A Tale of Two Tatlers
Hedi Slimane’s recent work for Saint Laurent has given the muchloved heritage brand a new swagger. This rabbit-felt fedora, from his elegantly wasted Psych Rock collection, is one example of how Slimane draws on his music obsessions for fashion inspiration. n 1979, Hong Kong Tatler was two years old and already well established as the one and only chronicler of the city’s smart set. Unless you lived at Evergreen Villa on Stubbs Road, that is. Residents of those swanky Mid-levels apartments had their own magazine, which featured interviews, music and cinema reviews, illustrations and some news reporting. Its name was Evergreen Tatler and its publisher-editorwriter-designer-illustrator (and delivery man) was a precocious and prolific 14-year-old by the name of Douglas Young.
The meticulously hand-drawn “magazines”— complete with painstakingly assembled collages of newspaper photos and dynamic typography—reveal a mind bursting with creativity and humour. Looking at these wonderfully charming booklets today, it is no surprise that Young went on to found the G.O.D. lifestyle brand, which created huge success by selling T-shirts and other products adorned with retro logos and slogans of the 1970s and ’80s.
“The earlier [issues] were hand drawn and just circulated among friends. Later I got sponsorship from my friends’ parents and could afford colour photocopy, which was $10 a page. I did runs of five,” says Young of his budding entrepreneurship. Indeed, the second issue of Evergreen Tatler features “advertising” on the outside back cover: a promotion for Kings cigarettes. “Ah, that’s very embarrassing! I used to wrap up baby powder in tubes of paper and pretend they were ciggies. I’d package them nicely and give them to friends. Smoking seemed cool in those days.”
I only found out about Evergreen Tatler after we interviewed Young for the cover story of this, our eighth Art Issue, which we publish each year to coincide with Art Basel in Hong Kong. I’m delighted that Hong Kong Tatler is a media partner for the event, and delighted also that Young is once again reprising his role as installation artist for one of the main lounges at the fair, making him the ideal person to grace this year’s Art Issue. Turn to page 214 to see what this maverick artist has planned for his thought-provoking installation. And if you are planning to go to Art Basel, don’t forget to visit the Tatler booth, where we will have on display the first issues of our earliest rival publication, Evergreen Tatler.
— Sean Fitzpatrick Group Editor-in-chief