Fashion Magazines: Digested and Discussed, Part 1

20 Jul

Before living in NYC, international fashion magazines were always a fantasy, never a reason for ending up with $40 in my bank account for a week. Because of international newsstands, it’s possible to get your hands on every international version of any magazine — the only side effect is the inflated prices and the slight delay to receive the new issue. There is nothing like holding in your hands issues containing articles and editorials that you’ve drooled over online. With so many out there and no real advice on which to buy and which to save the extra $10 on. I have to preface this by saying that I’m a bit of an intellectual snob — especially when it comes to my fashion magazines. With Rom-coms and sitcoms, you know what you’re getting yourself into. Even with Cosmo, you open the magazine ready for some mindless entertainment. I have no problem with this but I like my fashion hard and raw — I don’t read the semi-fashion magazines, the ones for people who love clothes or the idea of fashion but aren’t even aware of the existence of WWD, nonetheless subscribe.

1. Tatler

  I’ve been looking for Tatler for quite awhile. I cannot remember where (or when) but I read a review by a fashion blogger — one that I quite admire — raving about Tatler. This British magazine has eluded me for months — eerily absent from Hudson news and Barnes & Noble whenever I am there. Save for this morning when I picked up the July 2011 issue with Romola Garai on the cover. This sounds harsh, but Tatler reminds me of a British version of Entertainment Weekly, with a little diluted Lucky. The cover itself is vaguely Teen Vogue to me — the editorial was as well. Garai is dressed in pieces by fashions elite, yet the way that it’s staged feels like a horrible movie. Not embarrassing, just not of the caliber I was anticipating. There was an aspect that was completely Vanity Fair-esque to me. The articles. They were real. I know that fashion does not go hand in hand with economics — only exec’s like Bernard Arnault unsurprisingly devour the Economist and WWD daily (or so I presume). There were truly engaging and very thoughtful articles, yet they were not fashion focused. There was little fashion focus other than a Lucky magazine style Runway DIY section and the editorials. The drop weight and analyze your boyfriend section frustrated me immensely — but as I said, I’m a bit of a snob in this area. The gossip section of all of these British socialites whose names have not yet made it across the pond bored me as well. I will most likely be picking up a copy of Tatler again, although with a comprehensive understanding of what I am about to get myself into.

2. Interview

 I picked up the August Freida Pinto issue this morning, but haven’t opened it yet. Alexander Skarsgard’s June/July cover was absolutely delicious though so I’m okay with sticking to here. The format of Interview is simple — and similar to W in that it is mainly brief descriptions, introducing readers to newcomers and updates from oldies. Interview skips the other W’s in W and focuses on the people. The focus is not fashion, but art. I love this. I’ve spent months trying to understand more deeply the art world and Interview provides wonderful small talk fodder with those more artistically inclined. Fashion is included under this art umbrella and their take on it is really unusual and interesting. My favorite thing is that the main articles are written by other celebs themselves. Not only does it provide an interesting take on the interviews, but gives insight to the writer.  The editorials are stunning as well. They are interesting and creative. I’ve never seen one that feels trite. While it is thin, it’s well worth the money (and not international…so clearly I’m leaving that aspect behind)

3. Vogue (US)

 And I also picked up the SJP, August Vogue but I haven’t dipped into that either. I won’t even pretend to think that anyone reading my blog has never picked up a copy of the bible themselves. I’m not completely jaded, I know that it is by no means the dictator of fashion nor filled with intellectually stimulating articles. Some months it takes me awhile to read after my issue arrives in the mail. But it really is important. I’ve got every Vogue for the past five years lined up along my bookshelf. Anna Wintour is brilliant, although I see her influence more outside of Vogue than in the pages. The articles are interesting but not life changing. The editorials are beautiful but not revolutionary. Coddington is brilliant and the editorials she creates are unusual but not consistent enough to really become something to consistently talk about. I love the thematic issues but it gets repetitive. The Age issue arrived in the mail and I went, oh it’s that time of year again. The Shape issue as well.. etc. No surprises with Vogue, but it’s still a really important part of fashion and a complete indulgence.

4. W Magazine

 I read the Tilda Swinton, August cover. July’s my theme here so I’m sticking to it. Also, I was completely stunned by the July issue and found the August stale afterwards. It was an issue that melded Music + Fashion with designers and their musician muses. The editorial was STUNNING. STUNNING. Worth checking out, no question about it (see here on W). The picture of the Proenza Schouler boys and Yoko Ono is my favorite — one I’ve saved and printed for my mood board. W is my absolute obsession. There was a bit of a dip in the love, a brief hiatus from the spot on intellectual criticisms and observations that I have grown accustomed too. It’s back though, so back. The editorials are always my favorite, I’m halted from tearing the pages straight out of the magazine purely because I know I’ll crave to see them later. Because of the format — similar to Interview in the brief description, and move on format, there is not much to get bored with or feel as if they failed on. It’s a pretty consistent A+ with the short and sweet format.






coming up… Dazed & Confused, Numéro, AnOther, Vogue Paris, Self Service, Elle Collections and the fact that I’m a complete Noob when it comes to Complex and L’officiel


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