Archive for the ‘fashion’ Category

Goalen – the super model face of the 1950s

June 13, 2014
super model - mannequin - Barbara Goalen

Sunday Times Magazine celebrates the style of 1952, as personified by super model Barbara Goalen (30 January 1977)

Model – or rather ‘mannequin’ in the teminology of the day – Barbara Goalen was chosen by the Sunday Times Magazine as the personification of the style of 1952.

The issue marked changes in ‘Britain at Work’ over the 25 years since Queen Elizabeth’s coming to the throne in 1952 in an article titled ‘The New Elizabethans’ (30 January 1977).

In that year, Goalen had been part of a 40,000-mile world tour over four weeks to promote British fashions and exports.

Goalen was born on the first day of 1921 and died in 2002. She was renowned for her wasp waist and her aloof looks.  Her measurements were 33 inches (for her ‘charlies’ in her own words), 18-in waist and 31-in hips; she tipped the scales at under eight stones.

Goalen’s modelling face was marked by arched eyebrows and she was the ideal mannequin for Dior’s New Look – ‘mink and diamonds’.

Despite her international success, she would be the leading super model in today’s terms, Goalen gave up modelling in 1954 when she married Nigel Campbell, a Lloyd’s underwriter. In the 1960s, she gave out fashion advice in the pages of the Daily Telegraph.

The National Portrait Gallery has four  photographs of Goalen ranging from 1949 to 1952, by Norman Parkinson (one with Wenda Parkinson, Parks’ wife since 1947) and John French. A fourth image from Keystone Press shows Goalen next to a portrait of herself by James Proudfoot.

Barbara Goalen on the cover of the general interest weekly Illustrated in 1953

Barbara Goalen on the cover of the general interest weekly Illustrated (29 August 1953)

The cover of Illustrated here shows an image from the shoot chosen by the Sunday Times Magazine. (There is a certain irony here in that the advent of free Sunday supplements sparked by the Sunday Times, was a big factor in killing off the general interest weeklies such as Illustrated.) Illustrated headlines Goalen as modelling the ‘London Look’. Inside, two photographers are credited, Peter Waugh and David Olins. (Some websites have identified the photographer as Richard Avedon, but this seems unlikely.)

Illustrated rival Picture Post also featured Goalen cover on its cover in 1952, in this case with a photo by John French.

 

Hearst tests out online shops

December 19, 2012

Hearst International president Duncan Edwards has described the various online shopping experiments the company is running to the FT’s Vanessa Friedman. There have been many such attempts by publishers, Happy, for example was a shopping magazine and website from Northern & Shell in 2005.  

  • ShopBazaar in the US is a website linked to Harper’s Bazaar that allows uses to buy products mentioned in the monthly fashion magazine. Condé Nast has competing efforts from Lucky and Allure.
  • In Japan, there is an Elle magazine shop. This is independent of the magazine and has broken even after about two years. Monocle has its own shops selling branded goods as well as a website.
  • In China, Hearst has an Elle site that links to different vendors, but brings buyers back to a common check-out.

Edwards reckons that ‘On average, of the 1,000 users who visit an esite from a magazine, only one converts into a buyer.’

These experiments in ‘monetising’ magazine brands leave Friedman feeling ‘queasy’ because of the blurring of the lines between editorial and commercial activities but some would argue the line was crossed many years ago by the big fashion magazines.

Coddington

November 28, 2012

Grace Coddington has a book out so the publicity interviews with US Vogue‘s model-turned-creative-director have been all over the supplements.  The Observer Magazine has an interview by Eva Wiseman, while Janet Maslin provides for the New York Times. But they diverge on the facts. Wiseman writes:

‘While Wintour is painted as a terrifying ice queen … Coddington never wears make-up…’

Maslin writes:

‘Abruptly she mentions the ghastly car accident that severed one of her eyelids. The injury was miraculously repaired, but it sidelined her for a while and pushed her to affect dark and heavy eye makeup. Today, still a provocateur who prefers extremes to the dull middle, she lightens the area around her eye sockets to achieve what she calls “that pale, bald Renaissance look.” It’s a look that sends a spooky message to the conventional beauty world.’

