“Save The Glossies”

In a Forbes commentary column today, writer Raquel Laneri argues that fashion magazines should go up market, not down.

The end of 2009 inspired a slew of articles and commentary chronicling the demise of high fashion, the media and, naturally, fashion publications. Indeed the glossies are in a bit of a pickle–not only are they struggling with the changing media landscape (many have been slow to adapt to the Web), they are also struggling with the economy, which has eroded their advertising revenue and made looking at $100,000 dresses seem pretty trivial, if not downright immoral.

Yet–isn’t that missing the point? Saying you read Vogue for shopping advice or the clothing-under-$500 section is a bit like saying you read Playboy for the articles. Most readers buy Vogue, or really any fashion magazine, for the photographs: sylphs dressed in diaphanous gowns in a verdant forest, saucy girls dressed in Jazz Age finery in Parisian cafes, glamazons posing haughtily in their haute couture.

The “editorial,” or fashion spread, is the fashion magazine’s saving grace: It is the one thing that Web sites and blogs actually can’t replicate; they neither have the money nor the connections to acquire the fashions displayed (which appear in the magazines before they hit stores) or the photographers used. And while street-fashion blogs like The Sartorialist and Garance Doré can teach you a lot about personal style; Vogue can, at its best moments, transport you to another world.
For the full article visit http://www.forbes.com


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