The September Issue

TheSeptemberIssue

I’m probably the last person in the world, well, the fashion world at least, to watch The September Issue. Strangely it had a profound impact on me. I’d read all the reviews about Grace Coddington being the true star to emerge from the documentary and of course I concur…but in a way my heart felt heavy for her. She struck me as a true artist with a beautifully creative eye. The photo-shoots she styled blew me away in their portraiture aesthetic and the care and joviality she exuded on set were truly refreshing. The saddening aspect of the film for me was the realisation that creativity must be curbed to appeal to the average reader and maintain sales figures. I know that in consumer society money drives everything but it was disheartening to actually see that process in motion. Grace understood the need for careful editing and the harnessing of celebrity to boost sales, but its effect seemed to visibly dampen her enthusiasm.

Anna Wintour, on the other hand, seemed to embrace what was required commercially and not let it curb her exacting nature and definitive ideals. The swiftness with which she edited hugely produced photo-shoots was astounding. She knows exactly what sells and is not prepared to compromise in any way, especially for something that only has an aesthetic appeal. It is about the clothes, the advertising, the sales and not necessarily the art. The element of the film that stood out for me was the formidable partnership between Anna and Grace. Their agendas are different but completely the same. Their relationship is a tour de force, offering equilibrium in an industry that is torn between two opposing factors – the beauty of fashion and what actually sells.

Sketchbook Magazine

sketchbook

New magazines come, new magazines go but some just have that certain “je ne sais quoi” that makes me think they’ll achieve longevity in such a fickle industry. Sketchbook magazine has launched its Fashion Blogger Issue that fully embraces the new direction of the industry. An homage to the current blogger du jour, Susie Bubble, the magazine showcases emerging talent in the form of illustrators, stylists, photographers…the list goes on and on. What I like about it is the non-conformist, eclectic nature of its layout. There is no standardised form or preconceived uniformity that must be adhered to – each page is unique and a true reflection of its content. So, gushing over! Take a look at Sketchbook’s blog and website and purchase online here for the full sensory treat.

Sketchbook Update! Read my interview with the Editor-in-chief!

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Über-bloggers

Powerbloggers

The rise of the über/power blogger over the last year has astounded me. It became even more apparent at the Arcadia blogger event last week. My conversations revolved singularly around the power-bloggers du jour and the reasons they wield so much influence – from the controversy and hype surrounding the youthful Tavi of Style Rookie to Scott Shuman’s respected first blogger publication. Susie Bubble‘s appearance at the event was met with great anticipation by most of the bloggers in attendance who proceeded to name-check her above all others there because of the kudos attached to her Style Bubble. Do not get me wrong, Susie was an absolute DELIGHT and seemed oblivious to the subtle furore surrounding her entrance, it is in the subsequent postings that her influence has been highlighted for me. So, it is on that note that I call all bloggers out there to showcase their blogs. I’m currently updating my blog-roll, a task I take very seriously! The big players will of course be there – Style Bubble, The Sartorialist, Facehunter and Style Rookie (name-checked as I used them in my montage photo above) but I’d love to highlight some new, up-and-coming blogs too. So if you would like me to take a look at your blog and possibly include it on my roll (if of course I love it too) comment on this post with your URL. I am currently sorting through the mountain of RSS fields I read daily but would love to see what else is on offer…go on…surprise me…!

Wonderland

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Covers sell – a fact, universally acknowledged in the world of fashion. I become more aware of it each time I peruse the magazine rack. There is a British magazine that I would never consider buying on a regular basis but the alluring face of a celebrity in an editorial style photograph seems to draw me in. Maybe it’s the possibility of seeing the celeb in a different, more cutting edge light or just my nosey nature…but whatever it is, I hate it! The magazine’s power of persuasion and power of celebrity have achieved their goal! A magazine that I do like and would buy anyway, has lured me in further with their Liv Tyler cover. Wonderland’s cover is graced by her cool beauty, adding extra appeal to the purchase. Celebrity isn’t the only required element – an unknown, styled well, with interesting features and a colourful edgy font is enough for me. However it works both ways – if a cover is graced by a “pseudo-celeb” that I have no respect for, I am far less likely to part with any cash. See what else Wonderland has to offer and decide for yourself what criteria entices you to buy.

hobo

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On my return from the Travel, in a moment of possible madness, I gave away almost all my back copies of Vogue. I have slowly started to become disenchanted with the fashion bible that seems to become slightly more mainstream, offering evermore unobtainable lifestyles, with each issue (it feels almost blasphemous writing this!) I still adore Vogue and will no doubt continue to buy it but in a cathartic moment realised I no longer use my back issues for reference but instead to prop up a coffee table! The plethora of cutting edge European magazines that I was exposed to, no doubt greatly influenced my purge. Even the most mundane of newsagent seemed to carry some oddity or fashionable lifestyle magazine that jumped off the shelf. One that has been around for quite some time but that I have never got around to buying is hobo - a bi-annual, avant-garde magazine comprised of collections of interviews, essays and stunning photography. The magazine was expectantly, a joy to look at but surprisingly, a delight to read – also very heavy to lug home! So will I keep my hobo magazine, in a contradicting bid of snobbery, ON my coffee table but my Vogues underneath?…I’m yet to decide!

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