On March 25 and 26, 2019, the MA Fashion Studies program at Parsons Paris organized the festival Printing Fashion, in collaboration with Le Plateau (Frac Île-de-France), the prestigious art institution supporting contemporary art in France with a collection over 14,000 items. This is the first festival of its kind in Paris made its debut this year, to great success. Each day consisted of round-table discussions, where panels of industry professionals, involved with the creation, distribution and collection of fashion magazines, were able to exchange at length as well as answer questions from the audience. Topics ranged from challenges in the industry today to the discourses of geography within printed fashion media. Attendees to the festival also had the opportunity to purchase current and vintage magazines from the company KD Presse, who opened a pop-up shop for the occasion.
The first day started with a round-table titled Fashion on Print: Values and Historical Perspectives. The discussion, moderated by Marco Pecorari, MA Fashion Studies program director, included Antoine Bucher and Nicolas Montagne, founders of the online fashion library Diktats; and Eric Namont and Alexandre Baret, from magazine-distributing company KD Presse. The discussion focused on exploring the origins of fashion magazines, as well as analyzing the influence of its key figures.
The second round-table, moderated by Parsons Paris Faculty and artist Justin Morin, was titled Fashion Publications Today: Evolutions and Challenges, and included Clément Corraze, ID France director, and Angelo Cirimele, founder and editor-in-chief of Magazine magazine. The discussion focused on the past, present and future of magazines. The panelists addressed the digital versus print debate by analyzing the evolution of their own publications, and concluding that print is, indeed, a vibrant sphere within fashion publishing.
During the final part of the day, Justin Morin, artist and editor-in-chief, explored the representation of fashion magazines in conversation with Haydée Touitou, one of the three founders of The Skirt Chronicles. This session showed the audience clips from popular films and television depicting different figures in the image-making industry and particularly focusing on the role of the editor of a fashion magazine. Through this presentation, they were able to show and discuss the role of the fashion publisher as someone who is responsible for creating not only photographs, but also the public perception of the fashion industry.
The second day of Printing Fashion opened with the round-table entitled The Fashion Magazine as a Curatorial Project and moderated by Marco Pecorari. Panelists included Dan Thawley, editor of A Magazine Curated By, a publication inviting fashion designers to guest curate each issue with a presentation of their research, creative practices or perspectives on fashion. The panel also included Saul Marcadent, a post-doctoral researcher and curator the IUAV University of Venice, who explores contemporary fashion niche magazines, their poetics through the curatorial projects such as the organization of exhibitions, performances and events like in the case of the activities created at the Gucci Gardens. Finally, Maëlle Dault, the exhibition and edition coordinator FRAC Ile-de-France, presented her own unique perspective on art books and publishing as artistic practice, The discussion focused on methods of displaying fashion and art, comparing the spaces of museums and magazines.
The second round-table was entitled A Geography of Fashion Magazines and its Discourses, where speakers discussed the impact of location in the production of their own magazines. Haydée Touitou and Sarah de Mavaleix from the feminist fashion magazine The Skirt Chronicles, Florence Tetier, the artistic director of the fashion magazine Novembre, and Emanuele Coccia, Associate Professor at l’Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), discussed issues of geography in the production of their publications, as well as working with collaborators and contributors from all around the world.
In the final event of the day, Marco Pecorari and Justin Morin were in conversation with Ezra Petronio, editor-in-chief and creative director of the magazine Self Service. Petronio gave a unique insight on the history of the magazine, discussing his time as a Parsons Paris’ student, his career trajectory, and his passion behind his work and, specifically, Self Service. The festival finalized with Petronio’s reflection on what it takes to create a long-lasting and iconic independent magazine, able to constantly reinventing itself through the years.
Printing Fashion will have its second edition in Spring 2020.
Written by Sandra Mathey and Amanda Stedman
Photos by Julien Mouffron-Gardner and Anael Boulay