Sunday, September 15, 2013

Pretty Found

A few years ago I stopped reading most of the glossy fashion magazines.  I became bored to tears with celebrity covers as well as endless mini photos from the runway.  Also, it seemed as though the editorial content began to resemble advertisements.  One holdout, until now, has been Vogue.  When I bought my first copy 30 years ago, many women said "The clothing in Vogue can't be worn by real women".  But I quickly learned to read Vogue the way it was meant to be read:  for the "essence" of clothes, for trend spotting, and for the articles written by fashion editors who usually stay on point and write about clothes and style.  Some Vogue issues still bore me although Grace Coddington's layouts are interesting if she doesn't go too over the top. 

But recently I've discovered something nice.  Something pretty.  The British Harper's Bazaar is marvelous.  First,  it's printed in a small version which makes it tote-able and easy to hold - its diminutive size makes it a cozy read.  Also, Bazaar has Justine Picardie as editor-in-chief.  She is Coco Chanel's most premiere biographer and that makes her understand that women want pretty more than they want shock.  Also, Harper's Bazaar has always had literary ambitions which at one time was considered indispensable to a cultivated readership.  This month, the magazine delivered with a long-forgotten short story by Virginia Woolf, "Lapin and Lapinova".  It held my interest one entire lunch hour as I sat eating on a stonewall in the sun.  No joy-less lunch eating for me.

I'm also a sucker for any reference to a romantic painting that appears with modern lipsticks and shoes.  Just thumbing through the Brit Bazaar is a mini art or history lesson.  At the very least, one can soak in a little beauty.  Their almost monthly spin-off of Diana Vreeland's "Why Don't You..." columns inspire me even more than the book of Vreeland's actual columns. 

The magazine is a bit more expensive than the American version, and celebs still grace the covers but I'm loving it because, simply put, Pretty makes me happy.


  1. Pretty is important, and a characteristic most lacking in MOST of this fall's crop of nasty-hearted, angry clothes. Thanks for sharing this; I'll be hunting down this magazine! Pretty rules!

  2. Your reference to Virginia Woolf's "Lapin and Lapinova" has piqued my interest but finding a copy of the British Harper's Bazaar is going to be a challenge.

    Coincidentally about a year ago I was reading "Grace" and found the woman to be fairly down to earth, and not without some tragedy in her glamorous life. She and Anna Wintour enjoy a unique friendship in a very competitive world.

    How is it that the British seem to do things so well? The same seems to hold true with the British version of Country Living magazine. My humble opinion but it's just--well, better.