Take a look at the Observer photographs by Danielle Levitt or the many other profiles and see who you believe.

Julie Kavanagh’s 2011 profile in Intelligent Life is a much closer portrait, but then Kavanagh was her assistant in the 1970s.

Also, Vogue has put up a Coddington timeline, videos of interviews and an excerpt from the book and shows Coddington as the model for Vidal Sassoon’s Five Point Cut.

Vogue profile

 

 

Magazines push digital back issues

November 13, 2012

Paid Content has commented on the Gramophone launching its back issues in digital format with Exact Editions – which has also put the 20- year archive of Dazed & Confused on the Apple Newsstand.

Every one of the 1,000 back issues of  Gramophone will be  available to all digital and App subscribers on PC, Apple and Android devices for £3.99 a month or £39.99 a year. The archive is based on the North American edition of Gramophone, which includes all the UK pages plus a 16-page supplement in each issue, “Sounds of America”. This details musical developments in the US and Canada and reviews specialist American releases.

Music magazine profiled

Developments in digital magazines

Fashion magazines on Twitter

August 30, 2012

The digital arena is a different world, with big magazine sales not guaranteeing a big online presence

Consider this Twitter snapshot today:

A mixed picture, but Dazed is clearly the Twitter winner. Good news for Jefferson Hack and Rankin.

Digital magazine: timeline

Grazia in price cut to £1

August 7, 2012

Grazia has almost halved its price for this week only in a last-minute change to £1 from the usual £1.95. The issue – dated 13 August – goes on sale today with an off-sale date of 14 August. Bauer says it ‘periodically promotes issues of our magazines with price changes.’

Tit-bit: the magazine sees itself as published from’Grazia towers’.

Grazia briefing

Eagles, comics and magazines at the V&A’s NAL

May 21, 2012

Comics blog Cor Blimey! has visited the Eagle-era comics exhibition at the V&A and his review starts off cool but warms up.

The Eagle exhibition was mounted by Marc Ward of the National Art Library, which is housed at the V&A – but, despite its size, is easy to miss! The NAL has a very easy to search catalogue – you can just search on periodical names for example – which is useful not only for planning what to see but also for checking dates, publisher (even if they do not have a particular item).

They have complete runs of magazine such as Vogue and while it’s biased towards fashion and design titles, has issues across a range of areas, including international titles It’s a reference only collection but worth becoming a reader if they’ve got what you want.

As an example, I was in there a few weeks ago to look at Dazed & Confused. I could check what the NAL holds and a search on the main V&A website showed that Nick Knight had donated a selection of his photographs and I could look at them too – including prints of Aimee Mullins from the Fashion-Able issue. Tip: search on the surname. And, of course, the NAL holds a copy of last year’s Dazed history published by Rizzoli by Jefferson Hack with Kate Moss on the cover.

Madonna on Vogue covers

April 30, 2012

Been hammering away on the book I’m writing about the history of magazine design and looking through some old Vogue covers. How’s this for the first cover (May 1989) of Madonna in the US edition:

vogue 1989 may madonna us first

Anna Wintour was told this Madonna cover would not sell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fashion Indie notes that editor Anna Wintour says she was told ‘[Madonna]’ll never sell’, but, in fact, newsstand sales rose 40%. Strange that Wintour hadn’t checked with Liz Tilberis, her successor at the British sister magazine – ‘Brogue’ – which had run this cover in February:

Vogue front cover Madonna

British Vogue beat the US edition in having a Madonna front cover four months earlier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first cover under Liz Tilberis was of Naomi Campbell – her first appearance on the front of Vogue.

History of women’s glossies

British Vogue cover archive - search on date, model, photographer or editor, but not all covers are up

Shulman steel beneath Vogue’s nice girl veneer

April 14, 2012
Ferguson portrait of Alexandra Shulman in the FT

Ferguson portrait of Alexandra Shulman in the FT

Next weekend marks the first Vogue festival at the Royal Geographical Society in Kensington with the likes of Stella McCartney, Diane Von Furstenberg, Tom Ford, Nigella Lawson and Kirsty Young chatting before the magazine masses.

