I’m going to tell you a bit of a secret and then you may laugh. As much as blogging is a deep pleasure of mine and as much as Style Bubble is sort of like my style offspring, what I have always ultimately wanted to do was get a Nylon/Teen Vogue/Jalouse hybrid magazine based in London started. Yes, laugh it up. Print is dead? Not to me it isn’t, as I’ve said time and time again…. Yes, laugh it up some more that I want to delve into that tricky market of ‘young women’ with as broad an age range as 13-25 yrs when I am in fact just beginning to ease out of that age group. It may well be that I have Peter Pan syndrome and haven’t an inclination to grow up but I think it’s the style exploration, development and experimentation (which I’m still experiencing) aspect of those formative years that makes me yearn to put my ideas (which are literally burning my head these days….) in a mag. Alas, with zero experience or professionalism, sadly, this is a wee dream that ranks right up there with wanting to be an astronaut or a lion tamer or probably even both.
In my style gestation years between the age of 14 and 18, I consumed Teen Vogue and Nylon with great gusto, pondering why in the UK, we lacked an equivalent, despite the number of times I read in those very magazines that they revered British streetstyle, designers and sneakily I thought, ‘Hmmph…. me thinks if there was a UK version, it could really POP!’. When Just 17, the teen mag that was ish-close to being a British Teen Vogue equivalent, changed its name to J-17, it all went a bit downhill and eventually folded in 2004. Since then nothing has really replaced it nor has there been any big attempt to develop a new magazine for ‘young women’ to my knowledge. By no means, am I saying that Teen Vogue and Nylon are perfect specimens of this genre of magazine, but pulling the different elements of experimental/hopeful/vibrant editorials, a broad range of music, film, book reviews that gives credit to teenagers who are just as much into cultural consumption as adults, DIY ideas that actually give decent results as opposed to shoddy Blue Peter projects gone wrong and just a voice that is fresh…all of that together and coupled with the fact that fashion talent and shopping in the UK is extremely rich and varied and I’d be chomping to read that growing up. Why this imaginary hybrid does not exist exist? I haven’t a clue… Perhaps someone in the higher fashion echelons who has brainwaved this idea would like to educate me so that I can kill off this silly dream and go about my normal fuzzy-headed way.
A while back, Modette, a Swedish fashion magazine that is the exact sort of hybrid that I would love to see in the UK launched in March 2007 but after seven issues, it folded. An active website remains but it begs the question of why it failed to take off in-print. I only ask because having been sent all the issues as I contributed a ‘Letter from London’-esque article for each issue, I conclude that from the visual aesthetics (seeing as I don’t read Swedish!) and the range of content (that would be me making intelligent guesses as to what it’s all about…), I can envisage many a gal picking this up IF it is in the sub ¬£3 mark (Modette was priced at around ¬£3.50… not bad for the amount of content and considering that Sweden is slightly on the expensive side of things…). I therefore use Modette as a prime example of the sort of content that I would imagine my fantasy mag to include…
Fashion spreads that feature both mid-range and high street clothes in ways that are both imaginative and accessible.
Fashion spreads that feature the stuff no one can really afford but can also dream about a little seeing as it’s styled ever so whimsically.
Fashion banter that is tongue-in-cheek // Model talk. I’m not sure how many teens are into model talk but judging from the enthusiasm seen in forums, it deserves some page space.
An introduction to fashion talent that people may not necessarily know about and fashion spreads that use designers that may not be available in the UK as such but is still a visual induction on that designer. In the context of Swedish mag Modette, they have talked up Brit designers Aminaka Wilmont and Louise Gray (one of her dresses will certainly see me through some summer play days IMO).
Unpredictable feature pieces that are interesting and insightful. What goes into the construction of a Christopher Kane velvet dress as exemplified here and musicians/bands and their costume designers.
Encouraging readers to take inspiration from history in the context of film, fashion, music and picking out unlikely style icons. Here is a feature on the tracings of nautical attire and on female aviator style as inspired by Amelia Earhart.
Shop features that are practical and realistic as opposed to airy-fairy and expensive. Such as this guide to discount outlet shopping and a vintage shopping guide to Coppenhagen.
Various streetstyle pages from cities around the world to show us what’s being worn ‘for realz’ // Opaque black tights test aka practical product tests that quite often I’ll see in Jap/HK beauty mags.
Trend inspirations that can be seen as obscure and are cultural reference orientated such as this spread about the TV show ‘Dallas’ and the fashion that ensues and a selection of ‘geek’ glasses as worn by Thora Birch’s character in the film Ghost World.
So, all of this, added with writing that isn’t eye-rollingly mundane/patronising/tween-ish and an attitude that encourages diversity in style and taking a personal journey in style as opposed to homogenising oneself to fit in with the crowd and basically, that is my vision. I therefore must conclude that probably only 5 people in the country will buy such a magazine and the dream is thus killed.
It was good to fantasise for about 20 minutes though….