We’ve been carefully following (stalking) the every move of Accent magazine since 2013 when it existed as an online quarterly. “A global celebration of lives lived outside the ordinary”, Accent gives a space to the people whose “wild and wacky” stories may otherwise be lost.
Ahead of the launch of Accent’s second printed issue this Thursday, Accent magazine’s founding editors Lydia Garnett and Lucy Nurnberg and the magazine’s art director Luke Tudor Griffiths take It’s Nice That through their next issue.
Andrew Logan and Lucia Lucas: the cover stars
We’ve got two very special cover stars this issue – Andrew Logan, the eccentric artist and founder of the legendary dress-up pageant, Alternative Miss World, and Lucia Lucas: a transgender opera diva who transitioned earlier this year to become one of the world’s only female baritones. When we choose to put someone on the cover its because they’ve got something to say and they’re fearlessly original. These two embody that and more!
“There’s nothing to be fearful of. The world is a wonderful place – that’s what we have to keep as our vision.” Andrew Logan
We’d been wanting to do a piece with Andrew Logan for a long time. He’s one of the great English eccentrics of our time, his art is completely joyful, and by creating Alternative Miss World he has helped shape modern culture, fashion and art. We drove down to meet him in the middle of rural Wales, where he now lives in the same small village that holds his personal sculpture museum. Andrew and his partner Michael gave us the warmest welcome, serving up tea and Welsh cakes as Andrew gave us a tour of his immaculate wardrobe – a dazzling selection of multicoloured silk suits, custom-made for him in India.
The printed article is a massive love letter to Andrew, with tributes from some of his many friends and admirers like Grayson Perry, Zandra Rhodes and Duggie Fields. We combined it into a double feature with an archive piece on Alternative Miss World, featuring some of the best backstage snaps from the events since it began in 1972.
“In mainstream opera they’ve been queering it for a long time. Lots of productions will switch the genders of roles or drag up performers. But when you have a trans person doing it, all of a sudden some people’s heads explode.” – Lucia Lucas
An opera director friend, Finn Beames, introduced us to our other cover star: the transgender opera singer Lucia Lucas. We met her on set in London and had the best day together. She’s like the coolest big sister you could have. She’s so comfortable with her body now that in many of the pics she’s semi-nude. We decided to use one of the topless shots for the cover because she looks so gorgeous and confident. We asked Lucia to tell us the story of her transition in her own words: it’s wise, funny and inspiring.
Entertainment is a loose theme to the issue. From Lucia, who is changing perceptions every time she steps out on stage, to Andrew, who really set the scene for London club culture by creating Alternative Miss World. Elsewhere in the mag, our supporting cast of characters includes a band of young urban cowboys in New Orleans who show out at the Sunday second lines on horseback, the makers of wild and wacky art cars from across the United States, for whom every trip to the grocery store is like being centre of a parade, and the dapper pantsula dancers of South Africa’s townships. The issue is dedicated to everyone who makes the world a little more fun.
Behind the Scenes
What happens behind the scenes makes a massive difference to the outcome. For every story we will sit down and really interrogate the story and the characters – this work helps to illustrate the theatricality of this issue. Accent has become truly collaborative. It’s a lot easier to work when you are in the same place and you’re happy to go crazy together. Listening to Prince and Madonna whilst drinking so much coffee that your sweat turns brown is euphoric. Collaboration is king!
For this issue, we focused on ‘editorialising’ the mag. We wrangled the designs, or voices, of each character in the issue, until we had something that felt authentic. We’ve continued to develop the concept of photographic packaging such as the repeated numbers, the photographic colours and the masthead. Also the foil will be making an appearance again, this time featuring doodles from the fantastic Andrew Logan.
We won’t create a template or hard and fast rules, we’ll simply stay true to the spirit of Accent.
Accent magazine launches this Thursday 29 September at Society Club, Cheshire Street, Shoreditch.
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