Eschewing fashion publishing’s slick clichés in favour of something more “instinctual, clumsy and raw”, alt mag GUT strives to transport the reader to a different world. This is particularly true for its second installment – The Magic Issue – which launches tonight, Halloween, and is filled with “cave trolls, witches, distinguished wizards, toads and occult runaways.”
“We’re hugely inspired by magic, other worlds and medieval art, which is mainly about religion and therefore monsters and magic as it was these things that ruled the minds of people during that time,” says Ami Evelyn Hughes – who heads up the magazine with Georgia Kemball. “Luckily for us it left behind thousands of incredible pieces of art depicting Satan, the gods, mystical creatures and made up places representing heaven, purgatory and hell.”
“What we really want to do with GUT is create a world that the reader can step into,” she goes on. “I think this is one of the huge driving forces of the mag and actually why we've both bought mags in the past as it offers an escape from the drab and mundane into another world of splendour and magic.” With a list of contributors that includes Ditto founder Ben Freeman, photographer Joshua Gordon and model-slash-muse Jess Maybury, that’s exactly what they’ve done.
Magic is imbued into every page of this issue, from an editorial where Gordon and Maybury represent the devil to a shoot by Hughes and Kemball that’s inspired by Scottish folklore and witches – there’s even a sense of the occultic in the layout and typeface, which are modelled after old books and medieval fonts.
The Magic Issue also represents the duo’s second collaboration with designer and artist Claire Barrow who lent them clothes from her archive for their Scottish witches shoot. “We love Claire Barrow and her work, it really sums up GUT – a beautiful combination of the handmade, with a strong narrative and a deliciously seedy undertone. She uses her heart and her hands within her work, she paints and draws and uses themes that are also close to our hearts… We only wish we could wear full Claire Barrow every day!”