Thursday, 2 August 2012

Magazines in the spotlight... LAW


Regular readers will know that I'm always on the hunt for challenging, exciting and inspiring publications. As incessant whispers of 'print is dying' echo around the libraries and bookstores of our minds, there are countless examples that should be cherished and flaunted in the faces of the prophets of doom. John Holt's LAW is one example. As soon as I picked up the first issue at Goodhood (on the recommendation of the store's very own Kyle Stewart) I knew that I had discovered a title with a refreshing point of view. For its editor Holt, style is everywhere, all you have to do is look. This limited edition bi-annual magazine revels in revealing what others miss as it serves to document the ups and downs of the beautiful everyday. In its accomplished debut, it paused to shine the spotlight on a patchwork of everyday eye catchers including passionate shop owners, matchmakers, tailors, brand devotees, dilapidated funparks and cursed football kits. Weighing in at just fifty three pages it managed to navigate my past and present with skill. My head was not the only one turned by its charms. The issue ended up being stocked in an enviable assortment of stores from Brighton to London and then on to Paris and Hong Kong. Building on this success the title returns with a pulse quickening sophomore issue.

"The magazine will always tell the adventure of the search to describe what LAW looks like," explains Holt in its Introduction. "Perhaps we may never find the perfect image but in this issue I believe we have sailed very close." Holt and his team revel in uncovering forgotten objects, styles and individuals that are overlooked and documenting how they hold a certain special something. In their second issue they bounce from British nightlife, shopkeepers, Fifa, forgotten flags, Happy Shopper Hair Gel and a Suede Head. For me, LAW is a window to the world of the past, the current and undercurrent. It is a cross section of people, places and objects that may first appear disparate but combine to form one aesthetic. The bi-annual shines the spotlight on facets of Britain and localised symbols that would ordinarily not be known outside of these shores. Lets press our noses to the glass of this issue and see... 

John Holt meets photographer Stuart Griffiths and talks about his time in Madchester, Northern Ireland and Brighton.

A collection of our misspent youth. Fifa 1995-12. How many of you have played them all?

A visit to Edgware Road's R. Aguis Scooters

An editorial with the twelve year old (Arsenal fan) cover star, Fred Grant wearing Brutus Trimfit, Christopher Shannon and Sadie Williams.

Jake in a patchwork bomber by Christopher Shannon.

Sparkling jumper by Sadie Williams.

My favourite feature. Jack Cassidy meets property developer David Rosen and discuss the Suedehead look and share a few pieces from his archive. From Dr. Martens to classic Bass Weejun loafers, the look became softer over time.

Beauty in the everyday right through to the back page. LAW's pebble dash print of the debut issue is replaced with a confetti bush.

"Our vow to you is to make this and every issue as beautiful and thought provoking as possible," Holt declares in the issue. It is and it does. It is its ability to archive real characters and document a cacophony of British traces as they shift, evolve and disappear from our surroundings which makes this title special. For me, LAW is destined to be treasured on book shelves.

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