Ponystep Magazine Issue 05 SS13
Issue 05 SS13
When it comes to magazine covers, there has often been a huge divide in opinion between model and celebrity cover stars. While the most ardent fashion fan would prefer to see a real industry name gracing the cover, there is a lot to be said for the mass appeal of the celebrity.
That said, as a magazine, Ponystep has always been drawn towards the notion of the 'anti-celebrity' - the famous being that seems a somehow less obvious choice. The celebrity that dumbfounds the average Daily Mail reader. Take, for example, Elvira, Dame Edna and, to a lesser extent, Donatella Versace. All have graced our cover and all have baffled and delighted our readers in equal measure.
While cover stars may often prove my to be a personal indulgence on my part, I do occasionally question the celebrity:fashion ratio. We are, after all, a fashion magazine - published and distributed as such. While celebrities serve to be both incredible press fodder - charming and charismatic in interviews and, in most cases, a rather marvellous sample-size clothes horse, they often lack that special something that models bring to an image.
What that is, exactly, may be hard to define, but it's something we recognised with this issue and felt it necessary to acknowledge. For that reason, it felt right that the covers of Ponystep No.5 should feature professional models. The notable exception is Joe Dallesandro, the legend who pioneered the role of the male celebrity pin-up, turned the tables on the 1960s and 1970s Hollywood starlets and easily outsexed every one of his Factory counterparts. Little Joe proves he's still got what it takes to turn heads. Forty years on, the familiar glinting eyes, lustrous hair and brooding nonchalance continue to emphasise his undiluted sexual appeal. At 66, Joe Dallesandro is as enigmatic as he has ever been.
But I digress. Back to Ponystep Issue 5 and our fantasic model covers. In truth, we have always had such fantastic support from all the model agencies in London and this time around it felt appropriate to give them some credit. While our covers feature some of the industry's most exciting new modelling talent, we like to think that the features in Issue 5 reflect a magazine continuing to make the same waves as it always has done. Whether that be shooting LA's notorious poster girl Angelyne or Brooklyn's underground 'freestylers', the concept of balancing strong fashion with offbeat celebrity is key to defining our approach. In fact, it has come to be the integral DNA of the Ponystep brand.
This issue sees many of our regular contributors returning to the fold. To list them all individually would make for a rather boring ed's letter and - while friends may argue the contrary - boring is not my thing. What makes this job particularly exciting, however, is the opportunity to work with new teams for the first time. Notably, Robbie Fimmano and Heathermary Jackson, Bryan Adams and Bea Akerlund, Manuela Pavesi and Moreno Galetti, Johan Sandberg and Jack Borkett, Iain McKell and Kimi O'Neill, and Stefan Zschernitz and Toby Grimditch - all bringing a unique and fresh approach to their respective stories.
The model/celebrity debate will run and run. It's the age-old argument of Art vs Commerce. A fashion model feels somehow more highbrow, while celebrity confirms mass-media coverage that hopefully translates to sales. And then there is Kate Moss who somehow transcends either category! Personally, I feel inclined to celebrate both model and celebrity, and carry on regardless. For years, the concept of fashion and celebrity have always gone hand in hand; happily coexisting - one integral to the other and vice versa. I think it works rather nicely - exactly as it does in our magazines!
-Richard Mortimer, London May 2013
Ponystep Magazine Issue 04 FW12
Issue 04 FW12
So, while slightly later than originally anticipated, our fourth issue is finally with you! I am frequently asked what the theme of our issue will be, and while they will often subconsciously assume a general direction or perspective, I always reaffirm our ongoing position that we don’t work to that brief. There isn't a brief. Once again, Ponystep issue 4 is a celebration of wonderful people, inspiring people. A particular highlight this issue was working with the incredible David Bailey. Shooting a portfolio of London’s most infamous transvestites, he was rude and outspoken, but always charming. Suffice to say, he convinced each of our subjects to disrobe and pose starkers in front of his camera. The resulting pictures form a real snapshot of London's vibrant club scene – currently set alight by our peacocking trans friends.
