Dear iDEALS, for those of you who truly love fashion most probably remember of heared about NOVA magazine. In early 1960s Nova magazine was Britain’s ’style bible’, and had a massive impact on the fashion of the era. Alongside the fashion pages, it carried serious and often controversial columns on matters such as feminism, homosexuality or racism. At the time, the publication was unique, but by the 1970s other magazines started to clone Nova's concept. Nova itself soon started to look tired and fell victim to sluggish sales, and closed in 1975 after 10 years in operation - a lifetime in the magazine industry.
"Nova was a politically radical, beautifully designed, intellectual women's magazine. In 1965 it discussed sex and the Pill, and epitomised the sophistication of London with its bold type and empty white space. There were 5,000 word articles by Christopher Booker, Susan Sontag, Irma Kurtz, and photographs by Helmut Newton and Don McCullin."
A number of well-respected fahion photographers would present their work in every issue including Helmut Newton and Duffy (famously tried to destroy all his negatives in a garden bonfire in 1979. Stopped by the local Council, some thankfully survived and underwent a renaissance in an exhibition at the Chris Beetles Gallery last year. He has not taken photographs since then, up until the making of this BBC documentary when he got behind a camera once more, now aged 77)
Catherine Redfern states: "Most magazines are the type of you read once and then chuck in the bin, perhaps ripping out a couple of interesting articles first to keep for posterity. Some magazines you keep, because it feels somehow wrong to throw them away. They look so good, it seems sacriligious to even cut something out. Nova was one of the latter, for me. I had a real, love hate relationship with it. It entranced and infuriated me at the same time. Now, just one year after it launched, IPC have stopped producing it because “commercially [it] has not reached its targets.” I was planning to write a review of it for this website before I found out, so I decided to do it anyway, as a kind of retrospective look back, a ponder about what could have been. I can’t say I’m devastated about Nova flopping, because I’m not. The more I read Nova over the past few months, the more it seemed to decline in quality since that first promising issue of June 2000."