A little while back I was approached by photographer and editor Mathew Keller to see if I would do a review of the magazine In Retrospect. As a subscriber already I, of course, jumped at the chance but it’s taken me a while to get my butt in gear and actually do it.
In Retrospect is a quarterly periodical that focuses on all things old, old fashioned or retro styled. It covers all aspects of the vintage life from fashion, culture, design, social history, music, travel and much more. Their tagline ‘A Modern Magazine for Old Fashioned People’ describes them perfectly and is something that really resonates with me, which is why I ended up immediately ordering the latest edition when I first came across them.
Mathew, along with other familiar names from the vintage scene, pin-up model Ava Aviación, award-winning blogger G. M. Norton and mid-century enthusiast Rebecca Mountfield (better known as Bookish Becca), make up the truly original editorial team. They cleverly take the best of both worlds using modern techniques to create a wonderfully stylish magazine and filling it with oodles of interesting pieces with their feet planted firmly in the past.
Each beautiful A4 edition is generously packed with a whopping 130 pages making it a really weighty magazine and, unlike many other magazines, there is a much larger percentage of actual content compared to the advertising. The cover has a matt finish and inside every page is lovely and glossy which makes you want to display it on your coffee table for everyone to flip through. This all adds up to a read where you absolutely get your money’s worth.
The fashion articles cover both men and women’s styles and there’s both photoshoot spreads set in perfectly suited locations and in-depth articles covering things like Christian Dior, Make Do & Accessorize, The Pencil Skirt and my personal favourite 1930s Beach Pyjamas. There’s a variety of eras covered but I would say the majority of articles range from the 1930s to the 1950s.
You’ll also find long forgotten recipes for both food and drink (the cocktail ones are my favourite!), as well as articles about different vintage crafting hobbies such as knitting and sewing. There’s a great article about sewing from vintage patterns in issue 03, which is a must read if you’re attempting it for the first time. I also really enjoy the travel articles written by fellow blogger Mim McDonald from Crinoline Robot, particularly the Art Deco one she did in the same issue.
You’ll find many a familiar name amongst the writers too, including Gemma Seager from Retro Chick, Theodora Burrow from Theodora Goes Wild and Fleur De Guerre from Diary of a Vintage Girl, so you know each and every article is written by a vintage enthusiast who is really passionate about their subject. I find this sort of thing quite refreshing compared to other magazines where the writers are just names you’ve never heard of. It makes you feel part of it somehow, as if this is a magazine written by your peers for you to enjoy and not just a faceless person telling you what you should wear, what you should look like and how you should behave (sorry, not a fan of women’s magazines!).
Another thing that is very different is the In Focus debates feature where the editors get together and discuss a hot topic within the vintage scene. Topics such as ‘Are the 90s Vintage?’ and ‘Born in the Wrong Era?’ are probably discussions we’ve all had with our vintage friends and it’s really great to read other people’s opinions on such subjects as it really gets you thinking about your own views (I won’t go into mine now!).
This magazine is for people who really like to immerse themselves in the past, who love the history, the culture and ethos of times gone by but also appreciate the benefits of living in the 21st Century. If, like me, you think you’re one of these people then why not check them out at www.inretrospectmagazine.com? You can have a flip through a small selection of the articles from each edition on the website. Subscriptions start from just £12 for 3 issues in the UK but, if you’d prefer to have a read of the latest edition just to make sure, you can also purchase just that copy for £4.50 in the UK or £9.50 elsewhere. I personally cannot wait for issue 05 to come out.