And it wasn’t just the London scene that captured our imagination. New York has always been the transatlantic cohort to London's colourful club scene, and the new word about town is Westgay – the weekly club night hosted by Ponystep favorite, Frankie Sharp. Shot by Francesco Carozini, I was adamant that I didn't want a series of ‘straight-ups’ – thankfully a direction shared by Francesco. Instead we rounded up Westgay’s crazier regulars including Natalia Kills, Casey Spooner and the clubs notorious go-go boys and shot them mid-party at the club’s spiritual home, Westway (see what they did there!)
And so, back to London. With so much hype surrounding our homegrown design talent, it’s hard to know which one of the many breakthrough designers to hone in on. While by no means a breakthrough designer, Christopher Kane is still very young, relatively speaking. While being linked to several different major fashion houses, one thing is evident, Christopher Kane, his eponymous and much-loved line, will always be with him. Having known Christopher since his Central Saint Martin days, I have come to know that he is notoriously press-shy, more so if there is a camera involved. For that reason, it was fitting to ask his long-term friend, mentor and former tutor Professor Louise Wilson OBE to do the interview. More of a chat than an official ‘interview’, Louise is keen to enforce his incredible work ethic – a fact so rarely discussed among the universal applause and adulation of London’s hot design ‘glitterati’. There are designers for whom fame is the ultimate accolade, and others, like Christopher, who prefer the work to make the grand statement.
And, while on the notion of grand statements, they don’t come bolder than our cover story. As many people may know, I have been a personal friend of Siobhan Donaghy for many years. She DJ’d at my first club night Golf Sale and gave the first live performance of her second album, Ghosts, at BoomBox. When the news broke of the original Sugababes line-up reforming, I couldn't have been happier. So overdue is this reunion that I think anyone that remembers One Touch or the breakthrough Overload, collectively saw this as a huge ‘Fuck You’ to the latest incarnation, and more so to the corporate machine that it represented. Yes, there were issues to be resolved (which were, co-incidentally), but the public response to this latest ‘comeback’ couldn’t have been more supportive and promising. Mutya Keisha Siobhan as they are now known (though the moniker MKS looks more likely to become the norm) are a pop rarity. A girl band that write their own material. That don’t conform to the harsh stereotype of how a girl group should look. Three girls that couldn’t be more different, yet when they sing, something special happens. Having heard a few tracks from the forthcoming album, it was a no-brainer that these girls should be our cover stars.
Other notable highlights for me this issue include Phoebe Arnold’s main fashion story with celebrated artist Chas Ray Krider. Shot in Ohio, the story is a celebration of style, sex and shoes. NY-based Carlton Davis shot a tongue-in-cheek bevy of boys and buns, while Danielle Levitt went downtown in Baltimore to spend a weekend with the irrepressible Mink Stole.
While it would be easy to sit here and gesticulate about how incredible the fashion has been this season, or how the palette has really moved me this season, I won’t. That said, there have been so many great collections, but it’s the people that fascinate me more. The funny characters life throws at you – the curveballs. This is what matters to us at Ponystep. Of course, we adore fashion and clothes and make-up and the whole pleasurable experience of making images. That’s a given – why run a fashion magazine otherwise. But working with the likes of Mink Stole, Rossy de Palma, Amanda Lear, Angie Bowie, or any one of the amazing people in the magazine – that’s what we live for!
