Wonder what you can expect from Caitlin Moran’s Stylist edit? Get ready to be taken back in time to 1995…
To celebrate our 10th birthday this year, Stylist is handing over 10 issues of the magazine to 10 very special guest editors.
So far, Oscar-winning Captain Marvel star Brie Larson, model and activist Adwoa Aboah and singer Lily Allen have all taken over, exploring everything from CBD facials to the treatment of sex workers and the politics of make-up.
Next up? We couldn’t wait to hand over to a woman who epitomizes everything we believe in here at Stylist: author, journalist and founding mother of modern feminism, Caitlin Moran.
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“Caitlin Moran is pretty much the physical embodiment of Stylist’s values,” says Stylist’s editor-in-chief Lisa Smosarski.
“Over the past decade her brand of feminism, brought to life in 2012’s How To Be A Woman, combined forces with Stylist’s DNA, and made gender equality a mainstream conversation. And we haven’t looked back…”
As Caitlin’s latest novel is set in the heady days of 1995, she decided to take her guest edit back to the golden era of Britpop…
How Stylist went back to 1995 with Caitlin Moran
En route to Caitlin Moran’s house to discuss her takeover of Stylist, editor-in-chief Lisa Smosarski and entertainment director Helen Bownass discussed what she might want to do with this issue.
“She likes dressing up, she loves cheese and lots and lots of pictures of Bruce Springsteen” were their predictions.
What they didn’t expect was for the following statement to erupt from her lips: “I want to make this issue as if it were 1995. And I want to dress up like both Liam Gallagher and Patsy Kensit to recreate that cover of Vanity Fair.”
There were also a weird few minutes where Helen thought she said she wanted the issue to be set in 1955 and was imagining an entirely different vibe…
Over prosecco and goat’s cheese around Moran’s kitchen table – to be clear, most celebrities do not invite you to their house and provide you with snacks – we discussed her nineties-based vision.
“Let’s get women to recreate the poses and attitude of indie bands. We can call it Titpop. I want to reclaim male centrefolds! And do a guide on how to wear jelly sandals!”
The year 1995 wasn’t just picked arbitrarily, it is the year Moran’s latest novel How To Be Famous is set. The book is an autobiographically inspired coming-of-age story about Johanna Morrigan living in Britpop London and it’s the sequel to How To Build A Girl, the film of which comes out later this year.
Squint your eyes and we could almost have been back in those heady mid-nineties days at Stylist’s shoot in west London a few weeks later. Elastica and Menswear pounded out of the stereo as Moran – who had two hours’ sleep the night before – modelled zip-up Adidas tracksuit tops, mini kilts and Doc Marten boots and told us about her wild days working at music magazine Melody Maker, before her (quite frankly astonishing) transformation into the younger Gallagher brother and his then girlfriend, Kensit.
As well as modelling and physical transformations, Moran also wrote most of the pages for this unique issue – which will hit the streets and appear online on Tuesday 2 July – despite having a schedule creaking under the pressure of all her other commitments. And she has created something truly authentic and very, very fun.
“You know, when I was accorded the astonishing honour – and incalculable extra work burden – of becoming one of Stylist’s guest editors, I thought about devoting my issue to a variety of wholly deserving and worthy campaigns,” says Moran.
“And then I thought, you know what? All young women are ever told to do these days is save the fucking world. And how are you going to save the world right now anyway? You’re probably on a crowded bus, with your face pressed into the thorax of a man who smells of some beef that’s been left in a cupboard. You’re not actually Sarah Connor in The Terminator – you’re underpaid and tired, with inexplicably itchy elbows, and you just. Want. To. Go. On. Holiday.”
So Caitlin decided to take Stylist readers on a holiday… “of the mind!”
“With the 90s currently being revived by both those who were there at the time, and those who weren’t even born yet, I thought it would be amusing to jump into a Tardis and broadcast an episode of Stylist from the mid-90s, when everyone was drunk, everyone was sexist, everything was awesome and you could have an epic night out for £1.50,” says our guest editor.
But Moran doesn’t just want to revisit the nineties as it was – she wants to imagine what it could have been.
“What would Britpop have been like if there’d been more – or, indeed, any – women in it? Giving us… Titpop, if you will? Well, you’re about to find out,” says Moran.
Get ready for “love bites, ‘ladettes’, alcoholic lemonade, lady Liam and Noel, and notes on why teenage girl-fans are the best.” All that’s left is to grab your bucket hat and Gazelles and enjoy your trip back in time. Enjoy!
Photography: Matthew Shave