Archive for the ‘ZINE’ Category

Special Announcement: Pamflet XIII – Absent in the Spring

pamf13It’s the tenth anniversary of Pamflet later this year and to celebrate we’ve made a thirteenth issue of the zine.

The launch will be at fab female den The Trouble Club in Kingly Court from 7-10pm on Monday 27 April. Yes Mondays are the new Thursdays. Early bird tickets are on sale for a limited time at £7 (regular price £10) which includes drinks* all evening, a copy of Pamf13 and an exclusive Pamflet bookbag, plus other surprise treats.

We cannot wait to print another Pamflet and this one has been years in the making. Readers can expect the return of our old favorites including Agatha Christie, Victoria Beckham and Try-hard Trends and lots lots more.

Tickets and further details are available here and pre-order links for anyone who can’t make it along to the launch will be posted very soon.





Review: Lillian Bassman Lingerie

New York native Lillian Bassman (1917-2012) was one of the most respected fashion photographers of the 20th-century and LINGERIE, a new collection of her photography (much of it previously unseen) shows us why. Working at Harper’s Bazaar US from the late 1940s, first in art direction and then in editorial spreads, her job was to introduce the new postwar silhouette to the reader, unveiling the corselets and brassieres that upholstered the New Look. She introduced movement into the frame, coaxing the models out of static poses and capturing the garments in the moment of undressing. She also took shoots out of the studio, setting up photographs in her friends’ apartment bathrooms and bedrooms. The overall effect is one of lightness and authenticity, and with a female photographer’s eye unmistakably at the lens.

These are magazine and advertising images, yes, but who can resist a stunningly rendered black and white image of a lady casually in between outfits in an uptown New York apartment? They’re also a reminder of the essentialness of proper underwear. Maybe not a girdle, but you know, big pants at the very least.

‘I think my contribution… has been to photograph fashion with a woman’s eye for a woman’s intimate feelings’, Lillian told the New Yorker in 2008. Sadly Lillian died last month, just before the book was published. It’s a worthy memorial.

Lillian Bassman: Lingerie is published by Abrams and Chronicle at £19.99. Images below copyright Lillian Bassman.

Top 1956; Bottom, 1951


Since it launched last year, countercultural ladies’ journal Fat Quarter‘s made a welcome addition to my magazine rack with its gorgeous layouts, proper articles and amazingly thorough books pages.

Edited by London-based journalist Katie Allen, it’s inspired by the zine-tradition that gave us US indie-girl mags like Bust and Venus (as Katie explains below) and serves as a friendly reminder that some women’s lifestyle mags don’t have anything at all to do with our lives.  FQ is independent, original and clever in a very English way: it looks cool, the content’s unique (where else would you find a piece on drag kings next to a DIY bento-box how-to?) and is excellent value – unlike some mags it’ll take you a lot longer to read than a cup of tea takes to sup. FQ is for keeps – and if one could subscribe, I would IMMEDIATELY. To celebrate the recent launch of issue 3, Katie answered a few questions about it for us…

L-R: Elizabeth Martin from Storm in a Teacup, Katie Allen FQ ed and designer Kika Sroka-Miller

How did FQ get started? FQ began as a website in June 2009. It was born out of my general frustration with women’s magazines—I love magazines, I’ve been known to buy them just to cut the pictures out—but I could never find any aimed at women that didn’t make me feel either downcast or furious afterwards, simply because of the rampant consumerism, patronising tone and endless twaddle about diets and men and celebrities.

I wanted to create something a bit like Bust or Venus in the US: interesting interviewees, thoughtful features, crafty bits and a general feminist ethos.

So I started the site, and after badgering my friends to write copy for me, I began to get a wider circle of contributors and people contacting me through Facebook and the site, saying they wanted to get involved.

It seemed like I was on the right track, so in the spring of the following year I published the first print issue of the magazine, the second issue came out in the autumn of 2010, and FQ3 has just been published.

Although the mag is independently produced, you have very high production/design standards – did you have a concept for the look of the zine (see that cute sketchy typography in the pix below) when you started out and how did you start working with a designer? I had a sort-of concept! I knew I wanted it to reflect the ziney ethos of riot grrl and third-wave feminism -I produced my own photocopied zine at uni called Deflowered (!!) – but also I wanted it to be pretty and glossy and A4, to be a proper alternative to Cosmo and all the rest. Of course, in my dreams it would be about four times the size, but I haven’t quite got that budget to work with…

How I found my designers reflects the best thing about the magazine for me – meeting girls with the same ethos. The first magazine was designed by a friend of a friend, Susie Gray, while Kika Sroka-Miller who designed FQ2 and FQ3 basically harassed me at a party about wanting to help. She’s been totally great and helped me no end to make the magazine come together and look the way I like it, despite various crises along the way.

