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07-04-2012
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Cicciolina's Avatar
 
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Does anyone read the articles in fashion magazines?
This is something I've been noticing on the forum (particularly the magazine forum) for a while - there's always lots of discussion and critique about the editorials in the magazine, but hardly about the written content. I've always loved reading great fashion journalism (Sally Singer from her US Vogue days, Harriet Quick, Suzy Menkes, Cathy Horyn, Robin Givhan, etc) and, well, because I'm biased, I hope that this part of fashion isn't decreasing in popularity...

I understand that looking at images online and making a quick comment on the cover or the main editorial is much easier and faster (digital age, shorter attention spans, etc), and some magazines that have great editorials are produced in a language other than your native language - and yes, being fashion, editorials are a defining characteristic of the magazine. But, I've seen some comments on the forum along the lines of "I only buy fashion magazines for the editorials, not the articles" etc. This just made me wonder, if there's still people out there who enjoy reading articles in fashion magazines - or is the majority only interested in the editorials?

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07-04-2012
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I read a lot. In fact, I read most of my days. But I don't often read fashion magazines. It does happen that I do...but not that often. And when I do read it, I'm not very impressed.

So in my particular case it's certainly not that I can't read the articles that leads to my not reading them or commenting upon them. It's just that I don't think it's worth my time.

I like art. I don't like art criticism from people who think they're entitled.

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07-04-2012
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I hardly ever buy fashion magazines anymore. I usually only buy the September and March issues But when I do get a magazine I'll read it from start to finish. Except for Vogue Italia; I try to read some smaller articles but I don't understand Italian well enough to read long articles.
I mainly enjoy reading the articles in less fashion-oriented magazines, like Cosmo and Glamour And out of the fashion magazines I enjoy the articles in US Elle and German and British Vogue the most.

I think one of the reasons I'm not a fan of Emanuelle Alt at Vogue Paris is because the articles are so superficial and there are hardly any interesting stories. For a French magazine to only print party pictures and trend reports and not have more in-depth journalism is kind of disappointing. Not saying that Roitfeld was particularly good at this either but Alt talked about wanting to publish more intellectual content before taking over and I don't think she's accomplished that yet at all.

US Vogue is pretty boring when it comes to actual journalism, too, in my opinion. British and German Vogue are definitely the Vogue editions I enjoy reading the most, even if their editorial content isn't that outstanding. They always have good interviews and portraits. Especially Christiane Arp is fabulous at focusing on new talent and highlighting interesting fashion houses and personalities in an unusual way.

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07-04-2012
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I read all the articles featured at AnOther from beginning to end, sometimes the editorials even feel like an obstacle because their written content is just so good and doesn't feel like enough. I can say that in the case of AnOther, what draws me to it is 40% editorials and 60% articles.

Also love the articles in Encens, 100% educational.

I buy publications for different reasons though, just like AnOther excels at written content, if you want to see all the big productions (campaigns) of the season, there's US Vogue or Harper's Bazaar so I don't really buy them for the articles.. but I do read them sometimes, Vogue tends to feature interesting people/projects so that's mostly what I read (I couldn't care less about surgery..) but in the specific case of Harper's Bazaar, I skip their articles on purpose.. HB used to be the only magazine I'd buy as a teenager and I'd read all the articles.. it took me growing up a little to realise all the junk that was getting into my head.. all the classicist, ageist, self-conscious vapid crap that's a constant in their features. I feel bad that young women feel like fashion has to be associated with the mentality these articles encourage.

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07-04-2012
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I buy 5-6 magazines every month. I remember reading every letter in the magazines (at least I always read Serbian Elle from cover to cover). But lately, ...well not. I feel ashamed to say it. I only take the covers (as I collect covers, not whole magazines) and put the mags aside, planning to read it some other day. And whilst I'm writing this, I realized I haven't read almost any of those.

