Address is the fashion magazine that, in its own words, “Initially evolved to fill a gap between academic, journalistic and creative writing.” And it’s strange because when you’re reading it you can’t quite place it amongst those three.
The first article, titled ‘From Out of the Box’ is nine pages long, seven of which are blocks of type and include references at the side. It’s a million miles away from what you’d expect from a fashion magazine, but it works. Instead of a glossy magazine made up of adverts and photographs, Address favours in-depth articles that could pass as light academic writing.
The topics covered in Address are much more diverse than ‘Look at this tall, skinny person wearing ridiculous clothes you’ll look awful in.’ Fashion is spoken about in terms of its place in museums and its relationship with words on a page. This makes it accessible to all people interested in culture rather than just those interested in catwalks.
‘Myths of a Bride in White’ comments on same sex marriages, focusing on the white wedding dress. It’s a comment on a society in which it’s, “Difficult for any woman, regardless of sexuality to uphold the standards of media presentation and perceived tradition.” All very serious and important, but you can’t help but laugh at the photo on the following page, which shows two women neck deep in a swamp. One looks seriously close to puking.
But Address doesn’t fall into the trap of taking itself too seriously. The photo captions accompanying ‘In the Hood’, an article about urban street wearers, are hilarious as well as insightful. For example, Model 71 On class: “The Queen’s below me mate.” Model 71 is wearing a skintight vest, gold and grey tracksuit bottoms, a cap and a gold chain bigger than a bike chain. He’s right, the queen’s not nothing on him…
What’s really striking about Address is that it promotes itself as an intellectual fashion magazine, and in doing so redefines what fashion is. There’s a large selection of photos celebrating masquerade traditions of Africa, a subject you’d normally classify as anthropology or the more amorphous ‘culture’. The best way of summing up the magazine is to say that Address is less interested in fashion in the high street sense than it is about what people wear and why they wear it, but I’m sure there will be other definitions. Have you read a copy? Let us know what you think in the comments below.