exclusive preview: the new 'polyester zine' is the best issue yet
With a 14 page editorial by Edward Meadham, an interview with JD Samson, and shoots from Maisie Cousins, Parker Day, Ashley Armitage and more, Issue Five is the perfect antidote to post-Brexit blues.
Anna Dobos for Polyester Zine
Polyester Zine's blockbuster fourth issue featured self-publishing legend Tavi Gevinson on its cover and interviews with Sanam Sindhi (of Rihanna video fame) and London drag artist Victoria Sin. It also set a pretty high bar for Polyester's much-anticipated fifth offering. Fortunately, editor Ione Gamble and her newly expanded crew brought the full force of their feminist fire to the challenge, and have returned with another brilliant, radical roster for Issue Five.
Ahead of the launch party this Saturday at Moth Club — where there will be performances and DJ sets by DIANA, Edward Meadham, Moonchild, Lu Williams and the Reel Good Film Club — i-D caught up with Ione to take an exclusive peek inside the glittering pages of her scene-stealing zine.
What has the Polyester team been up to since Issue Four?
Working on Issue Five, mainly! This issue is our biggest yet, so we're excited about that. We also brought two new people on to the team: Eilidh Duffy is now junior editor and photographer Chloe Sheppard is my new art director who helped me with the layout for Issue Five. It's been really nice to have some new voices contribute to this issue.
What will we find inside Issue Five?
Sex and self help columns, shoots by photographers such as Maisie Cousins, Parker Day, Ashley Armitage, Chloe Sheppard, Rachel Hodgson, Tayler Smith, and more featuring people such as film producer and activist Chloe Feller, performance artist Liv Fontaine, Discwoman in conversation with SIREN collective, Le Tigre's JD Samson and loads more! Edward Meadham also worked on a 14 page editorial for the issue which is amazing. We shot musician HANA with Hobbes Ginsberg for one of our double covers; the other is shot by Edward.
You note in your editor's letter that a lot has changed in the world. How did that feed into the issue?
The EU referendum took place while most of the content was already wrapped up, but it definitely changed how I view the issue in retrospect. Not so much the decision to exit itself, although that's obviously really bad, but the fallout following the decision — suddenly everything seemed really quite dark and hopeless. More than anything, it made me want to produce something that was almost an antidote to the hopelessness, sadness, and anger everyone is feeling at the moment and celebrate the artists and community that exists surrounding Polyester.
If you had to sum up the new issue in a few favorite quotes, what would they be?
"Lateral violence is a really real trend right now and it's really dangerous... It's really important to look at what else is happening because we live in these bubbles, and we get so deep into our bubbles and being perfect within them — but we also forget that we're really progressive, radical people and there's a lot to fight besides each other," - JD Samson.
"1) At what point did you decide the original version of yourself wasn't enough? 2) What if femininity could be something I embody with my soul and my actions instead of a prescriptive set of characteristics that make me feel bad about myself? 3) I want to be pretty, but even more than that I don't want to want to be pretty," - from Ashley Armitage's beauty manifesto, said by one of her muses.
On minority representation: "The mainstream media don't let people define themselves and that's where a lot of shit comes from, not even asking the question of 'How do you want to be represented? How do you want this to go?'. Why can't you talk about this artist producing some really amazing work that's powerful and influential? Why do you have to make it a niche thing? You code it that way and that's how people are going to see it and consume it forever," - Chloe Feller
"Respect is not easily taught but we'll just have to force it on people," - HANA
"When have you ever heard of a man being called histrionic? No, that one's just for us over-emotional, fuck anyone, disturbed with daddy issues and drinking problems type of girls," - Liv Fontaine
Text Charlotte Gush