The latest magazine created by former POP editor in chief Dasha Zhukova hits newstands later this month. Well, 'newstands' is perhaps incorrect: Garage - an oversized glossy tome of considerable heft - is set to sell at high-end magazine retailers and more than a few galleries.
In fact, that's the ethos of the magazine as a whole - titled after Zhukova's Garage Center for Contemporary Culture in Moscow and exploring the intersection between the art and fashion worlds. Opening the magazine, that's the first thing that hits you. The pages are peppered with high-fashion - as you would imagine from any contemporary style bible - but equally present is high-art. You don't even need to crack the spine to tell that: the first issue of Garage has three different versions, sporting varied covers. That has become a standard magazine practise in recent years - however, less standard is the fact that one sees model Lily Donaldson transformed into a bulbous-headed doll in Nick Knight and Dinos Chapman's collaboration; one sports a smiley-faced Richard Prince print, and a third is photographed by Hedi Slimane but features no fashion at all. It does, however, feature a Damien Hirst tattoo across model Shauna Taylor's crotch - hidden for modesty's sake (and legality) by a peel-off butterfly.
Garage is the latest in a series of art-fashion ventures, where the merger of the worlds have become less of a collision and more of a collaboration. Back in February, the Gagosian Gallery Paris mounted Fleurs d'Excès, an exhibition of narcotic-inspired jewellery by Christian Dior designer Victoire de Castellane; London designer Richard Nicoll has been collaborating with seminal punk artist Linder Sterling for two years; and Louis Vuitton has plans for a 'Foundation for Creation' to launch next year, matching their contemporary art-stuffed flagships worldwide (we're talking original Koons and Murakami here, not a Picasso print in a dodgy clip-frame).
But Garage takes this to a different level. We offered a sneak preview back in June, streaming Nick Knight's collaboration with Dinos Chapman live from the studio floor (the editorial images will be showcased on site in line with the magazine's publication during London Fashion Week), and the collaborations through the magazine continue in the same vein, with pieces from Marina Abramović, Paul McCarthy and Matthew Day Jackson rubbing shoulders with the fashion world elite like Joan Juliet Buck and Giovanna Battaglia, who crafts a series of garments from foodstuffs. Culinary couture or Cuisine-art? A McQueen ballgown rendered in lush lettuce fronds and Vuitton fur coat executed entirely from walnuts definitely tread the line.
That's fashion going art, but Pinar Yolaçan's work seemed to be art going fashion - her figures were swathed head-to-toe in instantly recognisable Missoni fabrics, faces limbs and even bodies obscured by the vibrant graphics of the fabrics, with more than an air of Leigh Bowery, the grandmaster of s-art-orial extremism, about them. It brings a whole new meaning to the term 'making an exhibition of oneself.' Knight and Chapman's collaboration is intriguing because it fuses the trademarks of both: the macabre, distorted vision of Dinos Chapman, so often obsessed with twisted notions of innocence combines with Knight's urge to push the technical boundaries of image-making and his continuing exploration of ideas of beauty outside of the still-strict confines of fashion's 'norm'. The result? Lily Donaldson as photoshopped Blythe doll in a subversive playhouse pock-marked with glory-holes and anarchic graffiti, but dressed in the best of Autumn/Winter 2011 from Marc Jacobs, Miu Miu and Mary Katrantzou.