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The Gentlewoman

As I written about before I sometimes feel icky when I read too many conventional fashion/women magazines. There is something about that all too smooth surface, the celebrity worship, the cult of youth and consumption and that constant talk about body and weight that leaves me feeling a bit disgusted. Another peeve is that constant push for improvement, you and your life are never really okay, there are always 10 things you can to do improve [insert whatever].

Still it’s a hard reading habit to kick. But I’m always on a lookout for magazines that has a more genuine and less surface obsessed take on things. Therefore I got curious when I read an interview with the editor of the new magazine The Gentlewoman (in the excellent Swedish magazine guide SID). It’s a British publication that takes itself and the people they feature seriously, without making it boring. In this issue (no 2) there are great interviews with Yoko Ono, Ashley Olsen, Meena Pathak (the driving force of the indian curry paste brand Patak) and photographer Ines von Lamsweerde among others. After reading the magazine from page to page I felt really inspired and like I have learned new things. Some interviews and their subjects were so good that I found myself returning to the same pages. Plus I don’t think I have ever seen such a balanced blend of ethnicity and ages in a magazine. Clearly this must have been a conscious choice from the editors.

 

There are also several fashions spreads, but the fashion is a bit too minimalistic for my taste. Plus some spreads tries too hard to look edgy, and end up looking a little silly. But that is redeemed by an beautiful almost origami like presentation that really piqued my interest. Who knew that folded clothes shot in black and white could look so appealing?

7 Comments

  • stephanie
    October 19, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    This looks like an interesting magazine. I have the same trouble with women's magazines. I HATE them. So I don't realy read any magazines at all.

    Reply
  • Nancy K
    October 19, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    Interesting magazine. The minimalist aesthetic is more mine than yours, so I'd appreciate the clothing and my favorite garlic relish is by Patak. I knew nothing about the company though.

    Reply
  • Johanna
    October 19, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    Stephanie: Isn't it a shame that we have to feel that way? And that there are so little alternatives? And the ones who takes a different path often seems to struggle financially.

    Nancy K: Yes I think you would like the fashion, it's minimalistic, professional and with architectural lines!

    Reply
  • Anonymous
    October 20, 2010 at 4:55 am

    Brilliantly stated, Johanna. I couldn't agree more. In fact, just reading your comment somehow strikes back as the voice of sanity it the maelstrom…and makes me feel better. Bless you! 🙂

    SherryV

    Reply
  • anabela / fieldguided
    October 20, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    Hi Johanna!

    You asked what I thought of The Gentlewoman and I have to agree with everything you've said! I think it's such a wonderful magazine that celebrates women, but not in an Oprah-style "We're celebrating you!" kind of way, it's more subtle than that. It's also very funny! I laugh every time I read it! Plus I like how they interview people who aren't celebrities, who are smart & talented. It's one of my favourite magazines for sure.

    Reply
  • Johanna
    October 21, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    SherryV: Thanks! We are clearly quite a few people out there who feels this way, so I wonder why there are not more options out there?

    Anabela: Great point about the funniness, I think they do a great job combining an ambitious approach with a tongue in cheek-attitude. And word about the Oprah comparison, I actually cut out a rant about "O" type of magazines in my post! I much rather read magazines like the Gentlewoman, it feels less contrived and more balanced than those affirmation/celebration publications

    Reply
  • EmilyKate
    October 24, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    I will have to look out for this magazine. I love magazines but the ones aimed at women so often have that hysterical tone and those not so subtle putdowns.
    One magazine I love is http://www.frankie.com.au/
    it has a friendly way of speaking to readers and is pretty crafty, has recipes, music and lots of stuff thats very cool but it has such a comfortable daggy vibe too!

    Reply

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