It’s an idea led by the fashion magazine’s editor Alexander Shulman, who also has a book coming out.

That’s why there have been profiles of Shulman in the Observer Magazine last Sunday and today’s FT, where Carola Long, the FT’s deputy fashion editor, has lunch with the Vogue editor.

Shulman is portrayed as down to earth, almost girl next door, with both profiles putting across the image of a woman ‘happy in Vogue’.

‘…her hair is an untamed mishmash of outgrown highlights. Her clothes are discreetly fashionable but unintimidating: a navy-blue cardigan, a knee-length patterned skirt and comfortable-looking Anya Hindmarch heels. And – shock, horror! – she eats’ gushes Elizabeth Day in the Observer mag

But the articles are so similar that you wonder whether the interviewers have just swallowed the PR line.

There are hints, though, that more is afoot. The FT piece starts talking about the choice of restaurant:

Alexandra Shulman was also expecting a little privacy but the editor of British Vogue is scarcely going undercover by nipping round the corner from her Hanover Square office to this smart new steakhouse. In bounces well-connected foodie Tom Parker Bowles (‘Is this your new haunt?’ he asks), followed by restaurant critic AA Gill (‘Hi Adrian’, ‘Hi darling’). ‘Rather more people here than I expected,’ Shulman says, jaw tense, voice dropping to a near-whisper

But does it look like a navy-blue cardigan below? She leaves the Observer interviewer and seems to change into a grey cardigan that looks, to my non-fashionista eye, like a designer job.

Alexandra Shulman. Photograph: Julian Broad for the Observer

Alexandra Shulman. Photograph: Julian Broad for the Observer

She tells the FT:

‘I’ve got to the point where I don’t judge myself [on my appearance] because that way madness lies,’ she says, convincingly. ‘I know so many people who are upset about not looking as good as they used to but you’ve got to realise that’s what happens and find something else to be interested in.’

All very nice and reasonable. She does have a go at someone, however. In the Observer:

In fact, the most pronounced change she has noticed during her time at Vogue is … the increased control exerted by PRs and celebrities. ‘Somebody like Jennifer Aniston will only do an interview with copy approval and picture approval,’ she says. ‘I’ve never had anybody on the cover, ever, who’s had copy approval and picture approval. I just don’t think it’s a proper thing if you do.

‘It’s this thing of people just basically treating you as if you’re bound to be doing something that is in some way going to be insulting to their client. I just find that so offensive.’

Who could disagree with that. But then why pick on Aniston? Could it be that the Friends actor was the preview launch cover choice of weekly fashion rival Grazia?

After reading these two pieces, I’d be wary of the PR gloss and cut to the FT quote:

If she could have her time again, she says, ‘I would have got rid of the people who didn’t want to work with me, sooner.’ It’s a hint of the steeliness that must have helped keep her at the top in a fickle industry.

What I do like, though, is the FT  portrait by James Ferguson. His cartoons always have an edge to them. In this one, she’s got her heart not just on her sleeve but all over her top. The drink is the £5.50 Virgin Mary she has at 34 Restaurant. And there’s no attempt to flatter. It’s as if he’s taken her words to heart: ‘I’ve got to the point where I don’t judge myself [on my appearance].’

Vogue profile

Free fashion monthly for London

April 13, 2012

The streets of London are expecting the launch of aMUSE – a free monthly fashion/beauty/culture title for women – on April 30. A circulation of 120,000 is planned (about a quarter that of Stylist, but the Shortlist Media goes to 10 cities) from aMUSE Media. The editor is Sasha Slater and publisher is Stephen Murphy, former founder of Square Mile. Men’s weekly Shortlist and fashion weekly Stylist have established the ‘freemium’ sector and there’s a long history of free weeklies such as Girl About Town in the 1970s. Readers expect a glossier feel from monthlies, so it’ll be interesting to see how aMUSE addresses this.

Video interview with Shortlist founder Mike Soutar


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