172 pgs, 29.2 × 21 cm
The atmosphere is one of fashion, fashion photography and styling, but the text alerts us to the fact that a position is always taken through images.’ – Judith Clark
In Archivist’s largest issue to date, curator Magdalene Keaney explores the candor of studio based fashion pictures, taking as her starting point Laetitia Negre and Benoît Bethume’s exacting presentation of the Comme des Garçons Comme des Garçons Autumn/Winter 2015-2016 collection – itself a living archive of the Comme credo. Jane Howard and photographer Joachim Mueller Ruchholtz reexamine the collections of designer Shirin Guild. Established in 1991, Guild’s label epitomises a narrative of minimalist elegance that continues to thrive amid a myriad of copyists. Hers is an archive that is beyond notions of timelessness.
The British artist Dick Jewell who has been using found photographs for over thirty years, assembles a body of unseen images from his prolific archives, which he discusses with Murray Healy. Misty Pollen and William Hodgson probe Flickr’s wedding photography fetishists; and Axel Hoedt documents hairstyles created by Angelo Seminara that are based on looks taken directly from back issues of the Hairdressers Journal.
John Michael O’Sullivan writes a remarkable profile of Alison Settle, one of the first editors of British Vogue. Settle was a pioneering woman journalist who forged an international reputation both within and beyond the fashion world; she spent most of her life immersed in fashion as its focus shifted from the elite few to a new, unimaginably vast mass market audience. She became one of the industry’s keenest observers, and one of the most articulate interpreters of its social, economic and cultural significance. From the few pictures and cuttings of her life that survive in the University of Brighton Design Archives, we learn that she played a surprising role in the evolution of a particularly British form of fashion journalism.
In the sanctuary of the archive, nothing is as it seems. It is this discourse, this focus on the seen and the unseen – the staged and the performed – that is the thrust of Archivist Evidence.