Of course, I read some articles I am interested in, but, as I said, I don't read it from cover to cover. Maybe I should


Last edited by Srdjan; 07-04-2012 at 03:59 PM.
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07-04-2012
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Ok, well as for a couple of scant impressions that I have accrued from over the years - American Bazaar is woeful. American Vogue - there are some articles that are ok. I always read the letter from the editor because Anna Wintour is interesting. British Vogue seems very earnest but I haven't read their stuff in a while. Sadly, I picked German over French as a third language so I can't understand much of the French chit-chat, though I am trying.

I used to have a blast reading 10 magazine, actually, but I haven't read it in a while. Industrie is possible to read without boredom. Acne paper is sort of interesting - good topics at least. Interview is thoroughly enjoyable.

But all in all, it really isn't as important as the fashion or the images. Even with Diana Vreeland, wonderfully amusing writer as she was, how could that compare to her fantastic taste, the way she smoked a cigarette and her fantastic work as a stylist/editor? Her writing not all that important compared to her work and her charisma.


Last edited by iluvjeisa; 08-04-2012 at 04:41 AM.
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08-04-2012
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Yeah, I like reading Interview and AnOther, but other than that I just sort of skim through them.

Earlier this year I bought the issue of GQ US with Michelle Williams on the cover and I read most of the articles in that, which is something I never do with Vogue US. There was one article about a soldier who was badly burned and suffering from really bad post traumatic stress syndrome and there was a doctor who was testing some virtual reality video game thing and somehow it ended up reducing his pain, etc. While I was reading that article it really struck me that there aren't as many interesting articles like that in women's fashion magazines. It's not like GQ is filled with all these amazing articles, but why can't Vogue ever have articles about interesting topics like that? I mean their April issue had that infamous article where that mother put her 7 year old daughter on a diet, who in the world wants to read that garbage?

I also think the articles in fashion magazines are too repetitive and similar to each other. I remember when A Single Man came out and every damn magazine had an article about Tom Ford directing his first film for a solid three months. I understand that that was, you know, an item of interest for the fashion world, but after the 10th article it was like "who the hell cares?"

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08-04-2012
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I read all the articles in the fashion mags i buy.
Actually there are certain mags i won't buy, even if i like the photographic content, because the articles are so bad. A good example is Vogue Italy, it's got to be one of the laziest fashion mags around in terms of written content.
British Vogue and Paris Vogue are both quite interesting, The Cindy Sherman article in the last VP was one of the best i've read about the artist.
I do not bother with American Vogue or any Harpers Bazaar, i always feel that those mags are really catering for a specific type of public that is totally disconnected from reality.

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08-04-2012
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I read the articles in magazines. I don't however always read it immediately. Sometimes I read articles of an older issue. The way I see it is, I collect magazines, I have them on my shelves, if I don't have the time to read right now, I will later, the magazines will wait.
So I read when I have the time and read even if it's an really old issue. I especially love (re)reading older magazines, like from 2004.
I don't however read Vogue Paris or Vogue Germany because I don't speak those languages so those really are for editorials only.

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08-04-2012
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If I buy a magazine that means I want to read the whole thing, not just look at pictures. Why would I waste my money on something I'm not going to read? That seems silly. I actually think that US Vogue has had some pretty interesting articles, I like it when they interview female politicians (The article on Kristen Gillibrand from a few years ago was good. And I liked the one with Hilary Clinton). They've also had some interesting reflection pieces. However, I feel like when I first started reading Vogue they had more interesting articles (which was in like 2005-2006). And I hate, absolutely HATE reading the articles on "new beauty treatments." They are so annoying and elitist. I'll try and read those articles but a lot of the times I give up because they annoy me. But otherwise I always read every article. British Vogue can at times have some good articles too. Two other magazines that I read cover to cover include AnOther and Lula. Lula, is really charming and I always love reading interviews with a wide variety of artistic and interesting people.

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Last edited by YoninahAliza; 08-04-2012 at 07:31 PM.
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09-04-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YoninahAliza View Post
Why would I waste my money on something I'm not going to read? That seems silly.
.. unless you're into fashion photography. Fashion is mostly imagery.. of course text serves like water, you digest it better, but you'd digest it anyway in its 'abstract'/graphic form.

