Feb 17

Are Fashion Magazines Losing Their Identity?

People, we have a crisis in this country. No, we’re not talking education, national defense or the lack of gold medals in skiing during the Winter Olympics — no, no, it’s much more serious than that. The crisis is in fashion — or more specifically, in the fashion magazines that cover fashion. They are losing their identity and for a huge chunk of their pages, you can’t tell them apart.

Whether you are an avid reader of Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Lucky, InStyle, Vogue, or the many others, they are all beginning to look the same. And although this New York Post article didn’t talk about it, their competition is not just other fashion magazines; it’s all those many fashion bloggers. Many of them are more realistic about what works for women and you can usually find one that focuses on your particular interests

Let’s start with a few examples like Glenda Bailey’s Harper’s Bazaar. Glenda, sweetheart, pull up a chair and wrinkle that Derek Lam dress. When you thumb through your 532-page March issue from page 1, when would you say that signature Harper’s look kicks in? Halfway? We’d say page 434. You can do better. While your fashion shoots certainly rock (none of your rivals do a better job at shooting and presenting the clothes or making them look like we’d like to wear them — all of them), the rest of the book needs work. That Missoni outfit you say is a key piece of a spring wardrobe is advertised 35 pages later. Coincidence? Just askin.’

Elle has joined the bandwagon in touting white at every turn: white dresses, white pants, white nails and (horrors!) white eyeshadow. We pray the white painted eyelids will fade fast like so many pink workout leotards from the ’80s. That said, spring fashion will be a feast for the eyes this season, according to Elle, which promises mixing of colors and textures — so much so that the clothing often looks like it’s been pulled straight from a Japanese wood print. Readers need a break from the same tired looks, and from the industry’s go-to tales of models doing charity work and rich girls vying to be taken seriously.

If you’ve got cabin fever from too many snow days and icy slush has stopped you from indulging in some retail therapy, Time Inc.’s InStyle is the perfect pick-me-up. The current issue — like every other issue — is a photo-filled phone directory of fashion. One wonders how the editorial meetings go at such magazines since there’s no discernible direction in terms of defining a single seasonal trend. Instead its hundreds of pages display every conceivable trend out there from pedal pushers covered in petals to haute couture in every shade of pink. And while InStyle may be the most traditional woman’s fashion magazine covering all the usual month-to- month basics from beauty tips (how to wash your make-up brushes) to handbags, it’s still more of the same.

This young lady has some pointers on those hugh fashion magazines.

Last year I wrote a comment on Jane Liddelow’s blog Style Makeover Hq about the nonsense of too many trends and got a round of applause from the ladies. Who can make any sense of 15-20 fashion trends that repeat year after year.

Do I have a solution for you? Of course. Follow Sister House. Join our mailing list in the Entry Hall and find out those trends, tips and techniques that will help you and are focused on your needs. All our writers are within the transgender community.