The book corner section highlights the most original aspects of Californian culture all summer long, through works selected from our KENZO boutiques and reviewed by Angelo Cirimele. This week, his eye was drawn to the September/October 1981 issue of WET, "the magazine of gourmet bathing and beyond."
"A magazine might be made up of words, images, and ideas, but it’s about wit as much as anything else. WET offers this in spades. It’s light, hedonistic and cultured, and loves to embrace a joke - as proven by the barcode placed smack bang in the middle of the illustrated waterfall cover. WET may be a magazine that focuses on the art of bathing, but this is surely just a pretext to show-off nearly naked bodies such as those of the entrants pictured in the “Masters National Short Course Swimming Championships.” There are also exclusive photos of Henry Miller’s collaged bathroom (“considered…an embarrassment by the new owners, his collection of images – from Buddhas to whores – was destroyed”), and a feature on the baths in Japan, “a place where the two largest natural resources are people and water…”. There’s that humor again. WET is quintessentially Californian, and doesn’t concern itself with anything too serious. The design is inspired by classic homemade fanzines, which keeps the energy of the magazine flowing as pure pop. It also deals with pop in the purest sense too, providing in-depth interviews with both Laurie Anderson and Squeeze. In short WET is a magazine like no other: funny, creative, and unique. It’s why we keep collectors’ issues handy in KENZO boutiques for our dedicated KENZINE readers."
WET, n° 33, September/October 1981, 80 p. Ed. Wet.
KENZO – 60, rue de Rennes, Paris.