Inside 'FFF' Zine's Scrumptious Second Edition Feat. Myla Dalbesio, Ren Hang & More
Slice of paradise.
The ~tastemakers~ over at FFF zine are back with a brand new issue to satisfy your hungry eyes. This time around Zac Bayly and Stacia Hadiutomo, the ex-Oyster pals behind the mag, present you with: Myla Dalbesio making pasta, a Ren Hang series dedicated to red foods and fake ads by Kalen Hollomon. There's also some au naturel beauty tips, an excerpt from Buck Ellison's upcoming book, fresh fashions, delish recipes and so much more.
We caught up with Creative Director/Editor Zac Bayly to talk about the eternal appeal of breakfast foods and the FFF family. Tuck in!
Lucy Jones: Can you describe the vibe of FFF issue two in a sentence?
Zac Bayly: Our last issue was absolute chaos, whereas this one is surprisingly quite tasteful. Although we do have a series on the world's most glamorous edible pets that a couple of friends found quite tasteless, so I guess that assessment is relative.
What's the most impressive meal you've ever cooked?
Neither of us are particularly great cooks! So any meal that's edible and palatable is quite impressive as far as we're concerned.
Who/what are you most excited about from the issue?
There's so much to be excited about! Kalen Hollomon created some beautiful fake advertisements for us. Milan Zrnic photographed Petra Cortright in Stella McCartney, and she was interviewed by the fabulous Charlie Robin Jones (who's worked at Dazed, The Guardian and 032C), both of whom we've wanted to work with for a while. It turns out Petra is completely obsessed with Martha Stewart and that the burning down of her New York bedroom led to her coming into possession of the cookbook from which the recipe she contributes to the issue was adapted.
Ren Hang created a beautiful series for us, and we've been big fans of his since he shot a portrait for us a number of years ago. [We're also] very excited to have Isamaya Ffrench and her mates create a fashion and beauty story for us. Jeff Bark is one of our favourite photographers, and he whipped up some beautiful still-lifes in his garage for the issue. Buck Ellison contributed the first two chapters from a novel he's in the process of writing, and they're really exceptional. The cover story with Myla Dalbesio is really something — Benedict Brink and Zara Mirkin did a great job of the shoot, and Chas Smith's accompanying article gave us heart attacks when we recieved it (he'd forgotten to transcribe the interview) but wound up being the funniest text in the issue (that and Jason Crombie's interview with Andre Holland, the actor from Moonlight and American Horror Story).
What's the recipe for success?
We're still learning that as we go, but the thing I hear from the people I look up to is that they always work with the best, and I've heard that basic sentiment put in a couple of different ways. An editor friend summed it up by saying that you should only work with people where if you gave them absolutely no direction you'd be confident that they'd produce something you'd love. I've also heard you should look at a potential contributor's worst work and decide whether you'd like to publish that. I'm a bit of a risk-taker with commissioning and enjoy working with people where I'm just excited to see what they'll come up with, or [thinking] "I wonder what will happen if these two people are paired up", etc. It's like mixing chemicals in the lab and seeing what blows up, except probably way less exciting because it's fashion and there's little risk of losing a limb.
Who makes up the FFF fam?
Well, it's primarily myself Zac Bayly and my dearest friend Stacia Hadiutomo. We used to make Oyster, as you probably know Lucy. Stacia's a brilliant art director who worked on Oyster for a number of years and has created some insanely beautiful prints for designers like Josh Goot over the years. My background is more editing, and I was the editor at Oyster before working at Fantastic Man for a bit, and now we do FFF alongside various freelance projects. We tap into a network of incredible talented people, some of whom we've worked with on-and-off for years and others that are new to the fold. For example, we worked with Zara Mirkin (who styled the cover) for years through Oyster, where as Milan Zrnic (who shot about a third of this issue) is someone we'd never worked with before although we were huge fans of his work. One thing I've learned over the years is that some contributors are 'one night stands' — and you can create something really special together once or twice — and others are people you're really aligned with that you just keep working with. Both ways of working with people are cool. Mark Soetantyo is a pretty big part of the family; he's Stacia's husband and the creator of the streetwear label Nothing (one of our advertisers — nepotism at work!). He's been hugely helpful this issue, and he's really been the practical one when it comes to getting distribution underway!
If you had to eat one cuisine for the rest of your life what would it be and why?
All breakfast foods.
Are their any specific qualities you look for in FFF's featured talent?
I'm not sure exactly what the defining qualities of our subjects are... They're all special in their own way. I mean, our cover star Myla's a model, sure, but she's also a fabulously under-appreciated photographer and artist. She can take pictures better than half the picture-takers I've met. And she's also 'plus size' by industry standards, but she thinks that's bullshit because she's actually not very plus size at all — she's just not stick-thin. It's refreshing to hear her say stuff like that. And then our last cover star Maisie Williams is a tomboy, is totally down to earth, is outspoken and loud and hilarious. I guess we're looking for people who are kind of 'real' and represent some sort of rejection of the norm just by being themselves, or something. Like, they represent a rejection of 'the norm' but they're also just completely normal.
What's your favourite bogan food?
Who could pick one!
What's your idea of utopia?
An issue of FFF in every kitchen.
What would your last meal be?
Hopefully cooked with family and friends.
Spice up your life with your very own copy of FFF issue two by clicking here.