Sunday, November 07, 2010

The Gentlewoman -- Autumn/Winter 2010

I finally got a subscription to The Gentlewoman -- I wanted it ever since Susie Bubble waxed poetic about it. Subscriptions to the US aren't cheap, but I broke and got one anyway. I wasn't disappointed.

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.

Next up, we have more detailed interviews and profiles of people like British comic Julia Davis (who doesn't really smoke, as the caption helpfully explains):

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.)

1 comment:

LS said...

Hello! I found your fabulous blog whilst searching for the Julia Davis interview from Issue 2 of The Gentlewoman. I am finding it impossible to get hold of that particular issue at a reasonable price (it's going for £80 on ebay!) and was hoping to find someone who could possible scan the interview as I'd really love to read it. If this is possible please get in touch and you will be my favourite person ever! Many thanks in advance, lauren [dot] sadler [at]