pacific standard

Images from a fashion spread shot by New York-based Spokane native Michael Donovan.

At last week’s roll-out of craftandculture.com Ledger, I heard someone say, "Everyone in Seattle is doing a magazine these days."

Not strictly true, although there are a number of printed editions circulating the Ballard-Belltown-Capitol Hill loop lately. Most notably: the image-based Day Night from the Object camp a few months back; the aforementioned Ledger, which is really more like a fashion newspaper given its newsprint format; and, as of the Saturday, June 23 release party, to which you are invited, the art, music, fashion, and photography-angled Pacific Standard.

I got a sneak preview of the fat and luscious book-like volume last week—full disclosure, publishers Strath Shepard and Emily Shepard Smith are good friends of mine, as are many of the contributors, and my words and work appear in the first issue—and spoke to Moscow, Idaho–native Shepard Smith about taking a Northwest perspective on fashion pages.

WWW: What were your goals in presenting, in particular, the fashion spreads in Pacific Standard? What did you want to say about the style here?

Shepard Smith: The idea of opposites in fashion has always been really compelling—the high-low mix, masculine and feminine together, or pairing some classic, minimal outfit or utilitarian piece with some major accessory: Carhartts with a crazy pair of Gucci platforms, or a men’s Filson jacket with over-the-knee boots—that kind of thing. I love the idea of being able to express inner contradictions in a tangible form through the clothes we wear. And I think that the contrasts serve to highlight what is fantastic about each opposing sensibility.

When we started talking about the kind of fashion editorials we wanted to present in Pacific Standard, the first thing that came to mind was drawing a really clear distinction between hard-core city dressing and the rawness of nature.

What do you hope people outside and inside Seattle will see and feel when they see the spreads?

The goal behind the fashion we show is one of encouraging people who want to be a little more experimental or committed and who are always trying to up their urban game, but can still appreciate the sticks. We used to joke about how one of our ideal reader would be the girl who is at the gallery opening on Friday night wearing Margiela with a pair of Tributes on her feet and a glass of Lillet in her hand (although in my case it would probably be a can of Rainier), and who then wakes up the next morning and throws her beat-up stuff into the back of her Land Rover and spends the weekend in the middle of nowhere wearing some old Pendleton or White Stag she thrifted—or, God forbid, a fleece from REI!

It’s similar to what I wanted to show in our recent fall fashion editorial; practical and luxurious aren’t mutually exclusive; neither are homemade and worldly.

There is this idea, not just here but everywhere, that someone who really loves the outdoors can’t embrace amazing, impractical fashion, that it’s somehow shallow or that people of substance should look down on it. And the flip side is there too: a belief that anyone who’s into fashion doesn’t have any business touching a Gore-Tex parka with a 10-foot pole.

Part of what we want to do is to encourage people who don’t agree, and maybe make the people who do, rethink their point of view. And if along the way we can use our stunning natural scenery as a backdrop, the more the better!

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Whether you’re agreeing wholeheartedly in Woolrich or raising an eyebrow in Prada (or some variation of vice-versa), you’re invited to join contributors like Kyle Johnson, Lily Raskind, Izzie Klingels, and Andrew Matson at Shepard’s studio and gallery, Land Management, between 6 and 10 on Saturday to celebrate and get a look at what will certainly be a talked-about and shared publication.