Erin Dixon is Managing Editor at Dossier Journal, New York City’s transcendent arts and culture go-to, printed bi-annually.
With a focus on fashion, photography, creative writing, art, music and culinary pursuits, the publication has superseded others in dictating the reality of the art world, honing in on the creative industries’ emerging talents, icons and most valuable players. Dossier claims to have no themes or specific guidelines, which allows Erin, who is also Style Editor for Dossier’s daily online counterpart, to let each issue take shape individually.
Originally from the Seattle area, Erin has lived in California, Italy, London and New York. Erin loves “nothing more than the opportunity to experience new people and cultures, and to see life from a different point of view.” She says that although change is never easy, it is extremely exhilarating and addictive. Perhaps this is reflected in Dossier’s variety.
Dossier Journal is an arts and culture publication covering fine art, fashion and culture. Out of the three, which do you find is the most interesting subject to cover?
While my background is in fashion, I find the intersection of these different mediums to be the most compelling subject. This confluence is often evident during the creative process, which is why I love interviewing all artists, whether they are fashion designers, painters, musicians, etc.
What do you find is the most challenging aspect of being a young artist/designer/musician in New York City today?
The challenges are different for each medium. For a fashion designer, the upfront costs—production, PR, fashion shows—can be very prohibitive. For a musician, it might be distinguishing your sound. The shared challenge in any artistic medium is of course profitability. Obviously, competition is another major factor in New York City, but it’s also why we are all here. As in any major metropolis, the high concentration of creative people is hugely inspiring.
What do you find is the most rewarding thing about working at Dossier?
Dossier affords me the opportunity to collaborate and interact with inspiring individuals in all realms—from artistic to political—in extremely creative and authentic ways, which is something for which I am endlessly grateful. Also, the Dossier team is a really special group of people. Working with them to create a distinctive product is very rewarding and inspiring.
Who are some new artists to look out for?
Annie Cattrell isn’t necessarily new, but she’s someone who often flies under the radar. She creates these mesmerizing three-dimensional cloud etchings in glass cubes that capture the magic of nature in a really enchanting way. Josh Slater and Jess Rotter are two New York-based illustrators whose work I really like. And Sam Falls' collage-paintings are wonderful. Also, Cara Stricker is doing interesting work with fashion videos.
How in your eyes can fashion influence art and vice versa?
I was recently speaking to a photographer, who occupies both worlds, about this intersection. Fashion always seems to strive to be seen as art and openly affiliate itself with fine art via references, etc. The fine art world, however, is much more resistant to acknowledging the role that fashion plays in the medium. Nevertheless, in any painting or photograph that features people, fashion is a key visual element—purposeful or not. Take Henri Matisse’s work as an explicit example; the textiles and garments featured play an extremely important role.
What advice, if any, can you offer to young fashion designers from an editor’s standpoint?
I’d like to preface my answer by acknowledging that my point-of-view is most likely not the norm… But, I would say less is more. You don’t need to create a fifty-piece collection if you only have the budget, time and/or inspiration to produce twenty pieces. Also, I no longer believe that fashion shows or live presentations during Fashion Week are necessary for editorial attention. If someone creates a really beautiful look book that reflects a strong aesthetic, highlights the clothing and displays a new point of view, it catches and retains my attention far better than a ten-minute show that cost $10,000 to produce. Also, quality does matter.
You cover a variety of creative industries. Which have you seen the most affected by the recession? And the least?
I work with individuals in all aspects of the creative fields, which has lead me to believe that it’s less a particular artistic medium that has been affected than it is particular aspects of all creative industries. True artists will continue producing art during a recession because that is who they are, not just what they do. It is the business side of these industries that are more affected: the PR firms, the galleries and obviously print publications that rely on advertising... Happily, in New York it looks as though things are slowly turning around.