Dazed and Confused’s name signalled their approach to culture – falling into the new, happening on it – giving readers both a sense of cultural discovery and the adrenalin that comes with making things up as you are going along.
Hard to believe that before two unknowns, Rankin and Jefferson Hack, decided the world needed another style magazine – three pages of black and white that folded into a poster – there was no Dazed and Confused. 20 years on it survives unlike other youth culture magazines such as The Face. Hack told Olivier Zahm from Purple Fashion magazine that Dazed was initially,
“Totally self-distributed. It was like a manifesto. When you opened it out, you had editorial on one side and a whole poster image on the other. The idea was that kids could paste it on their wall. But it took a long time. It was a year between the first and second issues, and then another three months before the third. We started using staples in issue four, and to perfect binding in issue 20.”
Their anniversary cover is directed by Givenchy creative director Riccardo Tisci collaborating with former Dazed fashion director Katy England and artist Matthew Stone to create what Dazed describe as a “darkly decadent extravaganza.”
With the headline Come Together signaling a huge array of contributors, the cover image captures Dazed’s hybrid of art, fashion, style and music. The magazine has always tapped into youth culture’s unique mix of blind confidence and charming awkwardness, and their anniversary shoot is a great example of that sensibility.