The Current State of Magazines

Has anyone recovered from #CyberMonday yet? I got a ton of goodies coming along my way and I can't wait *claps hand with glee* I wasn't planning on writing about fashion magazines quite just yet but the amount of surprise at the quality of Self Service in the last post's comments prompted me to do so. While I was looking up Venetia Scott, I came across this interview she did with Ponystep on Fashionologie and found this part that particularly resonated with me:
"I find magazines less and less interesting — I don’t really buy magazines or look at magazines. I mean I’ve got a twelve year old [daughter with ex-husband Juergen Teller] and we were talking about it yesterday — she’ll go on the internet and probably look at something like your [online] magazine [Ponystep] more. She would not ever go to a newsagent and buy a magazine. And even here when we get sent ones that I’ve got work in, she’s not really interested in it. In a way I’m doing less editorial because it seems a bit tired now."
You can read the entire interview here. I find it interesting that such sentiment would be echoed by someone who works so closely with advertisers and magazines. [Side note: just how awesome would it be if your mum was Venetia Scott and your dad Juergen Teller, just sayin'.] As a fashion insider, she would have way more insight than I ever will by just looking at the newsstand. I have been feeling this way for a while now, and particularly more and more as the time went on this year. I remember (not too long ago in high school) the excitement of going to sites such as Foto-Decadent and later Fashion Gone Rogue to go check out the latest editorials from different magazines around the world. Alas, I don't feel so anymore. I don't think it's necessarily because I've grown accustomed to the limited ways an editorials can be done because I do find the occasional favourite now and then (i.e. Self Service), so it can only be concluded that the quality of editorials are declining.

It's funny how I failed to include the two biggest yawners of all time up in the picture above, namely Vogue US and Elle US even though I can understand the reason why they want to tone things down so much is because they want/need it to sell to mass audience (I'm looking at you Middle America!). The European Vogues tend to do pretty well, but lately they are yawn-inducing as well. It's not that I need some kind of provocative imagery or naked Lara Stone and Ashley Smith everywhere, except new themes, different locations (no more jumping against grey backgrounds please) or interesting styling. The art of styling is lost somewhere and everything feels so commercial it reads like an advertisement. It doesn't help that most of the looks are entirely taken directly from the runway––might as well go read a catalog or look up the runway photos myself instead.

In search of new browsing material and fashion inspiration elsewhere, I have shied away from mass-market, mainstream publications in favour of smaller, niche magazines like Acne Paper, Lula, Inventory, Kinfolk, Self Service, The Gentlewoman, Monocle, etc. These magazines tend to be a lot more expensive, though it's entirely worth it because of the amazing quality of the printing, the layouts, the lack of ads, and of course, the incredible content. All the blood, sweat and labour poured into these smaller magazines is evident through the utter attention to detail, which does not go unnoticed and is much appreciated. I enjoy these newer smaller magazines a lot more in most parts because they have a much more artistic quality to them and are immensely creative in the way they present things. Perhaps as a result of not having the pressure to sell and dilute their content, they have the full rein to go all out on the particular subject. Because I treat the magazines as luxury items, I want content that I cannot get elsewhere and rather want something with immense depth that I can savour slowly in several sittings like allowing small bites of chocolate melting over my tongue if that makes sense. The only Condé Nast publication I still read is The New Yorker. Does anyone else agree? Which magazines do you read nowadays?

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