confused? mushpit zine founders bertie brandes and charlotte roberts have all the answers

Boys, single girl stereotypes and bad advice? Find the answers to all your questions with Char and Bertie of The Mushpit.

by Tish Weinstock
Nov 27 2014, 12:35pm

Born in 2011 out of some intense girl talk sessions, Mushpit is the brainchild of bffs Bertie Brandes and Char Roberts. Like J17 but for grown-ups, the zine aims to challenge the unrealistic representation of women in the media, using a handful of new gen photographers, stylists, and street cast models as fresh alternatives to what you see in mainstream magazines. With their 6th issue just hitting the shelves, we catch up with the dreamy duo to talk about kissing boys, Matthew McConaughey, and what makes a good zine come true.

When did you first start Mushpit and what's the story behind its name?
Our first issue came out in November 2011, we moved in together with a mutual friend and bonded over a love of classic teen magazines and bad advice. The name came from a hilariously swanky/very tasteless flat we lived in in Dalston back in 2011. It's a combination of plush (the flat), mushroom (the colour of the carpet) and moshpit (because lol).

Who is the typical Mushpit reader?
There is nothing typical when it comes to Mushpit! Basically it's for people that have the capability to be incredibly freaked out by any and everything varying from a fashion party, a date, a deadline, a job interview or just life in general. So pretty much everyone. The key is having a sense of humour. We like to laugh. A lot.

Is Mushpit boy friendly?
Absolutely! We always catch boys with their noses sneakily in a Mushpit when they come over. Also a lot of boys buy it online.

What can we expect from the Confusion Issue?
A lot of fonts… No but really it's the culmination of loads of confusing stuff that's happened to both of us over the past year or so. Each issue is always a real marker point in both our lives and we ended up channelling a lot of neuroses and angst into it. We've also got really, really beautiful fashion stories but in a typically non-fashiony Mushpit way and of course all the old favourites like "lies you tell", Big Momma Bruce, centrefolds, quizzes and lots more.

Who are your favourite new gen stylists, writers and photographers at the moment?
We love Tyrone Lebon of course! And Maxwell Tomlinson and Rory DCS are Mush pin ups too. We just produced the Claire Barrow spring/summer 15 campaign with Eloise Parry who shot some amazing portraits for this issue, she's so brilliant, and Oliver Hadlee Pearch is an old fave, he shot the cover of issue 4. The illustrator Esme Blegvad is beyond amazing, we love SHOWstudio, The BEAT, Petra Collins and obviously Tavi is forever amazing. So many!

Why do you think it is that more and more people are starting to make zines?
Print is really integral to what Mushpit is, it makes our typos, lo-res images and hundreds of badly thought out (jokes) in (brackets) 100x funnier. Well, to us anyway. At the moment print is sort of fresh and nostalgic at the same time, which is really interesting. Also it's really satisfying and fun and you can drop your magazine on the floor in front of people you fancy as a talking point.

What makes a good zine?
Having a unique voice and its heart in the right place.

What's the best thing about being a girl right now?
Being alive at the same time as Matthew McConaughey.

What's the worst?
Being undermined or overlooked because of how you look or sound.

What advice would you give to all the lonely hearts during the festive season?
Take your tights off before you go into the party (but DEFINITELY keep them in your bag for the bus home). A light, not-at-all subtle dusting of glitter everywhere. Copious amounts of mulled cider, gold leaf vodka and whatever you can ransack from your parents alcohol cupboard next time you're home for a seasonal get together.

Who do you want to kiss under the mistletoe this year?
Bertie: Matthew McConaughey duh.
Char: My boyfriend Charlie Fegan (BIT SOPPY), he did the text for our front cover so he definitely deserves a snog.


Text Tish Weinstock
Photography James A. Grant
Styling Claudia Sinclair
Model Konan Hanbury @ Models1
Hair Loren Miles @ Bleach using Bumble & bumble
All clothing Beyond Retro
From The Musphit Issue 6

Bertie Brandes
Char Roberts
James A. Grant
claudia sinclair
confusion issue
issue 6