WORN Journal is a fashion ‘zine unlike anything else on the market. It’s funny, smart, interesting and independent. Editor Serah-Marie McMahon, with the help of a small but dedicated staff, publishes WORN biannually. Past topics have included:
- Psychobilly subculture fashion
- The truth about drycleaning
- West African clothing
- How to start a fashion museum
WORN places an emphasis on personal style, not the latest trends from the fashion industry.
Without further ado, here to talk more about WORN is Hillary Predko. Hillary is an intern at WORN, a 19-year old student at the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD) where she’s studying textiles, and a fan of Colette Patterns.
What is WORN Journal?
WORN Fashion Journal is an independent fashion magazine published out of Toronto twice a year. We strive to maintain editorial content that is interesting and presents a view of fashion that is often not presented. We aim to discuss clothing as a cultural product, as opposed to a product to be bought seasonally. We don’t have anything against other fashion magazines; we just want to create something different. Something where the content is not influenced by advertising dollars, and seasonal trends are not the be all and end all.
How is WORN financed?
WORN is an anomaly in the magazine publishing world because we finance the magazine by well, selling the magazine. Most magazines are paid for through advertising dollars, so selling through the print run is not important. We sell through 100% of our print run, so while being less wasteful we can also make the most money off the physical magazine. Since we don’t date our back issues, and the content is not time specific, we can continue selling our issues when other magazines would have ‘expired’.
How did you discover Worn?
I found WORN on one of my favourite blogs, Toronto Craft Alert (http://torontocraftalert.ca/). Needless to say I was very excited, and I applied to be an intern within a week.
What do you do as an intern at Worn?
As interns, we all take on different commitments. I work mainly on distribution, since WORN does not have a distributor. Right now we are pursuing about a hundred stores worldwide that we would like to carry the magazine. I also work to get us involved in craft and small press fairs. Interns at WORN generally get much cooler jobs than interns elsewhere. I have modeled, done research, sewed banners, and organized a tee-shirt print run. Since WORN is so small, there are always a lot of jobs to be done.
Tell us a little bit about how the magazine is put together.
The size of the staff fluctuates a bit, with old interns leaving, and new ones coming in, but WORN is put together by a group of about 15 volunteers. Our editor-in-pants, Serah-Marie kindly keeps us all in check, as we come and go from the office on different days. We all have other commitments, so the team can only meet all together twice a month: once for an editorial meeting and once for a general meeting. At these meetings, we make all the decisions we can about how to run the magazine, and what editorial to publish. We decide on tasks for everyone to do, and go our separate ways to get it done. It is all generally kept track of in Google docs. It could be argued WORN would fall apart without Google docs.
How would you describe your style?
In every issue, one of our editors writes a column called “Everything I know about Fashion I Learned from my Mother”. In the latest issue, she reflects on personal style and describes the style of some of her friends in hilariously succinct ways. Some examples include, “communist vampire bicycle courier with a dash of flapper ninja”, and “a member of the vintage craft brigade, with a militantly joyful streak”. Sorry to ramble, but what I’m getting at is that I’ve been trying to think of a cool cute term for my style for a while now, and I’m at a bit of a loss. Disheveled floral hipster in various shades of brown? Woodland vintage art school student? Dusty pastel cyrptozoologist? I’m still working on it, but I think you might get the idea.
What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion to me is a form as self-expression more than anything else. I had to wear a uniform all through middle school, and I think that experience really scarred me for life. I never want to give up my autonomy within the way I look. Beyond that, I think fashion is as fun as you make it. Some people get really stressed about getting dressed to go out, but I think you can look good no matter what you wear. I’m not very concerned with trends, I just like to dress cute.
How did you learn to sew? What do you sew?
I picked up various sewing skills from different people as I grew up. My dad first started teaching me to sew, then my grandma taught me to use commercial patterns. Since then I’ve had a few mentors who have taught me to serge, draft a bit, drape a bit and various things along the way.
I go to school for textiles, which involves less sewing than one would think. Since I started the program I’ve been really busy, so I’ve pretty much stopped sewing myself clothes for the time being. Lately I’ve been really into making pillows and curtains to decorate my apartment. Oh, and I made a killer Bjork swan dress this Halloween.