First of all, I love FACT magazine. Definitely one of the most interesting magazines in the U.K.
The latest issue is not impressed with the UK clothes retail chain TopShop and NME the (once iconic) music magazine.
Louise Brailey spotted a recent TopMan Window display with three mannequins in the window, each representing a different ‘indie’ style. To help the indie fans chose the right ‘look’, TopShop have also provided three photos of an indie ‘hero’. The three are Pete Doherty, The Kooks and Noel Fielding (a UK comedian it seems). Lots possibly wrong with this (can’t they do better than Pete Doherty or Noel Fielding).
And she is right to draw attention to how brands can get it wrong when they appropriate music for commercial purposes.
However, not everyone has the confidence to chose their own look. Many of us have always wanted help. Once upon a time album covers, Music shows on TV and spectacular imagery in magazines such as NME and Sounds would help give pointers to people in terms of how to create their own look. The fact that some people turn to shop windows for inspiration is not in itself such a bad thing.
Louise is most put out that the NME has put it’s name to this, selling it’s soul in the process. Fair point, if NME is still the great voice of counter-culture music. Yet it is not and hasn’t been for years. Anything more than one paragraph on any chosen topic seems a bit much for the NME these days. Great music journalists of today (and there are some fantastic ones out there) would be unlikely to find comfort in writing for NME. Photos of a night out or pretty people at a festival seems to take priority over decent music journalism.
One note of caution though for FACT.Â FACT:25 carries twoÂ Advertisement Features, one on Shoreditch getting free Wi-Fi thanks to BT and FON and the other for the excellent Red Bull Academy. At first, both features come across as a piece of editorial, yet in the top corner of each piece, a very small header ‘advertisement feature’ is written. A little confusing. Let’s hope that things are made a little more clearer to their readers in the future!