Magazines

Harpers’ Bazaar says, ‘we mean business’




A few weeks ago I had a meeting with a photographer who was bemoaning the state of the magazine industry. “No one has any money, they’re all slashing their budgets, it’s a nightmare,” he droned. Oh dear, I thought. It wasn’t news of course, I know many magazines are so skint they are hardly doing any shoots, but buying in pictures from their sister editions in the US. Dire. So today I brightened when I bought the March issue of UK Harpers’ Bazaar. Bloody hell, I could hardly pick it up. It’s huge – not only thick (360 pages) but supersized, almost as big as W. And the content this month is great – Roisin Murphy’s fashion picks, a scrap-book style catwalk roundup, interviews with Sofia Coppola and Luella Bartley and a profile of YSL.




The fashion shoots aren’t my bag (way too grown up) but I did like the Balmain dress with the nomad headscarves and the girl with the naughty cigarette.





To me the supersizing is a good move. If the offline magazine industry is seriously threatened by online publications then this sends out a clear message – “We’re significant and we’re here to stay”. Amen to that.

[Double click to enlarge pics]



Swayed by suede, a cautionary tale





Thinking of buying a suede bag? Perhaps YSL‘s mock-croc print number or 3.1 Phillip Lim‘s reversible tote? Well take my advice, don’t do it. Unless you have a full-time driver or live somewhere with extremely agreeable weather. I lusted after Baleciaga’s cherry-red suede slouch bag for, oh months, before I finally came face to face with it in a boutique and did the classic ‘if I don’t buy it now it won’t be here next time’ panic splurge. It first gave me come-hither glances from the back page of US Vogue which I subsequently tore out and carried around with me. I fantasised about what I’d wear it with – a bit Frankie Rayder I fancied, in gently faded Levis and a just-fitted-enough white tee – and what it would smell like (I have an unhealthy obsession with sniffing leather and suede). When you see something like that in the flesh after investing so much time and energy in the fantasy, your real-life logic doesn’t stand a chance. I gave it a cursory try-on in the shop before the adrenalin got the better of me and seconds later it was in the carrier bag and in my hand.

A few years down the line and I can count the number of times I’ve used it on three fingers. The simple fact is a suede bag and unpredictable London weather do not a good combination make. Time after time I’ve rediscovered it, tenderly unpacked it from its dustbag, given it a gentle stroke and a sniff and vowed to use it the very next day. Come the next morning, sensing a hint of darkness in the sky and the threat of a downpour it’s back to the PVC Marc shopper and boring reliability.

We all know that the fashion industry is based on fantasy and this example goes to prove it. Every time I see the poor bag it’s an expensive reminder of that seductive back-page-of-Vogue photo and the promise that it would change my life. Sucker! So what now? The bag has been unpacked for the very last time and tomorrow it makes its way to Rellik, the queen bee of vintage stores. It’s not an It bag and it’s not strictly vintage but it’s Balenciaga so Stephen Rellik has hinted he might be up for a swapsies consultation. We can but wait and see.



Trendwatch – Pop Luxe



Kanye West Alexis Phifer Harpers Bazaar

As much as I adore fashion and popular culture, I have to admit I have no clue about contemporary music. Pardon me but I’m still catching up on all the old 60s soul, 70s disco and 80s punk music I haven’t yet listened to.

So even though I’ve heard of Kanye West I wouldn’t actually recognise his music if I was to ever come across it. All this mattered not one whit when I witnessed his apartment in US Harper’s Bazaar recently. Oh. My. God. This gaff is stuffed to the rafters with pop-tastic furniture, fashion and ‘objets’.

A stack of Louis Vuitton luggage may not sound that original to you but this guy has like, a tower of ten multicoloured monogrammed LV cases piled several feet high and the effect is totally museum-worthy. Then there’s the neon-green outsized Marc Newson Dom Perignon bottle grazing next to a Maurice Calka white fibreglass Boomerang desk.

Did I mention the super-sized Takashi Murakami flower-shaped pillows? This is my fantasy apartment and it all looks totally authentic. Even if it’s been interior-decorated you can absolutely believe the ideas have come from West when you see his collection of sci-fi-style sunglasses and OTT-print Bathing Ape sweats. West describes this look as Pop Luxe and I think he’s onto something.

Next in the pipeline is his clothing range, Pastelle – if it’s anything like his apartment I await it with baited breath.

Save