Thursday, January 26, 2012

The [MAGA]Zine Pile: Raf in 'Fantastic Man' #14

I took me two months to finally buy this issue, but really it should have taken me half a second. Every time I walk home from the Bedford L, I pass by a particular bodega that sells every fashion magazine imaginable: from some obscure, expensive, small-scale European publication to Men's Health (there's some fashion and style in there, right?) next to a stack of Doritos and Head and Shoulders. Yet behold, within a plastic display of "featured" magazines outside of the store, the Fantastic Man issue with Raf Simons as its cover man. The former goth Catholic schoolboy who I may love a little TOO much sitting on his Pierre Jeanneret chair, gave my eyes that glare seldom seen except for the portrait used in Cathy Horyn's NYT story and literally four other photos. When asked about his refusal to be photographed, Raf told Horyn that he just finds portraits to be "embarrassing" (aww), so I knew something special was waiting for me in this issue.

I was tickled by the peculiarity and playfulness of his spread in the autumn/winter 2011 issue. Raf willingly models a mixture of archived pieces from his early, more destructive youth influenced collections and his own designs under the Jil Sander house. He's sprawled sideways along his stairs and reverse planks before an art piece by U.S. artist Mike Kelley. In the accompanied profile, Gert Jonkers highlights that Raf apologized for putting The XX's debut album on constant repeat for the two hours in his home and that the avid art collector and personal buyer was once rejected by the artist himself for a painting because he didn't schedule an appointment ahead of time. Juicy in everything you want to know from Raf's brilliant noggin, the profile is a pleasant read and subtly hints at Raf's future after Jil Sander. This issue is a must-have if you're a Raf-head like me.

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