This zine is unlike any other I have read so far because it calls itself a “fashion journal,” which means that it is an amateur fashion magazine on a small scale with a “stick it to the man” attitude and a focus on inspiring its readers and highlighting certain interesting fashions rather than telling its readers what to wear based on mainstream trends and hype. I respect that this publication strives to break free from the conformity and focus on advertisement that characterizes traditional big fashion magazines. However, my main criticism with Worn is that it does not feature enough pictures. As a fashion journal or magazine, I would think that there would have been significantly more photographs of the fashions and ideas described in the articles. That is a big part of the reason I usually ready fashion magazines – to see the pictures and draw inspiration from them.
The cover of this Canadian journal/magazine/zine shows an illustration of a flight attendant, or what was called a stewardess during the 1960s, which is approximately the time period the illustration depicts, because the main article highlights the transition in requirements for flight attendant dress since the job’s inception. I found this article quite interesting, especially because my grandmother was a stewardess during the height of glamour for this position. I have always heard my mom talk about how fashionable and glamorous of a job that was during the time that her mother was hostess of the skies in the 50s. From the article, I learned that this was true, but there were also certain oppressive and, what would be considered by today’s standards, very inappropriate standards of dress and beauty for these women. As much as I enjoyed reading this piece, I was disappointed that there weren’t more pictures to illustrate the evolution in stewardess uniform.
This fashion journal is the same size as a standard magazine, but it is not glossy and it contains significantly fewer pages. It is full of interesting articles and ideas, from fashion book reviews to an article on an old perfume, from an interview with assistant wardrobe coordinator for the National Ballet of Canada to descriptions of retro glasses shapes. It is refreshing to see new and innovative ideas instead of the usual themes that grace the pages of your everyday fashion magazine powerhouse. There is more of a focus on text than is seen in the graphic heavy layouts of fashion magazines. Worn is easy to read, the graphics and layout are clean and simple, and the fashions are not overly trendy. The main photo shoot featured in the magazine showcased layers of rich textures in muted colors with occasional pops of red worn by what I imagined to be a three member multigenerational traveling rogue circus. Although the spread did not feature any outfits that really grabbed me or struck me as very fresh and innovative; I did like the location, aesthetics, and overall theme for the shoot, and wondered how they managed to get a zebra in a random field.
One of the best features of this zine is that it does not have as many annoying advertisements as magazines usually have. I hate when I am reading a mainstream fashion magazine and have to wade through fifty pages of ads before I can even get to the table of contents. This would never happen with Worn, because the readership provides most of the revenue for this magazine, instead of the traditional way that advertisers rule the pages of big name magazines (which I found out from browsing the fashion journal’s website – http://www.wornjournal.com). The website also featured interesting components, and one of the things that I found really funny was that on the FAQ page, the creator of this zine said that the reason she called it a journal and not a magazine was because it “sounded smarter.” I just wish this smarter fashion journal would have more fashion spreads.