Growing up in the cultural wasteland that was Christchurch-in-the-90s, the only thing that kept me connected with what was actually going on in the world was Pavement Magazine. I used to buy each issue, go straight to the fashion editorial pages and scrutinise every outfit, model and photograph in minute detail. (Then I’d read the articles.) Names like Karen Inderbitzen Waller, Robert Niwa, Penny Pickard, Derek Henderson, Barney McDonald and Glenn Hunt were exotic arbiters of cool and everything I wanted to be part of. Fast forward about 10 years. Pavement was gone, and 1am had arrived.
1am had retained some of the feel of Pavement – lots of young, scantily clad girls and interviews with up and coming artists, designers and models, but it was all a bit grungy and base for my tastes. Rather than focussing on the beautiful, it highlighted the nastier elements of the scene – late night parties with drunken teenagers and chaotic photo shoots seemingly fuelled by who-knows-what.
The first thing that must be mentioned is the new format. It’s an A4, staple-bound book printed on matte paper. And it looks good. The front cover still has that busy, mouse-drawn scrawl, but the book itself is awesome. Flicking through it, my initial thought was that it looked like one of those old School Journals but with way cuter girls.
Open the front cover and you’ll land on three double page spread ads – Karen Walker, Zambesi and Kate Sylvester, then a single page ad for Lonely Hearts Lingerie. The ads look amazing on the matte paper – less corporate, more artful. One page on, another double page spread ad, this time for Nom*D. Turn the page and the first story is about lingerie. The text is riddled with spelling mistakes, but Nicole Clulee looks good.
But then you get to the second story, titled Rise and Shine, a feature on the new crop of up and coming Australian models. The first double page spread is a photo of a young girl lying on a bed – fully clothed on the top half, nothing but what appears to be a nude g-string – barely covering her modesty – on the bottom.
Without sounding like the moral police, is it really necessary?
Flick through the next few pages and it’s the same thing – girl after girl after girl wearing very little on the bottom half, legs akimbo or in seriously compromising positions. I don’t know about you, but in my book a nude g-string is not appropriate coverage for a teenage girl being photographed in a magazine.
So, while full credit must be given to Glenn and Amanda Hunt for the fantastic new-look book, I say lay off the barely-legal teen shots. Scandalous they may be, tasteful they are not.
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