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Review of the Year 2015: Top 25 Features

Including a day with Pentagram, a long conversation with an angry McBess and a journey into the world of tranny boxing – these are the long reads that grabbed your attention.

  • Francoise-mouly_interview_int_list Features / Illustration The New Yorker art editor Françoise Mouly on what makes an unforgettable cover

    In 1968, as student protests swept through Paris and the world seemed full of hope and on the brink of real, lasting change, Françoise Mouly had a front row seat. Aged 13, she had stayed in the city with her father while her mother and sisters joined the evacuation. “It was a great, great time,” she remembers. “Usually I don’t like crowds but there’s something really nice about that shared belief that you can actually change the world.

    5
    Rob Alderson
  • Mahaney_130125_apartamento_bob_gill_0011-its-nice-that-list Features / Graphic Design Designer, proselytiser and visual communication critic: an interview with the inimitable Bob Gill

    During Bob Gill’s time in London in the 1960s, the BBC invited him on to a children’s TV show where he was to draw along live as an actor read the nursery rhyme Rub-a-dub-dub. The producer said Bob could make some faint outline sketches before filming began but he refused to even read a proffered copy of the story, committed as he was to doing it in real time. As the cameras rolled though, he soon found himself hopelessly behind and by the end the paper was covered in a series of meaningless marks. “They were so angry,” he laughs. “I thought they were going to kill me!” True to form he’s turned this into a great anecdote which he tells with relish, but it says something important about his creative integrity too.

    6
    Rob Alderson
  • Dazed-new-list Features / Graphic Design "Everything has changed": new Dazed art director Jamie Reid talks us through the mag's redesign

    After graduation, most people face a brief period of jubilation, a longer comedown, and an even longer period of “what the fuck do I do with my life now.” But once these jitters have passed, if you’re driven (and a bit lucky) a few years can sail past and you gently get your nervous little feet in the door, and pedal them up some sort of mythical “career ladder.” Few people go from graduate to art director of Dazed in the space of four years. But that’s what Essex-born, sharp-as-a-tack young designer Jamie Reid did. And not just that, but in his first two months in the job, his team redesigned the whole damn thing. In the true spirit of the mag, they ripped it up and started all over again.

    9
    Emily Gosling
  • Workwear-camille-walala-itsnicethat-list Features / Workwear Workwear: mural artist Camille Walala walks us through her wardrobe

    With Fashion Month kicking off today with the first day of New York Fashion Week, we’re launching the first in our latest Workwear series of features which look to find out what creatives really wear to work and why. There’ll be another five fab dressers coming up over the course of the next four weeks, all of whom were shot by Elliot Kennedy.

    10
    Maisie Skidmore
  • Charles-traub-itsnicethat-list Features / Photography Up close with an eccentric and colourful cast of 70s passers-by, courtesy of Charles Traub

    “As we walk up and down streets in big cities you look at people, you exchange glances,” says Charles Traub. “There’s something nice about being noticed, whether it’s a slight flirtation or just a feeling that in another context you’d like to know someone.” Long before the cult of street photography became somewhat hackneyed, Charles was on the streets of Chicago and New York picking out faces from the stream of passers-by. During his lunch breaks when working at Columbia College Chicago and New York’s Light Gallery in the late 1970s, Charles would stand on busy street corners with his Rolleiflex and wait for the world to walk past. Between 1977 and 1980 he took some 400 portraits of strangers with disarming and revelatory intimacy, and his favourites have just been published in his new book Lunchtime.

    20
    Alexander Hawkins
  • 00_%e2%80%93_aa_studio_list_1448x948 Features / Graphic Design Aesthetics, academia and architecture: inside the cool, considered world of AA Print Studio

    If people are a product of their environment, then perhaps an aesthetic can be a product of the environment it was made in, too. This less-than-scientific hypothesis came to us sitting in the quiet, calm and studious environment of the AA Print Studio offices, where some of the most beautiful, considered in-house graphic design of the last decade has been quietly pushed out into the world.

    21
    Emily Gosling
  • David-luraschi-itsnicehtta-list Features / Photography Prolific iPhone photographer David Luraschi takes to the streets of New York

    Paris-based photographer David Luraschi hasn’t spent time in New York City for a good while now, so when the opportunity arose to pass a few weeks wandering the city, visiting friends and snapping people on the street unawares, as is his wont, he grabbed it. “I kind of revisited my experience as an American in America,” he says. “I always forget how monumental it is – not necessarily the architecture but just the size and the amount of people. I think that is always surprising.”

    22
    Maisie Skidmore