The 2012 Fall Special Anniversary issue of VOGUE is 916 pages thick.
If it’s true that young girls don’t buy magazines, anymore, then that’s too bad. They are missing out on the chance to flip through a 120-year glossy tradition of style, high-fashion, couture, and inspiration. For many women, who grew up reading fashion magazines, the glossies were a cherished part of tweenhood. My first magazine was probably Glamour with its fresh-faced Ford models and how-to articles. As I grew older, and became able to afford better things, VOGUE became my fashion bible — giving me inspiration and helping to form my sense of style.
The first issue of VOGUE came out on November 17, 1892. Ever so fashion-forward, even during that conservative era, the sepia-hued cover shows a sketch of a Victorian model in a billowy evening gown with a very low-cut neckline. It had puffy sleeves decorated with bows. The sketch was, eventually, replaced by photographs of real women. Throughout the decades that followed, professional models graced the covers until, recently, when fashion magazines began the practice of placing movie and pop stars on covers. On this cover, with her Dr. Seuss Thing 1 & Thing 2-inspired hairdo, Lady Gaga electrifies in a crimson patchwork fishtail evening gown by Marc Jacobs. Apparently, Gaga’s gown references the gown in that sepia-colored first cover. Really? I don’t see it. And, truthfully, I miss seeing real models on magazine covers.
My Fall Anniversary issue of VOGUE costs $5.99, and the first two-hundred pages are composed of ads. It isn’t until page 202 that we see any editorial content in the form of VOGUE.COM, supposedly a print version of what the reader could see on the magazine’s website. Consolidated, the magazine’s editorial content would probably tally up to several dozen pages. So why, then, do women buy a magazine made up mostly of advertising pages? Because the ads, themselves, are works of art consisting of beautiful women wearing, and carrying, some of the most coveted clothes and accessories available worldwide.
Here are some of my favorites:
Louis Vuitton: Ladies on a train wearing big hats and carrying the latest monogram bags and satchels. It’s a print version of LV’s train-themed Fall fashion show.
Christian Dior placed two pull out panels on VOGUE of clothes and accessories in my favorite shades of cream, white, black and red. I am noting a dress from the October issue of the Harper’s Bazaar “Fall’s Rich Tapestry” pictorial. It is a sleeveless brown dress with rich raised embroidery, much like patterns you would find on antique furniture, but light enough to be sewn on an airy romantic dress. This particular one is from Salvatore Ferragamo.
In Elle magazine I found a retro version of a cotton-candy pink wool-blend dress by Jill Sander. The sweetheart bustier-style top was a perfect foil for the A-line skirt portion of the frock. I loved the touch of white leather gloves.
Will I actually, ever, buy these dresses? I doubt it. In this “work-from-home” digital age, many women, even those who can afford expensive clothing, are embracing a style of dressing that is more casual, practical, and less glamorous. In fact, many high-end luxury stores are suffering from a lack of sales while shops like Zara and Top Shop, with their more reasonably-priced styles, are flourishing and gaining favor with style-saavy shoppers.
For now, I am happy to shop with my eyeballs. Fall season brings cooler weather but it also marks the time of year when those big, thick, glossy magazines full of couture will be waiting in my mailbox. ♥