The slightly terrifying masked models emblazoned across the cover of Dasha Zhukova’s fourth issue of Garage Magazine intrigued me (where can I get that underwear, really?). But the masks’ slight semblance to Cindy Sherman’s MoMA self portraits and the subsequent assurance that they were in fact such sold me. It wasn’t really until I read the editor letter, though, that I realized something very, very important: the backlash has started. The comments and realizations on Gen. Y and the effect of our technologically cultural environment are getting tired and we (as a collective, I think) are fed up. Zhukova writes,
“Marketing strategy has taken over our personalities and I hate it. Today everyone is in the business of branding themselves, accentuating their most easily grasped and deeply appealing traits. We all have to sell ourselves just to have the right to occupy space in our private and public lives.” She continues, “I am not who I am wearing. I am wearing Me: a bunch of complex and contradictory traits lined up in a body that will age. I a not a brand. I am a multiple of all the Mes inside me. Not memes. Mes. And that goes for you, us, and all of us. It is the return of complex individuality.”
We’ve lost a fundamental sense of true, personal identity and many of us just want it back.
The issue (titled Vanity) features an interview between Tavi Gevinson and Lena Dunham and the work of Juergen Teller and Urs Fischer and a large spread shot by Patrick Demarchelier (cue cover). I’d recommend a perusal, if not because the 250 page, rather artful and liberal portrayal of what the world might be doing to us (and consequently what we are doing to it) is enough in itself than certainly because the interviews are worth a read and there are fun, fashion-centric games to be played toward the end of book. Sometimes it seems the weight of a grave issue is only as digestible as the complimentary fluff behind it. I took some photos (I apologize for how terrible they are–clicking, when unrelated to the keyboard, is not my strongest suit) of my favorite pages as, I don’t know, a testament to my sense of “complex individual,” but it is really worth a read to assess your own.
Another, unrelated thought: when advertisement pages are carefully planned out (see: slide #2) they’re inspiring, nonabrasive and a pleasure to look at. Thoughts? Thoughts? Thoughts? Tell me something interesting.