Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Fashion magazines: next on the endangered list?

For the past few months I have practically stopped buying fashion magazines (save for a flurry of mad magazine spending a week ago) and have taken little interest in my subscriptions to Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and Elle.
At first I thought it was because I was getting bored with fashion but I realized that that wasn't true because I was (and am) obsessively reading fashion blogs and keeping up-to-date on the latest shows, news and trends online.

I've been thinking a lot about why I don't seem to care about fashion magazines anymore. But the answer is obvious: the internet, stupid!

I wrote about the monotony of (American) fashion mags a while ago; specifically how Vogue was getting boring and stale. After writing that post a few months ago I still find it true that the magazine is uninspiring and dull. I was hoping that in this doom and gloom environment, Vogue would be putting out something more creative and exciting. Now all I do is flip through the pages and yawn.

International magazines fair a bit better; their photographs inspire me and frankly it's the editorials that make me buy them, not the articles. Yet still; I haven't been obsessively collecting every international issue of Vogue, Elle and Harper's every month the way I used to.

It seems that they have run out of ideas; every month it's the same. The pages look the same, the colours are the same, the models' poses are the same; the pages are the same format. I swear sometimes that Elle and Harper's Bazaar are the exact same magazine.
And I'm sick of the non-fashionable celebrities on the cover.

To borrow the diagram from blogger Style Amor, you can see how these two mags look so much alike, EVERY MONTH.

And Vogue covers. Don't get me started on those. They might as well be using the same celebrity on every cover because they put them in the same dresses and poses wearing the same facial expression.

However I do realize all the work and creativity it takes to make these magazines and I really respect the editors, photographers and everyone else involved in making the magazines happen. There are many talented people who are putting them together.
But I feel that they have fallen a bit behind the times and I think that it's not just the people who are to blame. I feel that magazines themselves are behind the times.

Why wait for a monthly magazine to tell me what the next trends are when I can go to any one of the amazing style blogs out there like fashion toast, karla's closet, Garance Doré or The Sartorialist? They can predict and style the trends better than Condé Nast. They are the ones who are inspirational, who come up with never-before-seen ideas. I get my inspiration now from these bloggers because they can do whatever they want and don't have the restrictions or the carefully planned editorial that fashion magazines do.
Instead of waiting for a magazine to show me the best of the F/W 09 collections, I can see them as soon as the shows are over when the photos and videos are uploaded on the blogs and style sites. I can see the bags, shoes, jewelry and clothes right after they've hit the runway so I can decide right then whether I want to buy them.

Fashion magazines need to keep up with the blogs and other style sites or else they will lose touch with their readers who are increasingly turning to the internet to get their fashion advice.

So, dear readers: Who do you look to for sartorial advice and news? Magazines or style blogs and sites?


Ondo Lady said...

Hmm, this is an interesting one. I do agree that a lot of mags are looking a bit samey and cannot compete with websites and blogs on up to date minute news, however there is something so irresitible about magazines. They are so nice to have on a long trip or just to browse through for inspiration. I can't get by every week without my Grazia fix and I love UK Elle and Living etc.

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