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]

Teddy Boys of The Edwardian Drape Society

I’m so glad I went to see Bruce Weber Shorts yesterday, a lovely hour of cinematic gorgeousness and perfect for a Saturday afternoon. Alas, I had to dash off moments before the end to catch a train to Leeds for a last minute BBC debate on the evils of teen magazines (I had to defend them). Before I left, tripping over my wheelie Globetrotter in a rather non-elegant fashion, I managed to catch the gem that was Teddy Boys of The Edwardian Drape Society, a three-minute movie showing a selection of old timer teddy boys (and girls) still dressing up, quiffing up and generally tearing up the dancefloor. These characters are passionate about their scene as can be witnessed in this old interview with Ritchie Gee who runs the Edwardian Drape Society. What a character!

[Images: Teds Corner]

Richard Avedon: What’s the surprise?

Richard Avedon - what's the surprise?

I spent last weekend dipping in and out of the Stylist book I bought a couple of weeks ago and can I say it was money well spent. In particular, this quote from Allure creative director Paul Cavaco resonated with me:

“Richard Avedon would ask, ‘What’s the surprise?’ And you’d go, ‘It’s the purple sock,’ so he’d go ‘Okay, move the pant leg up.’ I worked with great visual people who would ask, ‘Why am I looking at this? What is great about this girl? Yes, she’s beautiful, but they’re all beautiful. Show me what is different. Is it lipstick; is it not? What is that hand doing? Is it just shoved in the pocket? Should it be out or should it be showing a nail?’ You have all these options; what are you going to choose? The world is that open; how do you make it yours? That’s the editing process.”

Wise words. The book seems to feature mostly Conde Nast stylists (W, Vogue, Allure) which isn’t all that surprising as is behind it but Sarah Mover’s writing is spot on and it’s just so interesting to get a bit of an insight into these backstage creatives.

WORDS: Disneyrollergirl
IMAGE: Richard Avedon
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