Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Do you ever have those moments where you suddenly realise how you must look to other people? Over the past two weeks, I have been slowing my steps as I've walked past my local, friendly mag nation, scouring through the windows to see if a new friend has arrived yet. The Gentlewoman. For all the overseas readers (all two of you- hi cousin Miles! Hey auntie Jo!), this special sweetheart has been on the shelves for the past month. For us Australian readers, it has been a white-knuckled wait as not only are we always behind the publishing times because of how isolated we are, but a little volcano exploded or something? Which apparently disrupted a few flights? Or something? So the wait time was doubled.

And, as a result, I have been stalking mag nation for weeks now, trying to look casual, all 'o! is this a new shop? I'll just stare avidly through the windows like an obsessed crazy woman as I pass by cause that's what people do, right?' I don't think my nonchalance worked though. To save myself further embarrassment, I rang today- and it has ARRIVED. I waited until the call was over to whoop with joy. But when I went in it was nowhere to be seen and I started to get edgy. Time to break my cover. At the counter, unconsciously leaning forward, I tried to keep my voice at a low, regular, non-anxious level. 
"Has The Gentlewoman arrived yet?"
He studied me o-so-briefly. "Are you the one who called earlier today?" 

O no. 

He told me that it's not going to make the shelves. I think my face froze in split-second frames. Pure horror. "There's been that much demand for it, and not everyone is going to be able to get one." He then tells me that THEY ONLY HAVE 60 COPIES TO DISTRIBUTE FOR THE WHOLE OF AUSTRALIA!!! No. O no. O no no NO!

But then he HANDED ME A COPY and birds burst into song and people in spangles bounced out from behind the racks of magazines doing an ironic but cheerful victory dance.

And that was when I realised I have a problem. Maybe this should have clicked when I recently sacrificed my pride (o who am I kidding?!) to enter a competition to win a year's subscription to UK Vogue which entailed kissing the cover of a back issue. 

(Totz won, but whatevs, NO BIG DEAL.) 

Maybe the stack of fash mags by my bed from circa 2001 which are lovingly rearranged from time to time so that the top covers complement one another should have rung some bells. How did this happen? Do other people daydream in editorial shoots? Does anyone else have a dream mag composed of the sections you like from all your other fave mags?
I cannot be alone in this, surely . . .

The Gentlewoman
I was excited for the release of this new magazine because of what it might mean for womens' magazines. A sister to benchmark men's mag, Fantastic Man, it promised to be a thoughtful, considered and stylish voice amongst the clamour of celebrities and five ways to wear khaki this season. 

A cursory glance showed me article after article on women for women. An interview with Phoebe Philo (quick question: is it 'feel-o' like the pastry, or 'fy-lo' like lo-fi, backwards?)- I loved her at Chloe and love her at Celine, with her polished, grown-up, beautiful designs. I can't wait to delve into her world. An interview with a woman who makes her own gourmet ice-cream in London, and another with Kazuyo Sejima on the future of architecture and dozens of lovely, lovely photographs to be pored over. I'm all for celebrating the achievements of women independent of how 'sexy' or famous they are.

I'm going to go put the kettle on, and settle down with some white rose tea and not move until it's all photo-imprinted in my mind. As for you, I found some scans, so if you're not one of the lucky 60 to get your hot little hands on one, here's something until you find a copy on amazon.com or something:


  1. 60 copies :( Hopefully my local Borders will have a copy.

    I just came across your blog from mag nation's twitter link. I am in awe of your doctorate subject, that is amazing. I run Wikifashion and we have a blogroll of around 300 fashion blogs if you need anymore to study.

  2. Just found your blog today, looks fantastic. Really interesting posts, all the best with it!

  3. This sounds like the experience I had last month with Lula! Just when I gave up hope I got a text from one of the many newsagents I had harassed to say that more copies had arrived! I am really keen to check out The Gentlewoman. Is it as great as it sounds? The helpful Lula-finding newsagent has promised to keep one aside for me when it comes in and I can't wait!