Recommended: The Gentlewoman
Are you reading this biannual self-described "fabulous women's magazine"?
It's gorgeous, quirky, and assertively feminine, as if British Vogue and Ms. had a baby with the dad duty contributed by Tom Ford.
I, who rarely read and reflexively dislike fashion magazines, am addicted after two issues.
The editorial content features women in their own jewelry; the current issue features Italian beauty and jewelery designer Gaia Repossi (yes, that Repossi) who likes to wear her father's bespoke suits, re-tailored for her. (Papa must be quite svelte himself, you can only alter a suit so much.)
Other interview subjects are women of accomplishment, such as Appolonia Poilâne, the 27-year-old Parisienne who has assumed management of her late father's famous bakery, actor Olivia Williams, shown here in a divine Prada black lace dress, and American writer Jennifer Egan.
There's a feature on London magazine editors (shown, Paula Reed), making their way to work while putting on makeup, a light idea beautifully shot (most of the photos are black and white), so engages more than you'd think. I was engrossed by a similar feature in last spring's issue, in which women reported what they did upon rising. Rather like reading a Zen koans, it was oddly comforting.
Another feature shows Designer Roksanda Ilincic at lunch with real-life girlfriends. The fey copy offers luncheon etiquette: "Ordering is a delicate subject when women are lunching. The hostess needs to be thoughtful and volunteer a number of small courses immediately, so no one appears to be out of control for wanting two courses, or on a cycle of self-deprivation for choosing just one."
The Gentlewomen's elegance and deliberate, recherché sensibility is refreshing and slightly intimidating. The same extremely expensive garments (Prada, Stella MacCartney, Trussadri, Hermès, Chloé) that are shown in Vogue are presented here as if a woman getting on with things simply decided to wear her embroidered navy satin neoprene Marc Jacobs pencil skirt.
Such a skirt can elicit mournful wistfulness for clothes ethereally beautiful but mostly removed from my current life and budget. Still, like an exquisite Japanese garden, they lift the heart.
I'm relieved to be finally spared from seeing everything presented in hyper-saturated fake colours like that celebrity-worshiping mess, InStyle. The simple, sparse layouts and unfussy, straightforward language are worth the price of admission, $13 at my local newsstand.
Snag the spring copy (look for it in April); if you're already a reader, what do you think?
(First four photos courtesy of The Gentlewoman web site; last photo retrieved from magculture.com's blog.)