BEYOND — Supernatural takes us beyond expectations and tests our imagination to suggest new futures and ways of being. While many disciplines are able
to explore this theme, it is fashion that is most notable as a conduit for the supernatural. As representation but importantly as an embodied practice, fashion image makers and designers can envision both wild fantasies of what might be possible, and conjure our dreams.
These imaginings are important — to visualise, confront and subvert individual and collective desires and fears, and to test out new ideas concerning bodies and their adornment. Importantly, fashion can also hover between states, inhabit liminal spaces, to create clothes and pictures that embrace uncertainty — potentially frightening and exciting in equal measure.
Pan — Issue 5 elevates the potential to contemplate the beyond — and presents images and words that show how dress, beauty and art can combine to provide new vistas, at a moment in history when fashion’s utopias seem more necessary than ever. If we are confined to home to shelter from a pandemic, we must turn to inner worlds for sustenance.
We can escape into lush visions and toy with the uncanny through its pages, transported by a series of commissioned pieces that explore the theme of the supernatural.
A culmination of Pan’s previous topics: Emperor’s New Clothes, La Belle
et la Bête, Trip to the Moon, Ghost Stories — each created a dreamscape that hovered between real, unreal and surreal, wove narratives of style and art, and brought together writers and artists who used each theme as a prompt to consider tensions between what we see and how we feel. In this issue,Pan constructs a (mostly) visual world to comfort, tantalise and challenge.
Supernatural entails entwined elements:
SURREALISM — faces blurred through movement, strange combinations and playful twists and turns. Man Ray and Cocteau haunt the pages and animate images half remembered from dreams.
A RT I F I C E — mutable bodies, clothes that redefine the silhouette, beauty that refuses to simply embellish the supposed ‘natural.’ Faces are not just painted and powdered, but squeezed and pushed, making us see and feel the changes wrought by cosmetics — and time.
UNCANNY — jarring reimaginings of the everyday, metamorphosis and uncertainty. Animals become mannequins become models wearing clothes that are somehow simultaneously two and three dimensional.
UTOPIAS — if our minds are sufficiently freed, then perhaps we can translate these dreams into something tangible — a more sustainable and inspir- ing world.
We can all become supernatural ... even if only for a moment in a dream.
Words by Rebecca Arnold, Senior Lecturer in History of Dress and Textiles, The Courtauld Institute of Art
The issue includes 26 lift out posters all 42cm x 60cm
Alex Foxton, Bill Mullen, Billy & Hells, Christina Zimpel, David A. Keeps, Deborah Turbeville, Elizaveta Porodina, Harry Lambert, Marcia Resnick, Marcus Schaefer, Nadav Kander, Paul Westlake, Pierre-Alexandre Fillaire, Polly Borland, Ralph Whitehead, Rupert Shrive, Sayaka Maruyama, Todd Hido, Urs Lüthi and many more...
42 × 31 cm, Softcover, 2021,