Your day job is as media editor at The Bookseller magazine – how do you make the time for FQ too? I just have to make time whenever I can! I’ve been known to get up at 6am on a Sunday to work on FQ, especially when I’m trying to update the website and finish the magazine at the same time! Quite often the last thing I want to do when I get home from work is look at a computer, but it is worth it in the end when someone buys a copy or comes up to me at an event or zine fair and tells me that they love the magazine. That’s why I do it!

and also you must be constantly bombarded with news about how books are dead/print is over, which makes it doubly special that FQ is a real magazine! how do you like to consume media – paper and digital? And what are your own favourite zines/indie mags? Ha tell me about it! I do think it’s necessary to have a digital element, of course it is, and that’s one of the most fun parts because it’s so spontaneous and contemporaneous (and relatively free!). Plus I do get most of my readers through Twitter and Facebook and blogs. Saying that, there is still something so special about a proper, tangible magazine, and that’s not going to go away.

I have a whole bookshelf full of magazines at home— I have a subscription to Bust, and whenever people go to America I make them buy Bitch and Venus and Nylon for me. I also like The Gentlewoman. If I go to a zine fair I’ll always hunt out ladymags like Pamflet of course, and Shebang. I’ve just discovered a lovely cycling magazine called Boneshaker too. As for online, that’s something I’d peruse in a different way – for a quick shot of entertainment, so magazine sites like Jezebel, and craft sites like Craftster.

how have you collaborated with other women in the DIY/zine/sphere on FQ projects? (am thinking for your parties and ladyfests etc) Golly, well, FQ pretty much wouldn’t exist without other people helping me out – in particular girls connected to the Storm in a Teacup collective. Elizabeth Martin has helped me organize parties (well, she basically did it and I got nervous/drunk in the background) and also generally kept me going when I wanted to give up. Verity Flecknell also helped me with parties, especially by performing at them. But also Ladyfest was really helpful, just in giving me exposure, so was the Southbank’s Women of the World festival. Plus sites like The Girls Are and For Books’ Sake – we operate in quite a friendly way I think, so I’ve written for them, and they’ve written for me and we promote each other.

Why do you include craft projects? I love craft, I always have, and I can’t quite believe it’s got so trendy as when I was younger it was always me making terrible Christmas presents for people and endlessly beading/knitting/sewing/gluing etc. I think it suits FQ’s DIY, punky, environmentally-aware vibe too— and I hope people like to make the projects! Plus, there’s such a massive boom in women starting their own cottage industries, especially online, I think it supports them to feature crafty girls, put in links to their sites etc.

Who would your ultimate FQ cover girl be? Wow, that’s a good one! PJ Harvey or Alison Mosshart or Imelda May, or Zadie Smith. Actually I would love to interview Stephenie Meyer- not necessarily for the front cover but just to understand the psyche of the person who created Twilight.

Can you tell us a bit about your FQ contributors and how they are ‘recruited’? It’s a gentle mixture of cajoling and being approached. Sometimes things are written by my journo friends (when I’ve badgered them saying ‘please please please…’) but most often it’s people approaching me, usually online, with ideas. Quite often they will write one thing and then disappear, but it would nice to be able to nurture a batch of writers. It would certainly make my life easier! But I just love it when people say they want to write for FQ, it makes me feel quite proud.

When can we expect an issue 4 and what else you you have planned for FQ in 2011? To be honest, I can’t do an FQ4 until I’ve sold all of FQ3! It comes out of my meagre pocket (much meagre-er now) so until I make the money back I can’t really justify another mag. So please, Pamflet readers, buy a copy. Buy two!

I don’t have any concrete plans for this year, although I am going to America in August so I will try and spread the FQ word Stateside then. I just want to make the site as good as it can be, and keep covering things people are interested in.

Fat Quarter issue 1 is sold out, but issues 2 and 3 are available to buy now here at £3.50 including UK p&p.

Below: A look inside FQ3



TEAM ZINE: the london zine symposium 2011

i’ve just got back from this year’s london zine symposium, a gathering of zine-makers, illustrators and print-devotees which (happily) seems to get busier and busier every year. i was heartened at the sight of lots of hipster children sitting around the pavements contentedly flicking through their zine purchases on the henage street pavements. i might have a kindle but i’d rather scratch myself with staples than give up my maga/zines and books and this annual get-together is always a celebration of DIY publishing and at its weirdest, cleverest and most fun.

I came home with a copy of the spring edition of Fat Quarter (get yours here), Athemaura: The Libraries Issue (fanzine/blog by a librarian campaigning against the cuts) and a mini-zine containing wise words from miss marple on subjects such as capitalism and village life (present for phoebe).

this week i’ve been thinking what if we we did one more print issue of pamflet, mainly because i thought of an amazing subtitle for it. but if that’s not a good enough excuse for returning to the prittstick and photocopier then this might be: there’s going to be another zine fest at the Women’s Library in London – hurrah! – it’s on Saturday 25 June and more details can be found at Red Chidgey’s website.

