Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Blonde ambition: fall fashion mags hit the peroxide

August is almost upon us, and in fashion it means one thing is absolutely certain: the massive September issues hit the shelves. This is the industry's most important (and most readers' favorite) issue of the year. But I don't have to tell you that: just see the new documentary coming out about Vogue and Anna Wintour, aptly titled The September Issue.

But this year the volumes will be lighter (with far fewer ad pages than usual), and so will all the cover girls. American fashion editors, at least, are using a friendly, familiar formula: stick a blonde celebrity on the cover and, voila!, the magazine will sell. I once read (wish I could remember where) that advertisers turn to blonde models turning times of economic crisis because, apparently, seeing blondes lifts reader's spirits, thus making them more likely to buy the featured product. This is, supposedly, why so many screen sirens dyed their hair blonde when they made films during the Great Depression (or it could be that platinum blonde showed up better and appeared silverly on-screen, but I digress). When finances are risky, blondes seem to be the safer choice. Well, I don't know about you, but even though I like blonde hair and all (I used to be blonde!), I enjoy seeing - and being! - brunette more. And most of my favorite actresses and celebrities, from Audrey Hepburn and Jane Birkin to Penelope Cruz and Zooey Deschanel, are brunette. Everyone has their preference, I guess, and the American model is blonde hair, blue eyes, apple pie. In case you were wondering, last year's September cover girls were a little more varied.

This year's (puzzling) September cover list:

Jennifer Aniston - Elle
Jennifer Lopez (yes, a faux-blondie, but there she is) - InStyle
Taylor Momsen - TeenVogue
Kate Moss - W
Ashley Olsen - Marie Claire
Amanda Seyfried - Allure
Jessica Simpson - Glamour
Charlize Theron - Vogue

Ashley Olsen graced Marie Claire's September issue two years ago, while it's been just as long since Charlize Theron last covered Vogue. But Jessica Simpson was Glamour's cover girl just last August, and, arguably, is hardly a newsworthy/relevant/even remotely interesting choice. Not that I'm trying to hate on poor Jess; I'm just sayin' some variety would be appreciated. And I hope it's not as terrifying a cover as last September's Elle was (which I ranted about last year, consequently); if Simpson is wearing something other than a plaid shirt and cowboy boots, Glamour will have bested Elle. That simple.

TeenVogue has already leaked their cover:

Can't wait to see the rest! I'm especially excited about Marie Claire; the Ashley Olsen issue from 2007 was one of the best I've read. I'm not a fan of the Olsen twins (ok, so I was when I was little!), but I've always loved Ashley's fashion sense. And even her sometimes bleached, sometimes dirty-blonde hair. ;)

Which September magazine, if any, will you buy?


Diary of a Young Designer said...

I've also noted that tendency to use blonds to pick up sales. Ashley looks adorable on that cover. I really wonder why can't a brunette have the same status in our society as blonds, gosh it's just hair color.


kirstyb said...

That is such an interesting post! i am now discussing this with my friends lol xoxox

Kandace said...

I never buy magazines anymore and I canceled all my subscriptions. I would just rather read blogs, I find them much more relevant, innovative, and interesting. It bothers me that people think blonds are the only way to make money. Frankly I think that old adage doesn't apply for many people now. In fact I'm less intrigued if I see a blond on the cover than if I see someone with some kind of ethnicity or even, well, just not blond hair. You know what would have been a great cover choice for any of these magazines, Christina Hendricks, better known as Joan from Mad Men. Not only is she beautiful she's a curvy redhead with a ton of fashion cred. It's like hello, we elected Obama, don't you think Americans want some variety. It's times like these I think that I should be the editor-in-chief of Vogue ;)

Kandace said...

O and by the way, I just linked to you too. And while I was at it I was looking at your other blog. How's veganism treating you?

Jessica said...

Wow, Jessica Simpson? Really? The only noteworthy thing she's done in a while is date/jinx Tony Romo. And they broke up. Couldn't they at least choose Ashlee, who actually has a career and, um, fashion sense?

Sher said...

Ahhh been there, done that...and it was expensive to keep up LOL!

Style Bird said...

I always buy Teen Vogue.

The Clothes Horse said...

The TV one does look cool, b/c Taylor is edgy. Blondes bore me though...I would much prefer to see redheads or at least variety...

Simes. said...

HEY! Loved your blog, is so original and cool, check out ours whenever you want, we invite you to follow it.

Ariella said...

Oh, I am excited to see 'the September Issue' film as well! And I cannot wait for the next Lula - which I suppose is out in September :)

Lexie said...

i subscribe to InStyle, and i buy lucky and glamour from time to time!

i do not like most fashion magazines to be honest .. i should rant about that myself soon!

do you ever read the jezebel website? they criticize fashion magazines all the time! it's really intriguing.

Lexie said...

also - i'm going to add you to my blogroll! :-)

Amelia said...

That's a lot of blond. I'm kind of curious about the next Teen Vogue. I'm not much of a Taylor Momsen fan, but she's always interested me.

Thanks so much for the sweet comments! I think a book by me would probably be rather tedious, so I'll just keep to my blog for now :)

Amelia said...

Also, re your comment about shoes: I'm a 9.5. It's so sweet of you just to suggest paying them forward.

ana b. said...

Oh dear. I don't like anyone on that list :( It's so interesting your text about blonde hair. Perhaps I am a bit biased but I love gorgeous brunette and redhead girls myself ;)

Raquel said...

ah that's an interesting theory! though I adore being a brunette and never could think of dying my hair blonde!! :P
I'll probably buy Elle or Vogue or any, I'm not so addicted to magazines as much I am for blogs xD

hope you're ok darling!