mortal remains: the new fashion fanzine inspired by a graveyard, sort of

Take an exclusive look at a new zine from hairstylist Anthony Turner.

by Ryan White
14 February 2019, 4:15pm

There’s a lot to be miserable about in 2019. I needn’t go into what, you already know. If there’s one possibility upon this mortal coil it’s ever present certainty of death. Kind of a morbid thought, but also the starting point for many of the greatest creative endeavours.

Anthony Turner, one of fashion’s most beloved hairstylists, used that very same morbid certainty as the genesis of his new zine. “Well actually it began with a shoot that Sarah Piantadosi and I did with our friend Vander Von Odd, just for a bit of fun," he tells i-D. "The photographs were so great that we wanted to put them somewhere special and unexpected. So we decided to create a zine.” But next came the name. “I walked through a graveyard in Stoke Newington and saw written on a grave ‘The Mortal Remains of Isobel’ I thought that there was something so romantic about this. Like, who is Isobel? I loved this idea. When It came to naming the zine I didn’t want the title to have anything to do with the content so I thought of the mortal remains of Isobel.”

anthony turner

The ensuing project isn’t quite as morbid as the origins of its name suggests. In fact, it’s a optimistic, celebratory, futuristic contemplation of identity. Opening on the poetic words of Italian art and literature critic Mario Praz, Mortal Remains seeks to blur the divisions between us, whilst celebrating the differences via a series of powerful portraits. “Lovers look as though they were related, brothers as though they were lovers, men have the faces of virgins, virgins of youths. The symbols of good and evil are entwined and unequivocally confused. There is no difference between sexes, ages or types,” are the chosen words taken from Praz’s The Romantic Agony. “It was Sarah’s idea to add that. She was reading Mario Rez and sent me this particular poem and it resonated so much with the zine. We had to add it.”

anthony turner

“Sarah and I really wanted to document young people now," Anthony explains. "The casting is a mix of friends and people we found from Instagram. Inclusivity played a huge part in the casting. We wanted to give people a platform for them to showcase themselves. All the people in this zine believe in themselves and that’s really inspiring to me. What you see in the photographs is who these people really are. The hair is tweaked, obviously, but apart from that, what you see is truly them.”

A little reminiscent of David Sims in the 90s, and street-style imagery of the 80s, the zine captures dramatic beauty looks and styles with an authenticity that’s hard to feign. But with years of experience working with the biggest names, designers and publications in fashion, it’s all in a day’s work for Anthony -- though he still learned a lot in the process. “I was very uneducated, but definitely not ignorant, to the kids who identified as non-binary and genderfluid, so shooting them gave me the opportunity to learn. I’m in awe of all of them. My respect and admiration for all the people we shot is limitless.”

'Mortal Remains' is available to preorder here.

This article originally appeared on i-D UK.

Mortal Remains
anthony turner