Writing an editorial doesn’t mean much else other than expressing a certain feeling. But while finishing this issue I began to feel free. OK, maybe that too is an illusion. Who believes in freedom anymore?
It’s too passé, too far gone, too naïve, or whatever. We look only to survive, whether we’re old, young, rich, poor, lucky or unlucky. There are no more illusions in the balmy winter of global warming.
People around me believe in money, art, disasters, apocalypses, drugs, philosophers, parties, music, sometimes politics, or even in love, but not in freedom. So why do I feel free, maybe for the first time in my life?
For this summer issue — the 40th anniversary of the summer of love — why did I want to do interviews about freedom? Sexual liberators like Betony Vernon, experimenters like the American artist Richard Prince, dark stars like the poetic designer Alexander McQueen, a young actress trying to free herself from Hollywood obsessions, Paz de La Huerta, and designer Martin Margiela, who has always been disengaged from trends and global mediocrity. Actor Jared Leto incarnated John Lennon’s overweight assassin by fattening himself up. David Lynch talks deeply about meditation. William Eggleston and his daughter meet Charlotte Rampling for a shoot with Juergen Teller, and no shortage from alcohol. Chan Marshall seems to be freer than ever on stage. As the paranoid post–9⁄11 decade nears its end, what’s inspiring are people who think freely. They are the ones who can kill all the invading monsters of these dark times: pandemics, terrorism, traumas, excesses, fears, bad taste, and neurotic obsessions with celebrity. Clearly we are entering a period of collective indifference which is maybe a way to reject chaos and fears that are taking over. A period of electronic interactivity, where places like MySpace create its own social order and maybe a different set of hierarchies and aesthetics. I’d like to think we’re facing a new time when we can be ourselves, without the closed-door paranoia. Maybe it’s time to think about freedom, in a radical way.
— OLIVIER ZAHM
p.s. It’s been a year now that M/M (Paris) — call them graphic designers, art directors or artists in their own right— have helped me redefine the shape of purple fashion. After the last two issues, they felt the need to add a parallel track, a distinct layer of subjectivity to the magazine, and consequently they asked Christophe Brunnquell, long-time purple collaborator, to provide them with a set of drawings, which he made while laying out this issue. The result is a series of inserts, injections that pop up through the following pages, complementing, and commenting poetically on, the magazine’s content.