The Worn Archive: A Fashion Journal About the Art, Ideas, and History of What We Wear

Serah-Marie McMahon, Editor
Edited by Serah-Marie McMahon. Drawn & Quarterly, $29.95 (416p) ISBN 978-1-77046-150-5
Reviewed on: 04/07/2014
Release date: 05/06/2014
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Frustrated with the fashion industry and its “systematic exclusion of anyone who isn’t young, skinny, cis, and white,” as well as her friends’ sense that fashion is merely frivolous, McMahon started the magazine Worn because she “wanted to understand the connection between aesthetic and clothing outside of trend, and reconcile my love of clothes with the problems I saw in the fashion industry.” This deliciously designed, intelligent, quirky, entertaining, and provocative archive of magazine articles documents Worn’s seven years challenging fashion conventions, celebrating clothing fanatics and designers, and considering how and why we decorate ourselves. Sporting a strong bias toward vintage style, these essays range from interviews with conceptual artists and obsessive collectors and how-tos on using a washing machine and tying ties to histories of safety pins, Frederick’s of Hollywood, and the influence of the military on men’s clothing. In addition, selections include analyses of gay, feminist, and cross-dressing fashion, and themed photo spreads of unconventionally proportioned mannequins and staff members modeling their own idiosyncratic creations. Artists, makers, and fashionistas will be seduced by the book’s imaginative visuals and astute essays. Illus. (May)
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