You have until the 8th of February to make your way over to Candy in Fake Tokyo to catch the launch exhibition of the new zine from Babylon – Anima/Animus. Needless to say I have been enjoying my own copy and given that it includes contributions from designers like Dummyhead Depaysemen, Kou, Lieberslieder, T.A.S and Yoshirotten, if you read this site, odds on, you will too. The zine itself is a suitably sombre black and white with each of the contributing brands and artists offering their own opinion on gender, sometimes in very opaque references, sometimes literally. It occurs that this issue of gender identity might well be one that we see becoming increasingly more relevant over the next year, certainly for every conservatively masculine City Boy straight out of Popeye magazine on the street these days, there is at least one whose gender is impossible to quantify, and a brief glance through the latest issue of the usually predictable Ginza reveals some very neutral tailoring for women.
The zine is accompanied by an installation and window in Fake Tokyo, marking a darker direction for the store, and given that Candy has been looking younger and younger with each passing day lately the macabre instillation that greets you on entry is a welcome mood shift for the shop. However, this being Babylon there are plenty of references to hedonism and fetishism, so it is not quite the clinical or poe-faced artisan edge you might expect from some of the designers involved, but you have to remember you are reaching out to the Candy club kid crowd.
It was nice to see some new work from Komakino, who collaborated with Matteo Giordano on this project, the ensemble above giving a good idea of how the captive Candy audience might build some of the darker references into their fashion.
I won’t spoil any of the details from the zine online, you will have to go to Fake Tokyo itself, but I am sure the images will make their way into the digital realms at some point. I for one hope that this will the start of a series of zines, it is nice to have your gaze drawn away from fashion and to a more general aesthetic once in a while, especially as the online world (including this site) provides you with a means of looking at fashion so directly that it all becomes a bit of a catalogue sometimes.