The indie print publication’s first issue heralds the launch of ‘Collage Couture for a Good Cause’ – an off-kilter collection of upcycled looks set to be auctioned for migrant charity Hope for the Young
Print is dead? Far from it. While mainstream media outlets might be floundering right now (see: understatement), the medium is alive and well when you dig a little deeper underground. All around the world, a new gen of creatives are harnessing its potential, and spreading their message using paper and ink. From NY rag The Drunken Canal and its razor sharp satire, to South Africa’s Bubblegum Club, which shines a spotlight on the region’s brightest, most brilliant artists – not to mention the UK’s very own Clobber zine, which seeks to rid fashion of its ‘ponciness’ – independent creatives are turning out some of the most exciting publications around right now.
Cementing this very argument is new mag Red3licte, whose debut issue landed last month. Conceptualised by a global, partly-anonymous collective spread between New York, Los Angeles, London, and beyond, the publication heralds the arrival of an upcycled, 150-piece clothing collection dubbed ‘Collage Couture for a Good Cause’ – with that good cause taking the form of Hope for the Young. The non-profit, grassroots organisation supports and empowers young migrants and asylum seekers, and is a cause which sits close to Red3licte co-founder Jack Sunnucks’ heart. “I’m from Kent, just down the road from where dinghies full of refugees arrive every day,” he explains. “It feels important, particularly after the last couple of years, to be doing something to support causes like this.”
Separated into three chapters – Workshop, which celebrates the spirit of collaboration, Proto, which is about ‘raw ideas coming real’ and Soirée, which centres on a big party the team would love to throw – Red3licte’s pages are cut and pasted with off-kilter editorials by the likes of Sharna Osborne, Emma Wyman, Thistle Brown, Nell Kalonji, Rémi Lamandé, and loads, loads more. As well as gorgeously naff faux perfume ads and a bunch of recipes for showstopping cocktails, the whole thing is covered by supermodel tour de force Paloma Elsesser. Taking time out of walking practically every show on the AW22 schedule and single-handedly carrying the fashion industry on her back, Elsesser stepped in front of Osborne’s camera in a series of Frankensteined-together, actually pretty grungy looks. “Because she’s a curve model, Paloma’s always depicted as very womanly and sensual, but her own style’s a lot more DIY and offbeat,” says Sunnucks. “We wanted her in trashed, oversized t-shirts and ripped baggy jeans. Something a bit different for her.”
Having previously dropped a series of the clothes seen on Red3licte’s pages on its dedicated eBay page Red3licte Auctionz (think lace-trimmed bonnets, spliced and diced denim, sunbleached, bastardised band tees, and haphazard knitted hats with woolly mohawks), this week sees the team behind the mag put Elsesser’s looks up for sale, with all proceeds going straight to Hope for the Young, Garments on the line-up include a kitschy t-shirt with spray paint-effect abs, trashy denim cargo pants, and a top reading ‘So Big, So Good’, which I’m sure we can all agree is a mood. Considering these are one-offs created by some of the most exciting talents working today, starting prices are bargain basement level low – where else could you potentially get your hands on a Matty Bovan original for a little under £40?
With fashion facing something of a reckoning across the course of the last few years – from the systemic racism that underpins the industry, to its devastating impact on the planet – a flick through Red3licte’s “true salade of ideas” is a timely and inspiring reminder that fashion can be a force for good, and a lot of fun, too. “It was so much fun to join forces with so many friends on this and have it be a really collaborative thing, especially after we’d been apart for so long,” says Sunnucks. “Now we just want as many people to see it as possible, and to make as much money for Hope for the Young as we possibly can.”
Head to Climax Books to get your own copy of Red3licte, and shop the eBay auctions here.