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Magazines or blogs ? Or both ? I want to read the Vogue and adore it, but never seem to be able to. I wish the images were less for the show and more chic. I wish the range of designers was more expansive and not limited to the luxury makers. I wish they had more vintage and it’s all not centered around what to buy. I wish it had good sartorial stories that makes you think, not shop. I wish they were more voices from the brilliant designers whose clothes are featured in the glossy pages. I wish there was less fashion and more style. A girl woman can hope. I think the quality of a magazine can be quantified by the following steps.

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step1

Step One

The flip through

You set aside some time after a subscription drops in your mail. You settle down on a couch and flip. You look at the pictures. You skim through the article titles. Perhaps read a few highlighted lines. But you are scanning, not reading. Most magazines die at this stage and hit the recycle bin in my home. American Vogue always gets the ax at this stage.

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step2

Step Two

The reading and the gazing

The Porter magazine has a picture of a fanny pack re-designed by Miuccia Prada. A belt with a carabiner and a tiny box that can hold a few possessions. No, I dont want it but it’s new to me. I was studying how they designed it. They had a vintage photograph of Audrey Hepburn walking her dogs. The accompanying story talked about how women in Paris dressed during the wartime. I dog-ear the interesting stories and slowly read through them before the month ends. A few magazines make it to this stage.

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step3

Step Three

I need to bookmark it

Porters Women Achievers issue was incredible. I am inspired every time I read a story from it. It makes me work harder. I kept the entire issue. But not every magazine is created equal. I usually pull out some pages and am save them for my future reference. 2-9 pages survive from a good magazine on an average. I will get them scanned at the end of the year. Very few magazines make it to this stage. I save a page or two from most magazines. The entire book – seldom happens.ratingOfcourse I am not sitting with a calculator punching away numbers and counting pages. But these factors go into my rating. The more bookmarks I make, the better the rating. Lesser ads I see, the more I applaud the magazine. More style over fashion –  more I trust the editor. Good influencers should know this and stop trying to convince us that we need the newest thing. Vintage magazines were more on our side. During the ww2, when money and resources were tight, French Vogue and Elle talked about repurposing curtains to make clothes. Published ideas on editing older clothes to make them fresher. Romanticized shopping fasts. Talked about eating beans for nutrition. Wrote about reproductive rights and equal pay. During the past few recessions, Vogue continued to feature 3000$ dresses but did tone down the flashy-ness of the luxury goods. They interviewed the current Syrian dictator’s wife and featured her ‘chic’ wardrobe. We don’t see many controversial topics discussed ( abortion rights? Bangladeshi sweatshop workers? Water pollution from polyester ? ethics among fashion bloggers ? sustainability ? fur and leather industry ? ). We don’t see diversity and race in the pages. Its the year 2016 and its still white models or the glamourous movie stars on most pages. Where are the women of science ? Journalists, writers, musicians, movie makers, photographers, sportswoman, politicians, travellers,  … ? I want them to be on our side. Not to ignore what’s happening in the outside world. Be good influencers. Here are my top rated ones :

1. Nat Geo

NatGeo

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Has nothing to do with fashion. But no other magazine or book makes me as happy. I love the work they do. Do you know that the photographers go to great lengths to venture into unexplored territories, that there are cases of them discovering new caves and excavating relics ? That is how passionate they are about photography, travel and the planet. I find every single Nat Geo photographer incredibly stylish. Every issue talks about climate change which earns them hate mail, moronic facebook comments and backlash. They do not back off. In science and facts, we trust. #requiredReading

2. Porter magazine

porter

I can’t throw them out once I am done reading them. I usually save a page or two from a magazine. But these, live as a whole, in our home with our other stacks of books. They set the bar really high. If I didn’t know better, I would call it a style magazine. Not a fashion magazine. They do enough content to sell their products but it is really well executed. They give more than they ask in return, which should be the formula. Every blogger can learn something about how to tastefully feature products from this magazine.

3. GentleWoman

gentlewoman

Sartorial stories. Fantastic interviews. In depth essays about the insides of the design process. I no longer have a subscription but read from online clippings that are widely available. But some of my favorite essays can be found online. Thank you for making these available to the public.

4. British Vogue

britVogue

A surprising winner. Lot of discourse on style and enough content on fashion. I quite like LOVE the 100 annvy edition and congratulations British Vogue ! Every edition has something that I have read twice. If the content on my blog improves, I would think it’s your influence.

5. French Vogue

parisVogue

I thought this would be higher up the list. I got a B in my French 101 class and haven’t improved since.  Perhaps the fact that I struggle to read makes it harder to appreciate it more.  I am glad to have a digital subscription that can hold a lifetime’s worth of collection. I would love to go back and read some of my bookmarked pages. Hopefully, a decade of reading will improve my language too ?

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Dear Zino, I want you to stay in business and thrive. Physical copies are such waste of glossy paper. Not worth killing the trees over 10 page spreads of Gucci ads and ’10 jackets you have to have to buy’ that become irrelevant in no time. I want all of my magazines on the cloud. You enable that. I looked into getting a French Vogue subscription and it was ~200$ for the US delivery. I now pay 20$ and have them available online. You saved me from writing decluttering posts about magazines in the future. #notSponseredByZino


Do you find magazines relevant ? Do you shop them by the cover page or trust a certain editor ? Any publications that I have to check out ? Chinese Vogue/ Japanese Vogue / Indian Vogue / … ? Anyone reading this from a country not listed in this post, do you have a favourite publication that you are impressed by ? I have the German Vogue on my wishlist. I quite like the newer magazines like Kinfolk and Wilderness magazine. But don’t have the time to read them all. And don’t want to spend the money. Hence the short list.