Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Fall Issue

Vogue has yet to give us a glimpse of the cover of its September issue but we do know that Lady Gaga will grace it. This is the much anticipated thick as a brick issue that has hundreds of pages of fall advertising. I love it but I do wish Vogue had models on the cover again and I really wish that the celebrities they select would at least be put in seasonally appropriate clothes and not the pale slinky gowns they wear on the covers now. In September and October I want to see burnished reds, nut browns, burnt oranges, cashmeres, tweeds, and wools. And what about red tartans?

I know where the gorgeous plaids and autumnal textured knits are, however. You can find them on my vintage Seventeen magazines of yore. How I anticipated the huge August Seventeen issue that arrived in my mailbox the first week of the month. My sister and I would take it to the beach and spend hours upon hours of prime sun tanning time pouring over the Bobbie Brooks ads for wide leg window pane plaid pants with cuffs and simple Shetland sweaters in primary colors. The surf couldn't pull us away from the lovely Berkshire hosiery ads, Bonnie Doon knee socks, and Bass shoes. The pictures were always fetching and romantic, with a boy-next-door model to set off the clothes and imply that an after school tailgating picnic was happening. We especially loved the Ladybug ads with capacious illustrations of menswear inspired clothes; plaid pantsuits with ruffled blouses, argyle sweaters, chunky heeled shoes, newsboy caps and Breton hats, all matching and coordinated. We dreamed of school starting and what we would wear and bring along on the first day. We made lists which, including lingerie and makeup, loose leaf notebooks, colored pens, "baby" barrettes and it all began with the opening of that big August Issue. The girl on the cover enticed us to enter her world, with her happy smile in her happy clothes and it made leaving behind our summer loves and friends almost painless. Seventeen made us feel it was alright that time was passing – because there was plenty of it and summer, if not endless, would at least return again and again. But not until after a shining new school year filled with the latest flicks, clothes, and the Boy Trap Sandwich #51.

Seventeen told us that Herbal Essence Shampoo would give us "the most beautiful shampoo experience on earth" and our hair would smell like the Garden of Eden. We were told that Wrangler jeans were the only jeans to wear to school and that "3 out of 3 girls preferred Yardley's Watercolor Eye Shadows" in the new applicator compact. We bought every color and shared them between us, along with a bottle of Chanel #5 which was selling for just $5.00 at the local Rexall. Seventeen also told us Danskins were not just for dancing and so we put the new bodysuits on our list too. And maxi coats and miniskirts and leather tooled handbags for each of us.

It wasn't just the ads that we loved so much - the editorial staff at Seventeen knew just how to talk to us. There were articles about careers, the Peace Corp, boyfriends, and the generation gap. The magazine's optimism made us feel that anything we imagined was possible and the future was our oyster.

So now, when my September Vogue comes in the mail, I may sniff at bit at the skimpy frock the celebrity du jour is wearing on the cover. But I know when my sister and I crack open that massive tome on our beach blanket Labor Day weekend, we'll be plotting our next moves.


  1. Thanks for a lovely trip down memory lane! I remember fondly Seventeen Magazine and Fall clothes for back to school. I find it strange that colors are no longer seasonal. I did read recently that burgundy will be the hot color this fall!

  2. This is my first visit and I can hardly describe how delighted I am to read of those wonderful Seventeen magazines! I know exactly that marvelous feeling of optimism and possibilities that arrived with the September issue and those first days of crisp early fall air!
    Do you also remember the college issues of Mademoiselle? It was fun to learn that Martha Stewart was once one of the best-dressed college girls they used to feature.
    I'll look forward to coming back soon to see what's happening at A Lovely Inconsequence! Best regards.

  3. Memory lane...yes, a wonderful stroll down "memory lane". I was on the Denholms Fashion Board in Worcester, MA during my junior year of high school. Bobbie Brooks, College Town, Bonnie Doon are a few of the names that helped me become the "best dressed" gal in high school!
    Emeraud, don't forget Emeraud!

  4. I have these wonderful memories, too!

  5. Donna, as well you know, my cherished pile of Seventeen magazines contains 3 August issues and I love to flip through the pages and see exactly what you speak of here. The relationships were wholesome, the clothes were seasonally appropriate, the hope of romance and fun was on every page. I only wish that today's autumn fashions were as entrancing and beautiful. Fluffy organdie combat fatiques, begone! Pendleton plaids, where are you? Love, Kay