You can launch a magazine, but if it’s just full of web-level content and articles that can be read in less than an average toilet break, what’s the point? That’s just putting WordPress content on paper and nobody wants to open a magazine and read blog content on the bog. If I pay more than a tenner for something and conquer it in a 40-minute train journey, I’m usually filled with an emptiness that gives way to thoughts of the book, burger or coffee beans I could have spent that money on. Yet I put myself through it again and again in some misguided bid to support as much print as possible. I liked the fact Nepenthes’ own magazine doesn’t seem to want to be found, much like the excellent Garmento ‘zine (whose editor is, coincidentally profiled in this issue), but I grabbed the The Garment District Journal from the store a couple of weeks back. In a post-Monocle world, everything’s a fucking journal or bulletin and a MacBook on the lap in front of Britain’s Got Talent is a bureau, but this is a very good publication.
The Engineered Garments empire has a tendency to overachieve, and their output is the sum total of so much that I like that they’ll always hover nonchalantly above any menswear booms, streetwear renaissances or heritage booms. In the kingdom of try hards, the genuinely well-dressed are a rarity. It ain’t cheap at $20 and with 56 pages, many of which are immaculately visual, it isn’t going to take up much time, but the amount of work that went in is evident — from the labeled cover with the binder rings that remind me of a tropical fish magazine I used to hoard as a kid (I have no idea why — I only ever owned goldfish but the colours on the cover were great), to the paper stock. The piece on wearable clubland artefacts by Steve Terry, the 3 PM shoot by JIMA, the education on Level Plane Records and Malick Sidibé’s photography all stand out. A glimpse of Kim Jones’ bookshelf reminded me that a book of photographs of people’s crammed bookshelves in a Selby style would be excellent (that is, if it doesn’t already exist).
That the editorial seems relevant to the Nepenthes universe but doesn’t resort to brand talk in its most obvious form is a testament to the depth of the store’s deeper notion of style. The Garment District Journal is available from Nepenthes in NYC, but I’m damned if I can see it on sale anywhere else.
Watership Down and Plague Dogs wrecked my childhood, but they’re still masterpieces. I’ve tried to watch both in recent years, and they were both still devastating. Another trauma without the candy-coated deception of animal animation was another book adaptation — Nicholas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now. The disorientating approach to cutting is key to the movie’s unease, and editor Graeme Clifford is the man behind it. Criterion’s YouTube channel is absolutely essential, and two recent uploads are the always articulate Guillermo del Toro talking about Watership Down’s effect on him, plus Clifford talking about his editing process on Roeg’s horror classic.