Pop culture’s analogue past in Homesick magazine
In an age where ‘research’ more often means inputting keywords into a search engine, the act of physically trawling through an archive, locating files and books from a dusty shelf, feels somewhat edifying. But of course this is everyday practice for researchers, who spend a large part of their work gathering analogue materials that can’t be traced online. Reagan Clare is one such professional, and she started Homesick magazine to showcase pop culture’s hidden, archival gems, while tapping into the nostalgia we have for icons past their prime.
From movie props to groupie photos, it covers film, music, fashion and art, while speaking to collectors to remember scenes gone by and fond anecdotes. Find out more in our chat with Reagan below, where we talk about floppy discs, Versace, and “being a big nerd”.
I’m going to turn one of the questions you ask your interviewees back onto you… What were you like as a kid?
A huge daydreamer. I grew up in the Essex countryside surrounded by fields, so that forces you to fantasise. I think if you were to ask my parents they would describe me as a whimsical and shy kid. I was so disinterested in after school clubs and was quite particular about my interests.
What was the first thing you collected?
When I started getting into fashion at age 11/12, I was visiting style.com or whatever the equivalent was. I started saving EVERY image from EVERY catwalk onto my family computer. There was something in me that just thought, “I need to log this”. Then my mum burst my bubble and was like “Honey, I think that’s going to take up too much space”. I started on the floppy discs, but then realised it was a bit of a meaty and pointless task. Aside from that I’ve always scrapbooked, so the need to ‘keep record’ has always been there.
Why did you want to make Homesick magazine?
I love magazines and had always thought I might work at one, but my skill set is a bit funny. I’m not a photographer, graphic designer, stylist or journalist… so I don’t really fit the mould. I’d been working as an archivist and researcher for years when it hit me that I could just make my own magazine. Making an archival mag felt different to a lifestyle mag, like it would be covering new ground. It also felt biopic and educational, which seemed exciting and limitless.
Where does the name come from?
I was looking into the meaning of nostalgia and saw it was defined as a ‘feeling of homesickness’. I thought that was quite a romantic way of putting it and really liked the word.
Homesick talks to a wide range of people — film directors, photographers, groupies. What are you looking for in the people you profile?
What are you looking for in the people you profile?
The subject and their work has got to feel iconic or enigmatic, or both. I prefer approaching people that aren’t ‘in the spotlight’ or exposed too fully on the internet. I consciously try to cover subjects from different decades and ‘scenes’.
There’s a great interview with prop collector Stephen Lane in this issue. What did you learn from speaking to him?
I loved speaking to Stephen. In fact, it was only through a conversation with my auntie at Christmas that I found out about him… They’re friends, and she was basically telling me about how Stephen “cashed in on being a big nerd” (her words) with a movie prop business.
It was interesting to know that props were commonly chucked away in the 70’s and 80’s, and the business of prop vending didn’t really exist yet. That feels mad! I also liked how Stephen talked about himself as a kid, being ‘entrepreneurial’ and selling pencil toppers — to describe a young kid as entrepreneurial is funny to me.
What did you read or watch during the making of issue two?
Funnily enough, after speaking with Versace photographer Doug Ordway, ‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story’ came on TV. So that was fun timing. And book wise I think I was reading ‘Peggy Guggenheim: The Shock Of The Modern’. It didn’t inform Homesick issue two at all but if you’re interested in art curation and socialites, it’s very good.
Aside from the magazine, what else do you do?
I freelance as an archivist and image researcher. At the moment I’m assisting at the fashion label Fiorucci, cataloguing their clothes archive. It’s a really fun project to be involved in. As for research, I work with directors in the fashion industry mostly, sourcing imagery for creative pitches and concept development.
What’s next for Homesick?
Homesick is changing its design for issue three and will be chargeable. So it will be larger, on different paper and with slightly revised content. I’m hoping to get more heads involved this time too. I don’t want it to feel stagnant, so working with writers, photographers and other creatives is high on the agenda.
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