At home with Louis Theroux

by Kitty Drake in June 2020
Art & designFashion & style

Interested in the insides of other people’s houses, and minds, Cloakroom is a rather intrusive interiors magazine. A memorable feature in issue two documents Louis Theroux doing mundane household things like watching television, and loading the dishwasher. One close-up of laundry fluff is captioned: “One of the small pleasures of doing the laundry is scraping lint from the lint catcher”. The last photograph is of Louis’ eyebrows: “As I get older I find my eyebrows are becoming more unruly. You can trim them but then they look trimmed. So you can’t really win”. It’s all so banal it’s almost existential — which feels like a fitting tribute to lockdown.

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Another unexpected pleasure of this issue is a series of photographs of Sophia Neophitou-Apostolou’s legs. A fashion magazine editor with a thing for Alaïa shoes, Neophitou-Apostolou’s legs are disembodied, and wonderfully fleshy, modelling treasures from her collection. Cloakroom runs more conventional long-form interviews, but in comparison to this shoot, they fall flat. What this magazine does well is look sidelong at its subject. Shoes are more interesting when pictured this intimately.

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On the very last page, there’s a mini-essay written by the novelist Otessa Moshfegh, about the joy of wearing other women’s coats. Moshfegh describes rootling around in the pockets: “Often I find used tissues… sometimes you can smell her BO, or you’ll find a stain on the front and think, ‘Maybe that’s why she got rid of it.’ I try to imagine the shape of this woman”.

As a piece of writing, it’s juicy and slightly disgusting. Cloakroom, at its best, achieves a similar claustrophobic closeness: it lets you imagine the shape of the people on its pages. What would Louis Theroux’s coat smell like? 

cloakroom-magazine.com





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