Der Schöne Mann – The Magazine
What does make a beautiful man? There is no harder question. Since antiquity, no aspect of aesthetics has been debated as fiercely as the concept of beauty. But as a medium of social communication, as well as a means of individual presentation and positioning, beauty cer-tainly constitutes an important dimension of human action and thought.
Yet male fashion is not supposed to make men look beautiful, as they fear beauty. But what would be the alternative? Never before have men been confronted with such a vast range of choices in positions and role models as today. In fashion shows, as well as in theory, male fashions have caught up with women´s wear. Having been neglected for ages, men´s wear has even surpassed women´s fashions as a space for critical and almost provocative creativity. This certainly is true for our work at the University of the Arts Bremen.
As a publishing project inspired by fashion magazines, “Der schöne Mann – Das Magazin” presents a vision of men and fashion created by students at the Seminar for Integrated Design at the University of the Arts Bremen. They designed 15 collections, invited philosophers and essayists to contribute articles and developed a “fashion ABC,” that provides insights into their personalities by revealing their expectations and desires directed at today´s and tomor-row´s man.
Academic research has long avoided issues of fashion and beauty. This came to an end with the “visual turn” in cultural sciences. Now innovative approaches are the order of the day. Our project therefore brings all the relevant dimensions to the task: everyday life & the arts, theory & practice, society & critique, design & reflection. We pursue “research through the arts” as we ground our work in a culture of knowledge and action—as opposed to mereley studying an isolated subject.
Our research shaped a practice of interdisciplinary design (fashion, styling, photography, il-lustration, layout). We achieved presentations in images and texts that approached the format of a magazine, while avoiding the commercial prerequisites of the medium (our magazine was planned as a one-off).
The publication therefore did not intend to become a glossy fashion mag, but became a docu-ment of research conducted by realizing a concept. To display a complex reflection on fashion and society, as well as concept of gender and beauty, the format of visualization presented by a magazine became a necessity—but our publication also includes a “magazine critique.”
“Der schöne Mann – Das Magazin” was published in January 2012. A magazine publication of the University of the Arts Bremen. Hamburg, Textem, 2012
Distributed nationwide through specialized book stores and news stands, the first edition sold out within six weeks. The publication is still available as a download on the publisher´s website: http://www.textem.de/index.php?id=2320
The magazine won a “Golden Cube” for editorial design from the Art Director Clubs New York in July 2012.