Bleach, the Austin-based online multi-media magazine that continually brings us crisp, beautiful showcases of independent artists and their work, is giving us something new to lust over in their upcoming issue: Men!
For “Wood and Skin,” the magazine’s first photoshoot catered exclusively to men, Bleach “wanted something different, wanted to be out of the studio,” Jacqueline Fernandez, founder and executive editor, explained to me. We were standing on rocks inside a damp but mostly dried-out creek bed in North Austin, a sort of strange but lovely scene that felt distinctively 'Austin' as a handful of local artists stepped, stumbled and slid their way onto “set.”
Photographer Katy Shayne Stroud, who often features natural, earthy elements in her work, was “a perfect fit,” explained Fernandez, who was looking for something a bit more raw and natural — more masculine — than Bleach had done in the past. Shroud’s style is typically more feminine, but she immediately looked at home working among the rocks and dirt. Stomping her black retro short booties in and out of puddles, snapping shots and giving direction to model Brian Griswold, Shroud looked confident and comfortable (not to mention totally hip and adorable, dressed in skinny black pants and a red blazer — no small feat for 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning).
Hunter Lohse of The Dapper Tramp styled the shoot, putting together three vintage, handsomely rugged looks that featured accessories like a Turkey Beard necklace by Rima Hyena and Cuffs by fail+CANOE. Vanessa Powers of Bird’s Barbershop took care of the hair. “Birds [Barbershop] has been so supportive of Bleach,” said Fernandez, “it was great to get a chance to include them.”
The finished set won’t be published until "Tokyo Plum" launches on Feb. 29, but check out the images in our slideshow for an exclusive sneak peek. “I’m really happy with how it turned out,” Fernandez says, admitting she had been a little nervous about how it would go, since no one involved had ever worked together. The success of the shoot is a testament to the most impressive thing behind Fernandez and her work with Bleach — which is that her forward-thinking artistic vision includes seeing and facilitating opportunities for creative collaboration within the local Austin community.
All that collaboration doesn’t just make a smart, bold and beautiful issue (which, judging by this teaser video, “Tokyo Plum” is absolutely going to be), it also means there'll be a kick ass party.
Fernandez said the issue name comes from the “bright, poppy-ness of Tokyo” and the “sweet, colorful introduction to spring” a plum brings. The Bleach "Tokyo Plum" issue launch party on Feb. 29 at Beauty Bar looks like it’s going to be every bit as fun and vibrant as the name suggests, with popcorn provided by Cornucopia, mini pop-up shops by Laced with Romance and Dog & Pony and drink specials all night long.
Last (but certainly not least), the party will feature special guest DJ appearances, including a set by GRIMES, who will be in town to perform a sold-out show at Lambert's earlier in the evening. (Listen to her single "Genesis" here.)
The "Tokyo Plum" issue launch goes down on Feb. 29. Check out the official Facebook event page for more party details.