Lately, those who are in the know in the fashion industry are seeking out higher and more esoteric publishing fare. What do I mean? Alt fashion mags. Most of them are only published biannually and come at a cost of $40 or $50 an issue, but that doesn't stop their devoted fans from snapping them up off the presses. While some can be had with an easy online scrip (if you're willing to pay the price), others are the stuff of fashion dreams for the casual observer.
What do we love about them? Dare I say, Anna's been at the helm of Vogue so long that my pages start to fossilize before they hit my front step each month. We love the freshness of the more alternative fare. Their attitude! The fearless way they let creative people take risks without hemming them in by a strict idea of what's "right" and "wrong." So think, vive le difference as you check out our slideshow below.
This magazine is all over the place, literally. Editorial teams in Paris, New York and Stockholm, published stateside and in Europe, fiercely intellectual. Each biannual issue carries a theme. The latest? What's inside a head? What's outside? It's called "The Head Piece," and one of the prettiest American heads we know of dons the cover: Jared Leto. Contributor is all about indie and edgy, it's featured Courtney Love, Michael Pitt and Noomi Rapace. Thick of this as a serious culture mag through a creative fashion lens.
Another Stockholm/Paris/New York collab effort, Acne Paper is what Vanity Fair would be if they didn't have to publish a cover story about Gwyneth Paltrow maybe having an affair. Covering European celebs, as well as international stars on the literature, art and culture scene, they provide inventive editorials for your eyes in a typically Scandinavian sparse layout.
New York based, AnOther claims to be the most recognized alt fashion book in the world. With contributors like Tim Blanks, it's possible they're right, even if you've not heard of it until now. Like the others, it strives to keep its content upscale and full of referential cultural material. All we know is it pulls off some avant garde shoots with some fashion darling stars. And the articles are ok, too.
Dazed and Confused
Published monthly and owned by the same man who publishes AnOther, Dazed and Confused has been around for a minute and has a strong following and entertainment-loving bent. You can think of it like the teen little sister of AnOther or the slacker cousin of Nylon. Same core audience. Why is this relevant to grown-ups? Because youth culture is usually at the forefront of what's cool. And fashion needs to stay on top of that. Check out the site, it looks like so many Tumblr blogs by so many dazed and confused high school students. Just don't credit their voice—we pay attention.
It's not cheap, but the photos look like it. No, kidding. Grainy, edgy photography is the thing right now, that sort of impromptu Terry Richardson style. Incidentally, Richardson is a contributor. So are other major fashion and celeb photographers happy to click and be clicked into these pages. Be forewarned, Purple loves the nude artistic, so you might want to take this off the coffee table when parents are visiting.
Cute? Cheeky? You might think so with the ubiquitous wink on every cover. Devoted to what's happening on the streets, in film and in designer studios, i-D is cool and edgy. But you can keep it on the coffee table. Another indie mainstay, we wouldn't be surprised if Anna has a scrip delivered to her offices to stay in the know.
This UK-based magazine is perhaps the most feminine format of the bunch. Though its captain at the helm, Katie Grand, has promised to forget about so many editorials with size zero models and provide a real voice that loves fashion nonetheless for it. If you're a girly-girl, Love is your best bet.