This weekend I was reading a great article in Fantastic Man about superstar stylist Joe McKenna.


This part of the article really struck me:


By his early teens, McKenna was scouring jumble sales with a school friend, trying to replicate the looks they’d seen on the pages of magazines like 19 or Honey. “Then we’d go back to my house, and I’d put a white sheet up in our loft; we’d do the hair and the make-up like we’d seen in her magazine,” he says. ¬†”And I had a little 35mm camera so we’d have fashion shoots. I don’t know what for.”


I’ve heard a lot lately from the fashion establishment about how different fashion was “back in our day,” ¬†but the same desire that drove Joe McKenna to create these unseen editorials is the same desire that gave rise to fashion blogs today.


Had the technology been available, I bet Joe McKenna would have been a fashion blogger.





Close comment

Detach comments


  1. Anna

    April 30, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    Such a great magazine! I only wish it came out more frequently!

  2. Simbarashe

    April 30, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    I find your commentary as intriguing as the copy on that page, and yet, I almost wonder if I disagree. I think what separated McKenna from most others back then was his desire to be different — I think this is the main ingredient that separates pioneers from everyone else. You for instance, pioneered street fashion in this format. Had McKenna come along today, my gut says he would’ve found something else to do. Certainly in this medium, sure, but … perhaps he’d be onto that next, undiscovered and untapped step.

    • Teresa Schmidt

      May 1, 2013 at 10:26 am

      I’d like to think that across the ages, it’s not the format of exposure or the desire to be different that drives people. That perhaps it’s the desire to be oneself and do what is their passion because to not do it is more painful than not taking the risk.

      • Martine

        May 3, 2013 at 8:09 am

        Teresa describes it rather perfectly. We are all different. And the desire to copy something out of a magazine in his teens hardly screams rebellion. He is a stylist, not an astronaut. I think people who move the arts forward in small increments like McKenna have the passion to be themselves exactly as Teresa put it, because changing their vision to conform is simply painful. The guy isn’t Leonardo DaVinci or even a Vivienne Westwood. But he is an artist, and he does propel us forward.

  3. Laura

    April 30, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    So we are lucky to live in the time of bloggers!

  4. Anna

    April 30, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    This is so interesting, crazy how we rely so much on technology these days!

  5. Rachelle

    April 30, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    He totally would have, when I was about 5 all the way to 9 years old every Sunday I dressed up and my had to take my picture while I pose. Most of the time I wasn’t even really going nowhere. In my teens I forever tried to replicate magazine looks.


  6. Anonymous

    April 30, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    “instantly recogni-seableappearance” is all I can see when I look at that.

  7. CarolinaBK

    April 30, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    Thanks for sharing with us this page.. interesting stuff!
    Wanna read the full article now!

  8. Mia Marionette

    April 30, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    That is so interesting, and so true! The only question that remains is, what is the future of fashion blogs?

  9. milex

    April 30, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    For once I can say I feel exacly the same as you are.

  10. Annika Tibs

    April 30, 2013 at 11:08 pm

    so true! the fascination has always been there it is just the resources we have that continue to evolve how and shape how we share the information!


  11. Irene

    May 1, 2013 at 2:03 am

  12. Freya - Fashionable People

    May 1, 2013 at 2:08 am

  13. Elena

    May 1, 2013 at 3:37 am

    I agree, technology changes the world of fashion!

  14. Shun

    May 1, 2013 at 6:27 am

    This article also struck me…

  15. Gian Luca M

    May 1, 2013 at 8:02 am

    mhmm…very interesting…

    Gian Luca M

  16. suzy

    May 1, 2013 at 10:43 am

    “…we’d have fashion shoots. I don’t know what for.” <3 this really resonated with me. One of those – just do what we love, and good things happen – moments

  17. Michael Scott

    May 1, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    I think the advent of the fashion blog coincided with the loss of film as the primary communicator of fashion images. My best friend worked for over two decades at a company in NYC that was one of the primary darkroom vendors for the fashion industry. He and his colleagues were the first to handle pictures taken by any of the top fashion photographers you can name working in the 80s and 90s and early 2000s in NY. When digital took over, he lost his job. Digital provides an immediacy that film cannot and therefore works well for this industry where literally everyone wants to see the latest thing now. You used to have to wait….waiting can be good for you.

    • disneyrollergirl

      June 1, 2013 at 5:53 pm

      I say this a lot. I really miss the days of film and polaroid. You definitely lose some ‘consideration’ time by not having those extra few minutes/hours/days to mull over the polaroids and contact sheets. It’s why I guess people like Tim walker still use film. But things are different now. I don’t think it’s better or worse, there are other benefits to digital (esp with commercial work). That said, i’m consciously seeking out young (or old) photographers to work with who still want to use film. I like a slower pace and actually think there will be a return to that soon. (PS, i’m a blogger so I get the fast-paced thing.)

  18. Alessia

    May 2, 2013 at 3:52 am

    really interesting!


  19. JF-D

    May 2, 2013 at 8:21 am

    I’ve loved Joe McKenna’s work since the days of The Face . . . really he has had such a tremendous influence on the visual representation of style since the 1980′s . . . [ and I even remember him as a very cute child actor!]

  20. Martine

    May 3, 2013 at 8:13 am

    Lord. That whole scenario sounds like something out of “Sex and the City”. Or worse yet “the Carrie Diaries”. Two friends in the 80′s a gay boy and his straight girl pal trying to recreate a look from a magazine. It hurts my poor head. But if the means were available; Yes, he would have made a blog. Heck, maybe we all would have.

  21. Samantha

    May 3, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    I loved Honey magazine too!

  22. Madhulina Sur

    May 20, 2013 at 1:25 am

    My friend Suchetana and I used to do the same…. imitate the fashion magazines, put on make up and go clicking!! :)

Leave a comment

Related posts