— Richard Mortimer, London December 2012
Frankie Sharp – The Queen Of New York
Christopher Kane: The Business Of Fashion
The Original Queen Of Reinvention
Ponystep Magazine Issue 03 SS12
- Joan Collins
- Georgia May Jagger
- Jourdan Dunn
- Amir Khan
- Daphne Guinness
- One Direction
- Gemma Collins
- Christian Louboutin
- Marc Ascoli
- Carsten Holler
- Diane von Furstenberg
- Tina Knowles
Issue 03 SS12
It is with the now familiar sense of impending deadline (read 'doom') that I am finally alone and contemplating a common thread that will weave together another five months or so of commissions. But where to begin? It has by now become quite clear that we do not theme each issue, instead, each issue is pulled together by an essence of fun, of London or of celebration that somehow makes sense to us. It is a personal perspective, influenced by those around me; my brilliant team, rather marvellous friends and the various celebrities that colour everyday life. A personal perspective shared, I have come to realise, by many others.
It is often a case of from the sublime to the ridiculous, but isn't that generally how life is? I'm aware it's not the given synopsis of a fashion title, but then I've come to realise that is precisely the point, that we are not your conventional fashion magazine.
And so then, to the covers; a selection of pure homegrown talent that are larger than life, individually vivacious and immediately iconic. So with great pride we offer up Ponystep SS12, graced by Britain's finest; Georgia May Jagger, Amir Khan, Daphne Guinness, Jourdan Dunn and the legendary Joan Collins. It's about as diverse a bunch as you can get, captured in full colour by our good friend Mr Miles Aldridge and influenced immensely by our current obsession with the iconic French magazine Façade. We consider it the most gracious of tributes!
Peppered with other celebrities from stage and screen, from the fashion world, from the art, design and music industries respectively, this issue is rather difficult to summarise. So I won't. Instead I shall leave you with this: my summary of the magazine to a close friend;
"At the end of the day we are producing a magazine, of things and people that we love. We are not trying to change the world, just make it a little more colourful."
— Richard Mortimer, London April 2012
Issue 3: George And Dragon – A Decade Of Decadence
Issue 3: Uptown Girl
Issue 3: The Original Underager
Issue 3: I Should Be So Lucky
Issue 3: Boxing Clever
Issue 3: Decidedly Daphne
Issue 3: Model Mother
Issue 3: Swagger Jagger
Issue 3: Just Joan
Issue 3: Seen It, Done It, Bought The Wrap Around
Issue 3: Tina Knowles: That’s ‘Miss Tina’ To You
Issue 3: Gossip: Mashed Potato Research
Ponystep Magazine Issue 02 FW11
- Nicola Roberts
- Holly Fulton
- Donatella Versace
- Dame Edna
- Josephine De La Baume
- Erin O’Connor
- Lisa Stansfield
- Pete Burns
- Franca & Carla Sozzani
Issue 02 FW11
It feels longer than six months since I wrote my last editor’s letter. Indeed, it has been something of a rollercoaster ride – an entire season of turbulence, of ups and downs, of indecision and, occasionally, some rather brilliant moments of clarity and vision (though I confess that these were few and far between – it was far from plain sailing!).
That said, I couldn’t be more proud of this issue. It’s taken an exciting new direction artistically under the guidance of our new Creative Director, Peter Hughes, yet overall the magazine still feels very much ‘Ponystep’.
Initially, the issue was going to be called ‘The Woman Issue’ dedicated to women, and women only. While the majority of the issue is simply that, there are exceptions. How could one possibly not want to feature Pete Burns? How could we pass up an opportunity to talk leather luxury with the delightful Stuart Vevers, and how could we refuse Ellen Von Unwerth a couple of hot young chaps? Yes, a few men slipped through the net, but essentially, it is the woman issue. Sort of.
When commissioning the women featured this issue, I felt strongly that we must acknowledge the women around us – around me. While it is all well and good to fill every issue with amazing, beautiful models and celebrities, sometimes its nice to see something else. To read something else. To have an opinion. Each of the women in this issue resonate with me in some way or another – from a very naked Thelma Speirs and a ‘begoggled’ Julie Verhoeven, to Susanne Deeken or Felicity Hayward; these are women I like, respect, and want to spend time with. Why would they not warrant pages?
