Thursday, 18 November 2010

Something for the weekend

I have always assumed, (clearly under a misapprehension) that one of the bonuses of editing a weekend colour supplement would be that fashion editor's were less likely to be hamstrung by the weighty power of advertising sponsors, but instead lean more towards targeting their readership . I thought the weekend supplements would reflect the paper's demographic and would focus on exploring that relationship in a way the monthlies could not.
My newspaper squeeze is The Guardian, but they, like the monthlies are in thrall to skinny, many, many readers have voiced concern that what is superficially a liberal newspaper still panders to the idea that a model should be stick thin, the fashion pages occasionally tick the age box, they tick the multicultural box, but do not ever think they will feature any model bigger than a size 8 shorter than than 5'10. Just how many reader's tick that box I don't know, but I would put the percentage into single figures.

Now picture the demographic for The Daily Telegraph yes, half the readers are 50+ but the supplement on a Sunday of which I have been a huge fan appears targeted at a considerably younger audience, I struggle to comprehend how alienating the fashion editorials must seem to the average reader.
This weeks fashion story was a brilliant case in point, moody black and white shots, of uber skinny young models in a gym. Not your average reader then! You see the same outfits doing the rounds in every fashion monthly, a Gucci black lace inset dress here. a low cut thigh skimming Miu Miu dress there, a bit of Burberry leather here. For some unfathomable reason the Telegraph weekend supplements have favoured the bleached flare of the flash combined with a fuzziness that quite frankly must replicate the vision of someone with macular degeneration. So the reader sits flicking through the magazine and greeted with these images she must inwardly sigh, should she squeeze her bingo wings into some lace sleeves? Would the Miu Miu cut skim her expanding midriff? Would a leather dress create just a vague whiff off mutton? Is she inspired to meet the festive season head on? I doubt it. I know these images are not a prescriptive visual list but are there to inspire but I do think there is scope for greater creativity than this. I am not going to debate that whole blogger v magazine argument but I am going to suggest that just a little more thought and a soupcon more creativity could be so much more interesting. Is reality really so dull that we can't pander to it just a little? What really saddens me is to take the photographs the team travelled to a gym in Spain!! Like there are no gyms in London.

1 comment:

materfamilias said...

We only have two national papers, and the one I read just recently revamped its Weekend Style section -- much more glossy colour, and so far fun enough. But not at all lifestyle-aware vis-a-vis most of its readers. Tends to be pandering, at the moment, at least, to a moneyed, big-city crowd who do rounds of cocktail parties and dinner parties and concerts and fundraisers. Fair enough, I suppose, at this time of year as we move into the season for satin and bling, but I hope they can show something for making our everyday lives more stylish and fun as well. And perhaps they could fly to a London gym to shoot. . .