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09-04-2012
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I think the problem is that many fashion magazine transformed into lifestyle to give something else to their readers than just photostories. Vogue is a great example of this switch; I don't consider Vogue to be a fashion magazine, but a lifestyle magazine focused on fashion. I mean - why should I read about losing weight or fighting the cancer in a fashion mag? That's not a point...

In my opinion, fashion magazine should consist of editorials, interviews with fashion or related personas and perhaps a bit of art related to the world of fashion.

Maybe it's just because I'm a European, but this is the way I differenciate the magazines.

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09-04-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MulletProof View Post
.. unless you're into fashion photography. Fashion is mostly imagery.. of course text serves like water, you digest it better, but you'd digest it anyway in its 'abstract'/graphic form.
True. Don't get me wrong I love editorials and fashion photography but it's when a magazine only has like 2-3 editorials and lots of articles it doesn't make sense to me to buy it if I'm not going to look at the whole thing.

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09-04-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YoninahAliza View Post
True. Don't get me wrong I love editorials and fashion photography but it's when a magazine only has like 2-3 editorials and lots of articles it doesn't make sense to me to buy it if I'm not going to look at the whole thing.
Well, I don't really understand that. When I pick up Nature or the Economist I hardly expect to be amazed by the art. Similarly, I don't expect to be overcome by the arguments and reasoning of fashion magazines. So why gawk at the images in Nature and why carefully read the articles in Vogue?


Last edited by iluvjeisa; 09-04-2012 at 03:25 PM.
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16-04-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueorchid View Post
Yeah, I like reading Interview and AnOther, but other than that I just sort of skim through them.

Earlier this year I bought the issue of GQ US with Michelle Williams on the cover and I read most of the articles in that, which is something I never do with Vogue US. There was one article about a soldier who was badly burned and suffering from really bad post traumatic stress syndrome and there was a doctor who was testing some virtual reality video game thing and somehow it ended up reducing his pain, etc. While I was reading that article it really struck me that there aren't as many interesting articles like that in women's fashion magazines. It's not like GQ is filled with all these amazing articles, but why can't Vogue ever have articles about interesting topics like that? I mean their April issue had that infamous article where that mother put her 7 year old daughter on a diet, who in the world wants to read that garbage?

I also think the articles in fashion magazines are too repetitive and similar to each other. I remember when A Single Man came out and every damn magazine had an article about Tom Ford directing his first film for a solid three months. I understand that that was, you know, an item of interest for the fashion world, but after the 10th article it was like "who the hell cares?"
You should consider reading Gloria Steinem's "Sex, Lies, and Advertising" (in her book Moving Beyond Words) and Jean Kilbourne's Deadly Persuasion. Both of these expose just how how advertisers control not only what ads are in the magazine, but content itself. It's a problem that particularly plague women's magazines because advertisers WANT women to focus on buying cookery, fashion, and fluff. They don't WANT women to think about issues like politics, war, or ugly things. Men's magazine routinely have more "hard-core" articles because the advertisers aren't focused on selling fashion first to men. (There are other books and articles, those are just the two most famous examples.)

It's the reason why I admire Franca so much. Because to do the stuff she does: featuring women of colour, curves only issues, etc, etc, all those controversial editorials--she really had to stand her ground with advertisers. Of course, we don't hear about it, but it does go on BTS. It affects even Anna and her decision-making and what designers get featured. Every ed-in-chief has to deal with it. It's why Ms. went ad-free for years, because the advertisers tried to soften up the content and treat it like the typical women's magazine rather then the alternative feminist zine it is. It's why lots of indie magazines don't use advertisers either: because the advertisers will ultimately try to determine the articles. And nobody wants their hands tied.

In addition, many of these magazines are now owned under umbrella publishers. And, if the publisher gets big advertising deals from Tom Ford, then of course, all the articles will focus him. (Who and what we see covered in various magazines is NOT an accident. That is how much control advertisers have over content.)

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