GUESTPOST: maggie’s fave aussie mags

Our friend Maggie returns to her native Australia today (bon voyage!x), but before she dashed off to catch her plane she told us all about why Aussie women’s mags are better than British ones and made us a little bit jealous that soon she’s going to be able to buy them for $2 or whatever whereas we can but hope for imports priced about £10 in Magma. Miss you Maggs…

Hailing from the sunshine state, Queensland that is (you know the Australian one that was flooded), Maggie has just enjoyed two great years in London working in Local Government and enjoying jaunts to Europe as well as nights at the Pamflet salon. She is now heading back to see what the land down under has to offer this time round. Her interests include food, fiction, fashion, feminism and fun. (Non-fiction also gets a mention as well as politics and travel but that would have ruined the alliteration theme and plus those three easily slot into fun.)

As I prepare to head back to the land down under I’ve been thinking about my favourite things from the sunburned country to ease the pain of leaving London after two great years here. A definite plus is the thought of being able to buy some of my favourite mags which are only available in Australia.

The first and definite fave is the lovely Frankie. If she were a friend, she’d be my very best. Bold, beautiful and above all interesting! This bi-monthly production, which has been around since 2004, is a celeb-free zone. I remember a backlash from readers when they used Juliette Lewis as their cover girl instead of the usual unknown ingénue. Instead Frankie’s pages are filled with interesting anecdotes from the kind of people you’d love to sit down and share a cup of tea with. The latest issue features a look back on the past 12 months from fashion designer Karen Walker, Radio DJ Myf Warhurst and songstress Sally Seltmann (all Aussies: oi, oi!). There’s also a feature on Berliners, bits on Lomo cameras as well as some DIY necklaces for crafty types. All of this is topped off with a lovely pixie haired cover girl, a beautifully refreshing image for a short-hair devotee like myself.

The next is Russh, probably best likened to the coolest girl at school, mixed with a dash of the latest Aussie music and an impressive yet unpretentious interest in art: it’s a Sydney it girl’s bible! Again it’s a bi-monthly that doesn’t devote itself to celebs, but fashion is definitely the main order of the day. Inside you’ll find loads of beautiful fashion spreads showcasing the latest and greatest Australian designers as well as international names like Alexander Wang, Vivienne Westwood and Celine. There are also profiles on tres chic bands like one of my Aussie favourites, Midnight Juggernauts, as well as the Hungry Kids of Hungary and Kanye. It’s definitely beautiful, yet its vibe is still refreshing in that it’s more about appreciating the beauty of fashion, music and art rather than saying you need to be/look/act a certain way.

Oyster is another independent bi-monthly focussing mainly on fashion as well as art and music. The latest edition features two covers, both fronted by Australian model and former wag Lara Bingle who rose to fame via a slightly controversial tv ad for Toursim Australia. I’m not an avid reader of this one, but I’d say its editorial is probably more interesting and funny than Russh – from the website I can recommend the article about running out of IP addresses, an ode to James Franco as well as a rundown of their top five animated films. Confession: I wasn’t going to include Oyster in my list of favs as I’ve never really read that much of it, but after a bit of internet research for this post, I may start buying it when I return down under!

Dolly fits into the little sister category of Aussie glossies. It’s not independent like Frankie, Russh and Oyster (it’s owned by media mogul James Packer’s company Fairfax) but it’s been a bible for Australian girls since it started in the 70’s. I have many fond memories of leafing through it with my friends in early high school years. One of the best sections was Dolly Doctor where readers could send in questions (usually about sex) that they were too embarrassed to ask their folks. While on the surface it seemed like it was there purely for entertainment, I’m sure it was responsible for the sex education of a lot of Aussie teens. #interestingdollyfact model/wife of Orlando Bloom, Miranda Kerr, was discovered through the Dolly modelling competition in the same year actress Abbie Cornish was a finalist.

So there you have it, a rundown of my favourite magazines that I’d recommend to anyone heading to/living in Aus. I’ve seen Oyster at some newsagents here in London and apparently you’ll be able to buy Frankie here soon as well – so keep your eyes peeled for that one. Alternatively you could jump on a plane to buy one in Aus and drop in to see me at the same time…


further reading: prolific aussie blogger girl with a satchel critiques every mag as soon as it hits the stands. check her out here.


"Vogue loves...Indie mags: Hogarthian graphics and modern feminism from Pamflet"

"It makes me feel less despair to know that somewhere deep inside the Jordanization of modern Britain there are still a few angry feminists out there." Zadie Smith

"Pamflet is the photocopy-quality soapbox for two young, sarky post-feminists from London who want women’s rights and the right to wear pretty things, and want it, like, yesterday." Sunday Times Style

"They’re funny and honest and write about fashion with feminism so I’m obviously all over it." Tavi