Of course, I don’t know everyone in the issue personally – though I dream of one day ‘hanging’ with Elvira, of sipping bubbly with Dame Edna, or enjoying a crafty fag with Donatella (I once came very close, but that’s another story). The women featured on our various covers are not obvious cover stars by any stretch of the imagination, but each of them occupy a special place in my heart. Sure, it may be said that I am guilty of self-indulgence, of entertaining personal nostaligia, but how can you not be passionate about the three cover stars? Its not to say that we were not offered scores of models for potential covers – all of whom would have been totally suitable cover material, perhaps even garnering more column inches. Who knows – we can only speculate on that front. What I have come to realize however, and what really hit home this issue, is that we are an independent magazine, we are fortunate enough to have the freedom to push for other extremes, different aesthetics. To offer up something new. And that’s exactly what I feel we have achieved with Issue 2. Our magazine devoted to the less obvious, to the young, to the old. To people like me and to people like you.
— Richard Mortimer, London September 2011
Susanne Deeken – Fashion’s Most Wanted
Issue 2: Franca & Carla – A Fashion Dynasty
Issue 2: Pop Tart
Issue 2: Lisa Stansfield – You Can Take The Girl Out Of Rochdale
Issue 2: The Inimitable Mr. Burns
Issue 2: I Like Fast Cars, Fast Men & Fast Food
Issue 2: Yours Cruelly, Elvira X
Ponystep Magazine Issue 01 SS11
- Kylie Minogue
- Jerry Hall
- Janice Dickinson
- Mark Ronson
- Vidal Sassoon
- Michele Lamy
- Vivienne Westwood
- Katherine Hamnett
Issue 01 SS11
Its been almost eight months to the day that I decided I was ready to move things forward and enter the cut-throat world of independent publishing. On reflection, it was a naively ambitious decision, but ballsy all the same. The mere fact that I am sat writing this editors letter is something of a miracle.
Faced with the prospect of putting together an entire issue, and, more importantly, my first ever issue, I set to thinking about who would feature in the magazine. Who do I love? And thats the thing; ‘who do I love’ - not the latest press obsession, not the latest fashion muse, it had to feel more personal than that. This was my opportunity to feature the bold and beautiful people who somehow inhabit my world.
Those who know me well can testify to my love of popular culture, of icons, of celebrity. I think it’s safe to say that our first ever cover stars tick all these boxes. From the start, I had wanted to include Jerry Hall and Kylie Minogue in the magazine. Both having played a major role in shaping my formative years; Jerry mesmerising me as a small child when I first saw her on tv - that face, the voice, the hair, the stories - to me, she had it all. Andy Warhol. Bryan Ferry. Mick Jagger. Grace Jones. Jerry Hall is the embodiment of glamour. That is not to say it’s been an easy ride - but hey, they build ‘em strong in Texas. And then there’s Kylie - a more omnipresent influence for sure. I have followed Kylie’s career religiously from the start, from her humble beginnings in Neighbours, her first chart hits with Stock, Aitken and Waterman, the deConstruction days, through to the international Showgirl she is today. But, as we are all aware, it wasn’t all plain sailing. And thats what I like. She was once an outsider, dropped by the industry and destined, it seemed, to a life in Z-list obscurity. Through sheer determination and hard graft, Kylie has clawed her way to the top of the industry. Quite a feat.
Not conventional celebrities by any stretch of the imagination, many of the people featured in the issue represent a more modern, colourful world. Janice Dickinson is a prime example. For all the bravado and in your face brashness, there is a softer side to Janice. Insecure even. And it’s important to celebrate the flaws too. Yeah, she’s funny, but she’s also hard as nails. And she’s had to be. She’s an outsider. And I think that is the real voice of this issue. To celebrate the outsider. From Glamourous Monique, to our profile of young London clubkids, every single person featured in the issue we find inspiring in some way - maybe not in an obvious way, but inspiring nonetheless. So, here’s to the outsiders, the mis-fits and the kooks. Keep it up guys. Your country needs you.