Recommended: The Gentlewoman

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's blog.)


déjà pseu said…
This looks *intelligent,* a rare commodity in magazines these days! I haven't seen this one yet, but will inquire at a newsstand that often carries international publications. The photos are gorgeous. Thanks for sharing this find.
Chicatanyage said…
This looks like a really interesting magazine. Not one I have come across or seen on the news stands. I have ordered a copy from and can't wait to check it out. Thanks
Duchesse said…
pseu: Here in Montreal, I buy mine at an international news stand, MultiMags.

chicatanyage: That's another way to do it. Since it is only published twice annually, a year's subscription would not be much of a risk, either.
frugalscholar said…
Truly, you have risen to poetry:

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.

And if a magazine can do that for you, you should keep reading it...and sharing with us.
Jane W. said…
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.

And encourage us to pursue a higher (not necessarily more expensive) standard.
Duchesse said…
frugal: Thank you; I intend to keep reading and at twice a year it seems a long wait.

Jane W.: I'd like to do that! Nearly all the time, in order to reach a higher standard, there is a certain cost. Buying secondhand helps, and so does visiting small, relatively unknown designers, here and elsewhere. (But they too struggle with access to fine fabrics.) Is there any other strategy you have found?
materfamilias said…
Thanks for the recommendation -- I'll make sure I get one. Might follow Chicatanyage's example if I can't find it at the Chapters in town . . . (although it will surely be available in Vanc'r, if I keep an eye out at the right spots)
Mardel said…
I've not seen that magazine but it looks like something I would enjoy. I am going to look into a subscription as I don't really expect to find it on a newsstand near me.
LPC said…
I got an email about this, but the title put me off a bit and I didn't pay attention. I will go back and remedy that situation.
Ali said…
The Gentlewoman; I'll have to see if I can get that here in England. It's interesting to see a women's magazine that does what some men's publications have been doing for years ie: combining intelligent articles with fashion without making the latter the main focus.
Duchesse said…
Ali: It is published in the UK, so I expect so.
The graphic design and photography look wonderful.

Of course, "The Gentlewoman" is just as aspirational in terms of class and "breeding" as the more conventional - and dispiriting - fashion magazines are in terms of impossible youth and slenderness (with curves!)

The lunch photo was odd as nobody seems to be either eating or gesturing. Where on earth are their hands?

You are right: "InStyle" is a graphiste's nighmare. Sloppy as all heck.
barbara said…
I've given up reading fashion magazins like Vogue, I fall asleep
after a while.A lot of ads, a few pics and that's it. So boring.
Had a look at their website and
this one seems worth to have a walk to the mainstation where I can get all international publications.
Duchesse said…
barbara: It may be sold out, b/c they only publish twice a year. The new issue comes out Feb. 12.
Thank you very much for recommending this magazine. It sounds very interesting. I also find InStyle and the celebrity worshipping culture it engenders to be highly annoying.

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