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ALL-IN No. 6
Bernadette CorporationPhotography Brianna Capozzi, Styling Emma Wyman

ALL-IN magazine hits pause on fashion’s interminable quest for newness

The annual publication and its accompanying collection bring together Miguel Androver, Natasha Stagg, and Bernadette Corporation

The 1995 documentary Unzipped opens with Isaac Mizrahi at a New York newsstand. It’s 6AM the morning after his SS94 show and he’s flipping through industry magazine WWD to find a review. It’s a bad one. The rest of the film follows Mizrahi as he attempts to undo the negative press and redeem himself with a Nanook-inspired AW94 collection. It’s a ridiculous snapshot of what fashion was like in the 1990s – all supermodels and “Eskimo Chic” – where scathing and silver-tongued criticism was par for the course. That’s increasingly rare, but when Benjamin Barron launched his sixth ALL-IN collection, he invited Vogue Runway Rag – a blistering reimagining of what might be written if Vogue was honest in its reviews – to put his work on blast. “It was fun for us to be taken apart,” Barron says.

ALL-IN – which started out as a publication before it also became a brand – is a fashion person’s fashion magazine. This particular issue includes rare interviews with Spanish fashion designer Miguel Androver and the elusive artist Bernadette Van-Huy alongside editorials shot by Brianna Capozzi and Anders Edström with Emma Wyman and Danny Reed on the fashion. But ALL-IN’s obsession with the lore that collects around the 90s also seems to have adopted the precocious, tongue-in-cheek tone of the era’s upstart magazines. In a fictional press release, Natasha Stagg challenges the fashion writers of today to turn out 500 words “without alliteration or double entendre; no tired aphorisms or puns made from old movie titles, Truman Capote quotes, or 70s rock song lyrics.” 

So convincing is that foreword that when Stagg begins a diatribe on the colour red, I ask Barron what the big deal is. “That was not actually written with ALL-IN or any of its collections specifically in mind,” he reminds me. “It’s completely made up. We love red!” The meta-ness of it all had obviously been lost on me. “We are here to celebrate artifice, why wouldn’t a writer want to take part in the drama?” Does that mean that this ALL-IN edition and its accompanying collection had not been inspired by “a dream” then? “It was born from an exhibition we saw at the Musée Yves Saint Laurent, which highlighted the process behind developing a collection. It showcased sketches, patterns, hat moulds, and tech packs that had been isolated from the final garment,” Barron says. “It’s the beauty of the object that is created before the final product. 

Fashion is a system of obsolescence, it feeds on and spits out novelty at breakneck speed, but the locus of ALL-IN is to position the creative process above the race to create something new. The magazine has therefore been hand-bound in ribbons while the collection has been upcycled from flea-market finds – heels from scrap wood, skirts from upside-down jumpers, capes from literal chairs: strange experiments which evoke a feeling of haphazard craftsmanship. “The magazine and the clothes continually respond to each other and our next collection will develop some of these thoughts in a different context,” Barron says. “Because if what you make needs to be replaced by something new all the time, what is the value of the time you put into creating it?” 

Click through the gallery above to see a preview of the sixth issue of ALL-IN and click here to shop.