The magazine doesn't contain a single article on weight loss, diet, exercise routine, or man-pleasing (as one would expect from something named The Gentlewoman, but still, in the world of ladymags, it's a surprise.) Instead, it contains interviews with successful women, profiles of more successful women and cultural icons, age and racial diversity, a delightful article on apples, and several features on fashion and clothes. And it's really great. I don't necessarily demand that all ladymags be deep deep reading; but anything that doesn't assume that I'm an insecure shopaholic blow-up doll is a welcome relief.
So here are some pages snapped with my phone, for the purposes of conveying the experience; I do sincerely hope that some of you decide to subscribe. Ten bucks seems like a lot to drop on a magazine, but this one is hefty and beautiful and treats its readers as people! Anyway, here.
Some ads! With Part I Table of Contents.
And a very nice portrait of Ashley Olsen, who gives a good, thoughtful interview about running Elizabeth and James.
And Yoko Ono, who is shockingly not at all maligned:
Then there's a profile of Lukwesa Burak:
Then there's a great, great feature on Inez van Lamsweerde (who's also on the cover), and whose photography is just so startling and interesting:
What I really love about magazines as a genre is the random element: there are always articles on some unexpected matters, of which I may have not thought -- but here it is, and it's cool, and I learned something. This time, it's apples!
Beautiful photography and informative text about apple varieties: not the subject I expected, but glad to have encountered.
Then there are fashion photoshoots. I liked a lot that some of the captions included bits of information about the models, not just the clothes they're wearing. Here's a page from their Long Looks feature. This is totally how I dress! Score for Team Highwaisted Pants.
Then there are several more features, on things like shapewear and seasonal clothing. Shot in black and white and unapologetic (yes, this sweater is Lanvin.) I think luxury products such as these can be appreciated as art objects -- and frankly, I prefer that. I love Lanvin, will never be able to afford the clothes, but I still can admire them.
I find admiration for the unreachable much healthier than anxious aspiration of just-out-of-reach things, the insecure grabbing for the almost-affordable. And more inspiring than the perpetual '100 things under 100 bucks you need RIGHT NOW' features popular with Lucky (I do like Lucky) and Marie Claire -- and nowadays, even Vogue is debasing itself with those. Thank you , ladymags, I know what they sell at Target and Old Navy -- show me the beautiful things I wouldn't see otherwise, and forget the social climbing. I'd rather look at pretty things I don't even think about buying than overspend on crap I don't need. Anyway.
Last but not least, Gesticulations!
A really lovely thing about this magazine is it's quality -- good, thick paper, no annoying perfume samples in the creased pages that make the entire magazine artificially stinky... really, what a magazine should be. I'll be renewing. Too bad it only comes out twice a year!
(And since this is shaping up to be a review month... I will be writing about some books I'm reading, as well as Ella Lai's clothes. Yes, again -- she's just that good.)