Harper's Bazaar is often the underdog in the battle for which fashion magazine is on top. Vogue seems to think it owns the crown. The number of pages in an issue is the barometer of health in this industry, and Vogue usually wins.
The April issue of Harper's Bazaar gives us 322 pages compared to Vogue's 288. I'm sure there are smiles all around uptown at the Hearst building, and business as usual downtown at Conde Nast. Like the rivalry between Dallas and Houston— Houston knows it's better and Dallas says "What rivalry?"— Vogue will never concede anything, especially that Harper's Bazaar may be the better publication.
Vogue's sense of entitlement makes me feel I've been given admission to a tony club, one that I'll never be asked to join. I'm just lucky to be let in. Harper's Bazaar is welcoming and inclusive. The editor-in-chief, Glenda Bailey, genuinely seems to love fashion and people. I don't think Vogue's Anna Wintour loves anything.
Harper's Bazaar has a feature every issue called "Fabulous at Every Age". This puts a spin on fashion trends as suited to women in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and 60+. In reality many of the looks can be worn by many ages, but it's a nice hook. At least once a year "Fabulous at Every Age" becomes the theme of the issue, as it is this April.
And what a great issue it is— full of wonderful, personal pieces and sage advice on living, with style (comma intended). What is this about? I'm used to looking through my fashion magazines in one sitting, maybe tearing out a page or two. This one I had to bookmark and read.
|Carolyn Murphy, fabulous in overalls|
There is a piece by the self-proclaimed "geriatric starlet", 93-year-old Iris Apfel ("Dress with a little humor and you can go a long way"). Designer Isabel Marant shares 24 hours in her life (a lot of weak coffee and too much to eat at night). Lisa Armstrong tackles "Dress Your Age" (cover up but reveal "all the places you'd wear perfume and would like to be kissed"). The elegant Carolina Herrera shows she has a great sense of humor, especially about herself. Chelsea Handler is funny and not her usual abrasive, and Amy Sedaris proves there is (and probably should be) only one Amy Sedaris. Three of the stars from "Mad Men" reflect on how their characters influence their fashion choices and vice versa. That's all before the editorial well featuring Julianne Moore, Morgane Polanski, Olympia Scarry, Carolyn Murphy, Shirin Neshat and Kim Gordon— all women from their 20s to their 60s.
Fabulous, Bazaar, on every page.