Let's hear it for Vogue Australia! This is the publication I credit with fuelling a lifelong addiction to glossy magazines. My first forays into reading about fashion started at the tender age of thirteen when I used to borrow copies from my local library, to later pore over them with my sister and girlfriends in a gaggle of collective girlish glee - oh the clothes! However I also remember wonderful articles, sharp writing and captivating short stories that stayed with me for ages after I reluctantly returned them by their due dates. When I go home I always reacquaint myself by getting a current edition for the beach and am never disappointed to find that it is just how I remember it - that is, a bloody good read.
Regular readers will know I regularly have my rants about the UK fashion press on this blog for it's capacity for mind boggling vacuousness, being out of touch with readers and giving poor style advice. Although there is still a focus on high end fashion and luxury goods, Vogue Australia feels a lot more down to earth than it's English cousin.
Take their Vogue View section where the reporting on the latest trends is free from irritating and snide insinuations that if you weren't wearing it all yesterday rather than your old clobber, then you are nought but fashion roadkill.
Instead the accompanying commentary offers new trends up for your consideration, rather than ramming them down your throat with the bullying tone of the "buy now or forever be unfashionable" rhetoric that is so prevalent in some UK publications. How refreshing to see mood boards spread out like visual smorgasbords of ideas and inspiration from which you are invited to choose at leisure, rather than pressured to consume.
I was also struck how inclusive the articles were to older readers (I always feel the UK editions pretend we don't exist). In a November issue I happened to read in a lobby there was a honest, intelligent and heartfelt exploration of the ageing issue by a journalist struggling with being thirty nine and the myriad of reasons why women feel compelled to lie about their age as they get older - career pressures, entering the dating game again and the pressure of society for us to have achieved a list of things that we may not have by the time we reach certain milestone birthdays.
I particularly loved this article with fashionable barrister Dixie Coulton on her eclectic wardrobe. So often when a UK magazine celebrates a woman as a fashion icon it is usually some actress/model/heiress/popstrel/rockstar/fashion insider or, most irritatingly, a trustafarian with a dream creative career in aforementioned categories on the back of having rich or famous parents. These are women who have designers and stylists on speed dial and who seem to do nothing but swan from one glamourous party to the next getting papped. But how about this for a new concept? To feature (gasp!) a modern career woman who works! Yes successful lawyers in the over fifty age bracket have style credentials too! Who would have thought?
"It never worries me about being seen twice in the same thing or even being seen in it a decade later. It think it's a great thing, a badge of honor."
"I know fashion changes, but you do hope when you buy things that you will be able to have them for 20 or 30 years to just pull out and wear...And if we're talking about reducing our carbon footprint, it's a pretty good way to be able to do it."More fashion role models like this please!
For the fashionista who is also a thinking feminist there was an article in their Opinion section exploring the theme of plastic surgery and whether the artificial is now accepted as being normal. While acknowledging the insidious invasion of this mindset into modern society is not actually a new phenomenon, there is a healthy debate as to whether this is a good or bad thing.
The other fascinating thing I've noticed has been the gradual shift towards Australia being six months behind Europe in reporting on and following trends to being a fashion forward six months ahead. Given Australia lags the Northern Hemisphere in season by six months, it used to be the case that the influence on local fashion from the design powerhouses in Europe and the States would consequently also filter through six months later. I would come home and spot trends in the local magazines that had been the big thing last season in the UK.
Well no longer. Yes, if these recent editions are anything to go by Australian women are already embracing the major trends of Spring/Summer 2012 while we in the Northern Hemisphere continue to shiver enviously in this Winter's coats. No doubt the information age, the internet and the speed with which new fashion is beamed globally the instant it hits the runway has been used by the Aussies to their sartorial advantage to turn being six months behind to being six months ahead. Bravo!
Though the styling may not reach the giddy heights of the avant-garde European editions, in no way does Vogue Australia skimp on doling out pages of fashion fantasy that most of us can only ever dream of wearing. The difference is the impression I get while turning the pages is that I am being spoken to as a grown woman, in a way that conveys great enthusiasm for fashion, but with the recognition that most of us are not ladies who lunch or party endlessly, that we cannot and do not buy into everything new, that we read Vogue for inspiration and ideas rather than as a shopping catalogue, and that we might update our current wardrobes with something new if the fancy took us while still continuing to wear old things that we still love. Considering subscribing!
Also thanks so much everyone for all of your well wishes and messages of support of late after our burglary. We are unfortunately still camera-less chez Veshoevius, but thanks to the talented Mr V reviving some old technology lying around the flat, we now have a running computer (albeit a very slow one). So while I can't promise normal blogging service just yet, we are getting part of the way there. I've missed everybody so will be around to say hi eventually!