First issue of Dasha Zhukova’s Garage Magazine

As heated discussions continue about the future of the printed press, Dasha Zhukova launchedGarage the first edition of her magazine titled Garage, after her gallery in Moscow. I bought the fall/winter edition out of sheer curiosity about the editorial content, but have to say that I was dismayed by the dare I say it, vulgarity of the cover to start with.

Let me be honest from the beginning, I like art and I love photography, but I am not a professional in either of those fields and can only judge it as an amateur, while Dasha, together with Roman Abramovich, was voted the most influential people in the art world this month. Never-the-less, a cover like that is more suited to Playboy or Hustler magazine, but somehow more and more fashion and art magazines choose to push the envelope and shock their readers, whether it’s a good or bad thing I don’t know.

The magazine itself is large, both in its size and volume and contains lots of ads, both fashion and art ones. You also have cool comics with well-known people as title character, created by Dasha’s dear and near, Derek Blasberg (words) and Olympia Scarry (creative direction). The pages that follow, titled ‘Emails from the edge’ by ‘prolific email correspondent Derek Blasberg’ left me puzzled to say the least-did I miss something in content or am I getting too old to understand the creativity behind this?

I really loved the result of the photo shoot titled ‘Stalking Stefano’ as inStefano Pilati, the head designer at YSL by photographerJordan Richman and the article ‘Aftermath population Zero’ based on the research of the Russian scientist and professor Alexander Semencha on the decomposition ages of some the most coveted fashion items-is there a serious thought about the consequences of our consumption on the environment?

But the photoshoot called ‘Nude‘ by photographer Max Farago and creative direction of Olympia Scarry left me sad and flabbergasted, as it looked grotesque and completely unflattering to a young model’s female form.

Apart from Dasha’s interview with veritable power-house Tina Brown (the part about women balancing work, family and girlfriends contained the most honest and coherent thoughts coming from a very wise, accomplished and successful woman-for that alone, I am glad I bought Garage !), I haven’t related to any other editorial content (and there is plenty of it, I only touched just a few). What also puzzles me, is that Dasha, being a Russian young woman by birth, chooses to socialise, befriend and work with well-known non-Russians (her editorial team is mighty, with Shala Monroque as creative director, Joan Juliet Buck as editorial consultant, contributing fashion editor Giovanna Battaglia, photographers like Nick Knight, Johny Pigozzi, Heidi Slimane but see if you can spot any Russian member of the team) and I wonder whether it’s because she can’t find much talent that she wants to promote in Russia and CIS or because she doesn’t relate to the Russians much…….

Any idea or launch is worthy, if the person is passionate about it and gives it a best shot, but Garage didn’t draw me in to such an extent that I would consider buying the next edition, but her magazine is different from anything else I have read until now, both in format and in content. Having said that, I have never produced and published a magazine myself, which is a massive task on many levels and as I said before, you can’t judge a person for trying.

Garage Magazine, fall/winter, £8.50 at Selfridges

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