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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Always in Vogue. The Vogue Factor by Kirstie Clements

Imagine exchanging pleasantries with Prince Albert of Monaco on your way to the bathroom, meeting Richard Gere and sitting next to Paul McCartney at the bar.  Kirstie Clements, a long-time editor of Vogue Australia, takes readers into the heart of the glamorous world of fashion shows and perfume launches in this delightful biography.  She drops lots of names and gives us an insight into the high-class magazine world.

However, The Vogue Factor also tells the story of the hard slog involved in producing the magazine, and the ways in which fashion magazines have declined.  The latter is a sad story.  When Clements was a Beauty Editor, writers who discussed fashions influenced by the 1920s immersed themselves in the culture of that decade.  For example, they read books, such as The Great Gatsby and The Green Hat.  Now they might put syndicated writing from overseas in the magazine, or save time in other ways.

Clements really had to work hard to turn Vogue around when she was appointed editor. The previous editor, who was English, didn't understand her audience, and most of the advertisors abandoned the magazine.  Clements had to build it up again from scratch and employ a whole new team.  She also had spectacular coups, such as getting Karl Lagerfield to be a guest editor.

This was a hugely enjoyable book, and it's also motivational and interesting for young women who want to write for magazines.

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