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Posts Tagged ‘Conde Nast’

11c3e166487071f95963f05fed3b8721--lucinda-chambers-style-unique-fashion-styleThere are very few fashion magazines that make you feel empowered. Most leave you totally anxiety-ridden, for not having the right kind of dinner party, setting the table in the right kind of way or meeting the right kind of people. Truth be told, I haven’t read Vogue in years. Maybe I was too close to it after working there for so long, but I never felt I led a Vogue-y kind of life. The clothes are just irrelevant for most people – so ridiculously expensive. What magazines want today is the latest, the exclusive. It’s a shame that magazines have lost the authority they once had. They’ve stopped being useful. In fashion we are always trying to make people buy something they don’t need. We don’t need any more bags, shirts or shoes. So we cajole, bully or encourage people into continue buying. I know glossy magazines are meant to be aspirational, but why not be both useful and aspirational? That’s the kind of fashion magazine I’d like to see.

Lucinda Chambers, former fashion director at British Vogue.

Last week Vestoj online magazine posted an interview with Ms. Chambers in which she discusses how she was abruptly fired from her position at British Vogue by the new editor, Edward Enninful. She had worked at the publication for 25 years. She says it took Mr. Enniful three minutes to fire her.

Since the interview first ran it was taken down once, re-posted, and then edited as requested by Conde Nast.

As a fashion magazine reader myself, I find what Ms. Chambers says quite interesting. Many people have issues with fashion mags – I’ve heard friends of mine make similar comments. I understand her point, but I have a different view.

To me they are guides for what the trends are and inspiration for a little DIY. Yes, the brands advertised and fashions highlighted are way too expensive but that’s where creativity kicks in. The models are too skinny and photo-shopped but actually, I don’t look at the models. I focus on the clothes and how they’re styled. I don’t live a Vogue-y lifestyle but I don’t feel bad about that. Nor am I driven to buy the latest anything. Fashion magazines offer a study of current fashion and I’m thankful they’re out there. I find them informative, artistic, and entertaining. (Plus they provide excellent material for collages.)

I think it’s important for readers to keep these magazines in perspective. What’s portrayed is not real. It’s fantasy. Most people cannot afford the clothes and the even the models don’t look like “the models.” Let’s not take it too seriously or personally.

Having said that, I also must say that I am fully aware that the fashion industry is not a nice place. It’s a corporate-run, greedy business that sadly, is harming our environment. Lots of people are exploited from designers to factory workers. Although it looks from the outside to be a glamorous world in which to work, it’s not really. Fashion is tough, it’s cut throat and unforgiving. Ms. Chambers says, “You can’t afford to fail in fashion.”

I applaud Ms. Chambers for speaking out and I look forward to what she does next. Perhaps a book? Or her own fashion publication – one that is useful, empowers and inspires.  I’ll subscribe!

 

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Image courtesy of Condé Nast, Glamour.

Until recently, Condé Nast could always count on Glamour magazine as a best seller. But like many mags, sales and advertising are down. Newsstand sales are down as much as 17 percent through the end of October. So, Glamour editor-in-chief Cindi Leive has a plan for spring 2012.

It’s a complete overhaul and will include a new look, new columns, and new contributors.  According to Women’s Wear Daily, Glamour is working with the former art director of Nylon on the redesign and the content will have an increased focus on pop culture. Apparently they’re going for a “hipper attitude” keeping in mind that readers are consuming content in different ways.

I was once a stringer for Glamour, which means I looked for potential stories for the news editor. I searched for women who were doing extraordinary things like starting foundations, overcoming illnesses, volunteering time and talents. These were not sensationalized tidbits, but rather stories about real women working to add something positive to their communities. I respected Glamour for offering stories other than the latest celebrity calamity and fashion must-have. Let’s hope this kind of coverage won’t get lost in the magazine’s desire to be hip.

Watch for the new Glamour in March 2012.

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Image courtesy of Vogue, Condé Nast.

Vogue magazine, a Condé Nast publication, announced that it will now make its entire archive available to anyone who wishes to subscribe. Every page of every issue from 1892 to today.

  • covers
  • illustrations
  • photos
  • articles
  • advertising

What a handy research tool for designers, fashion historians and journalists, even artists. Individuals can subscribe for $1575 a year. Corporations can access the archives through trend forecasters, WGSN. Fashion school libraries might fork out the bucks but I’m wondering if this is something public libraries would purchase. I’ll keep an eye out and report back.

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