion media.
This category of niche fashion zines and publications, being less concerned with impressing and pleasing, was snappily called “unglossies” in Aïsha Abbadi’s text A Magazine Reader and the rise of Unglossies. She writes: “In contrast to glossies as a trivial distraction covering up unpleasant realities, they [unglossies] reveal deeper implications of the fashion system and shape new ways of navigating its complexities.”
Every issue of A Magazine Reader is the result of a workshop in which several participants actively read a chosen issue of a high-end fashion magazine. The word active plays an important role here, as the participants, rather than being passive consumers, become engaged. They are encouraged to cut out pages and to analyse, rewrite, recombine, assemble, select, collect, mark, highlight, categorise, zoom in/out, sew, juxtapose, and wander through the content, in order to become aware of the many elements that are used to construct fashion; above all, to realise that clothes are just one of the many carriers of fashion. Each participant creates a contribution, sometimes visual, other times extensive, written reflections, all depending on the length of the workshop.
Every workshop ends with a discussion, where the created content of the zine is laid on the floor, and the order of the contributions is decided together with the group. The workshop also clarifies the printing techniques and production processes, with the aim of dissolving the common barrier between content producers and product manufacturers.
The resulting zine is a stack of A4 sheets folded into an A5 zine, brought together and designed by a graphic designer, printed in two colours, bound with an elastic band, hand-numbered, and then packed in a transparent plastic bag. The zine’s impermanent binding is suggestive of a work in progress that could be further extended or rearranged.
Spreads 1–3 are from A Magazine Reader 03 (2019); spread 1 is a contribution by Marco Dalle Fratte, spread 2 is the content and colophon page, spread 3 is a contribution by Xi Ruolan (Una). Spread 4 is a contribution by Lindy Boerman from A Magazine Reader 04 (2020).author: Zuzana Kostelanská
Spreads 1–2 are from A Magazine Reader 04 (2020); spread 1 is a contribution by Julia Berg, spread 2 is a contribution by Lindy Boerman. Spreads 3–4 are from A Magazine Reader 05 (2020); spread 3 is a contribution by Bastian Düvet Haukefær, spread 4 is a contribution by Anne Cecilie Caroline Brunborg Lie.author: Zuzana Kostelanská