It’s not exactly easy to understand the role of the fashion magazine these days. There’s rarely an occasion when you know the products the editors are promoting as tastemakers from the products they are promoting in support of ad sales. Every glossy needs cash from outsiders to keep the operation afloat, but are you telling us to buy platform rain boots because it’s the look of the season or because LVMH bought millions in ad space this year?
If advertisers were corralled in the sponsored, pre-masthead portion of the magazine, there would be a clear delineation between suggestion and promotion but that’s just not how it goes. When a list from a Harper’s Bazaar shoot leaked last year marking, in order of priority, which advertisers were to be featured in an editorial photo-spread (only five others were non-advertiser brands), you’ve really got to come to grips with the fact that your fashion bible may be playing both sides.
This is not to say, however, that all advertisers are schilling bad products. On the contrary, many brands that have bottomless advertising budgets also make beautiful clothes. The take-away message here is simply that the days of the fashion magazine-as-final word are numbered. Still, there’s no better place to find a lovely, interesting picture of a dress and this writer thinks that’s still worth a whole lot.
So, now that fashion month is over, here are a few of the shows that you’re bound to see a lot from before and after the masthead. I’ve featured the first, middle, and last looks from each brand so you get a sense of the full collection. Parent companies are indicated in parentheses.
Illustration by Michelle Ricks, Images via Style.com