Why don’t we just move New Years to September. It just feels right. I could actually get to a New Years eve party without having to wear my overcoat, pantyhose, and galoshes. Of course, we might keep the galoshes during hurricane season.
It’s that time of year again for September issues. We love September issues. For fashion, it’s Christmas and New Years all rolled into one. I’ve got four on my plate this month. After my disappointment with “Eat Pray Love,” a film with, starring, and conceived for Julia Roberts, I skipped Elle; I’ve aged out of Glamour. Just don’t do Cosmo anymore and I’m still waiting for my “W” which hasn’t shown up in the mail. Hmmm. I may check out Town and Country. But here’s the take on my current pile.
American Vogue features Halle Berry on the cover the September issue. Granted, Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour brought the celebrity face to the cover girl world and succeeded at least insuring some survival for the magazine’s business. Berry has been under wraps for awhile after becoming a new mother in the 4th decade of her life. It seems life’s ups and downs enhances Halle’s beauty. This is the second September issue Vogue has featured a black woman on the cover. The first was in 1989 with Naomi Campbell. It provoked a few off-color remarks from readers. The 2010 726 paper brick makes an impressive statement that advertisers are still flocking to Vogue. However, where I’ve praised Vogue in the past, especially for diversity in its spreads with models of various hues, this year, I am underwhelmed. Where Vogue offers aspiration, this September issue appears to want to promote the magazine’s September 10th Fashion Night Out. Even Grace Coddington and Edward Enningful were reduced to editing thematic billboards featuring celebrities (including athletes) and models promoting Fashion Night Out. As Fluff Chance aka Eric Gaskins of the blog “The Emperor’s Old Clothes” writes:
I don’t know about you but I’m tired of the press blitz on this dubious Night of a Thousand Bars.
Before I opened Vogue’s September issue, I saw a woman carrying a purse accented with mink in NY’s Penn Station. A fashion preview? Where I don’t expect substance, I certainly expect style, style, and more style from Vogue. I had to re-watch R.J. Culter’s “The September Issue” to believe again.
Celebrities take up most if not all of the September covers. Jennifer Aniston is the cover girl for Harper’s Bazaar with a spread paying homage to Barbra Streisand. As Sarah Jessica Parker tried to channel Diana Vreeland, it seems this concept is just as dead with the living as it is with the dead. But Jennifer has to keep promoting herself as a “funny girl.”
I constantly deduct points from Bazaar for their lack of diversity in terms of models, or putting black models in the exoticism role. Harper’s Bazaar does manage this month to find some real people who are women of color including a black “It” Girl. When did “It” replace “That”? Shala Monroque (editor-at-large of “Pop”) is the “Personal Style” star. Monroque was also featured in the April issue of Bazaar. Maybe black women keep it real when it comes to fashion. No fuss. Just fashion. Italian Vogue caught up with Montorque for their infamous “Black Women’s issue” as well.
I can totally relate to Monroque for this one simple reason:
I don’t have a high threshold for pain. I have to have comfortable shoes.
Kitten Heels appear to be her mantra no matter what the fashion experts say; and that’s going to be the thing this fall. Bazaar digs into it. Because I’m flat-footed, the Kitten Heel has always given me the little lift. My favorite has always been the sling back style. A little skin adds smart sexy to the look. But attention to the skin around the heel and ankle are required.
Where Vogue gives attention to fashion form and concept, Bazaar gives props to fashion’s function and compatibility with contemporary women’s lifestyles. This issue is not only a good browse, but a good read. There’s an interview with Marc Jacobs by Calvin Klein; Alexander Wang drops names on his accessories; Jimmy Choo founder Tamara Mellon opens her home and shoe closet(s), Ralph Lauren retells his tie salesman story again (we’ll forgive them); and the Olsen Twins designs for their The Row label actually aren’t bad.
So this year, Harper’s Bazaar crowns Vogue – IMO.
NEW YORK MAGAZINE
New York puts out their fashion issue the last week in August. The first week of September is dedicated to the Fall Preview — things to do in New York in arts and culture, the new season on TV, film wrap up before Oscar nominations. Katie Holmes is the cover girl in a Jackie O (1970s vintage) pose. (Holmes has been cast to play the former first lady for the History Channel.) What I enjoyed most about this issue was its bold strokes. It’s not “camel” it’s “butter…scotch.” And why not. What else is on the plate. “Capes!” “Blazers Work.” “Boxy Bags.” Cut to the chase. Of course, articles are important to New York Magazine.
As it should be with VANITY FAIR….
Lady Gaga is the cover. Style is the topic. But there are articles too. And that’s what I subscribe to Vanity Fair for. But Gaga may be eclipsed by the October issue for its feature on Sarah Palin gaining steam on the net. Like consumer fashion, this read can be a guilty pleasure.