Mag Wars: June
On the cover: Model Jyothsna Chakravarthy looking lissom and sufficiently angry to have landed the cover of Harper’s. Even then, we love the glower—all the better to match the black net and leather Bottega dress—so much so that we’d be apt to rate this Harper’s best cover yet. Inside, however, Chakravarthy who can play the veena and majored in telecom engineering, is posed in a predictable array of pretty girl shots.
Read it: In “Great Finds”, Harper’s scours through high street labels to find cat walk rip-offs for wallet-friendly prices. The 16-page special on “baubles” is half watch and half pretty shiny things (and by read, we really mean ogle). Skip the watches—which is an almost obligatory insert for glossies that attend the BaselWorld Watch Fair—and move right to the jewels. “Fabulous at every age”, only because we were shocked to learn that the ethereal Julianne Moore is 50 plus. A profile on designer Angela Missoni, which includes a movie-perfect montage of family photos. An interview with Michael Douglas’s ex-wife Diandra, who is now suing him for a portion of his paycheck for Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. The former Mrs. Douglas “defends herself”, but she, who split from Michael 11 years ago, comes across as, shall we say, a tad mercenary and possibly entirely unaware of the concept of “irony”. Ironic quote: “I am not a greedy person by nature”. Ironic detail: she has a portrait of “personal hero” Mahatma Gandhi in her house. Ironic photo: Douglas, wearing an Oscar de la Renta gown and Bvlgari jewels, stirring something (we’re guessing dollar bills) in a pot. There have been dozens of tributes by friends and family to Alexander McQueen, but the one here by his muse Annabelle Neilson is all the more touching for its unbridled honesty about McQueen’s battle with the highs and lows of the fashion world.
Don’t bother: The “How to Wear guide” requires a bank account with a 6-digit surplus; a random Q&A with Sushmita Sen, where the former beauty queen’s advice for looking fab includes liking yourself. Keira Knightley also dishes completely useless advice on having great skin. “To be happy and in love” is her magic formula that, oddly enough, still hasn’t been included as an ingredient in skin creams.
On the cover: Rihanna, looking bewitching in an embroidered Chanel gown and flame-red hair, despite the funky Photoshopping issues with the border of the dress along her décolletage. Inside, the 23-year-old rocks some seriously fierce sneers and crimson lipstick. The article, for those already not familiar with her success story, is a neat little primer on the pop sensation’s life, from being managed by Jay-Z to selling 45 million albums.
Read it: The spa hot list, which gives you the dope on where to get the best treatments around the world; a look at actor Robe Lowe’s pretty Santa Barbara home.
Don’t bother: “Inside Story”, about the Taj hotel in Mumbai, has advertorial written all over it. Tiger Mother Amy Chua has done the press circuit in spades, so this interview pegged to her controversial book on parenting, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother is a little late in the game. The “American Pie” photo feature, where the model’s face has had every ounce of life Photoshopped the hell out of it. Smooth is sexy, sure, but not without bones and muscle to hold it all up.
On the cover: Angela Jonnson as the face of the High Street issue, wearing things we can mostly afford but may not want to buy. Inside, the heavily-made up Jonsson looks wedding-ready with her thick kohl-lined eyes and big locks, and sports some of the ugliest high street buys around.
Read it: Designer Bibhu Mohapatra’s picks for the high street special include a seriously adorable polka dot one-piece (Only Rs2,080!) and a cute owl ring from Bansri Joaillerie; “101 High Street Finds” because it whittles through the chafe to find the wheat; “History of the Brogue” (they were originally made for Irish and Scottish farm workers, who knew?). As every Glee fan will attest, Jane Lynch, who plays deliciously maniacal coach Sue Sylvester, is the undisputed star of the show. But was it really necessary to put her in a floor-length gown and have her dog wear booties so she’d channel the anti-butch look? Leave her in sweatpants (or a suit) we say.
Don’t bother: Royal wedding overdose alert! Another breathless piece on the dress; yet another Rihanna interview, where the photo pales in comparison to the ones in the Vogue shoot; socialite and Vogue columnist Feroze Gujral dresses on a budget, of gasp, under Rs20,000, day. And amazingly, lives to tell the tale.
On the cover: Another High Street special, Elle’s June cover has Tamara Moss in a new curly bob, rocking denim, stripes and polka dots. Unlike Grazia’s cover, however, this one scores for making high street steals look as fetching as designer wear. Inside, Moss does a far better job than Jonsson of flaunting the merits of labels like Zara, Vero Moda, Mango and others.
Read it: This month, Elle features two young ’uns who win the “Wait, we have that here?” category. The first is a look at India’s top female basketball player, Geethu Anna Jose, who’s shooting to make it to the WNBA; the second on Sanjay Khatri, who is, bless, India’s only male ballet dancer (or the only one to have survived into adulthood). Khatri, who only learned ballet at 20, got his epiphany in Argentina (where he ate beef…not that the two are related), and has since founded two ballet schools in Delhi and Mumbai. Director Nora Ephron’s hilarious and all-too-canny reflection on being a female journalist in what was once a male-dominated field (her description of the New York Post: “The editor was a sexual predator. The managing editor was a lunatic. Sometimes it seemed that half the staff was drunk. But I loved my job.”)
Don’t bother: An “exclusive” with Anil Kapoor and Irrfan Khan, the Bollywood men representing Indians in Hollywood. What do we not know about two of the most over-exposed stars in India? Not much except Khan still won’t explain the inexplicable decision to star in Mallika Sherwat’s Hisss. The Elle Special on watches—do we even have to explain?
On the cover: Cricketer Virat Kohli, who helped steer the Indian team to victory in this year’s World Cup final against Sri Lanka in April. Much of the short Q&A focuses on what went through Kohli’s mind when he was at the crease during the now two-month-old event. The interview accompanies a photo shoot featuring the boyish batsmen looking bored in designerwear.
Read it: “The 50 Best-Dressed Men In India”, firstly because only about 35 per cent of the names have been repeated from last year (unsurprisingly, a quarter of the new entrants are from Bollywood), and secondly because of the creative ways in which the magazine’s editorial team have vouched for some of their picks. Hrithik Roshan, we’re told, is “a walking, talking, living, breathing bolt of sunshine—and all too human. All too human” while Jyoti Randhawa “makes a golf shirt on a pro golfer look like red on a Ferrari” but our favourite is their reason for including Ranbir Kapoor: “People get addicted to movie stars like they do drugs. Ranbir Kapoor is 100 per cent pure cocaine”. As for why Dino Morea’s on here, “He’s part Italian. ‘Nuff said.” Also see “Where have all the bad boys gone”, Anish Trivedi’s recap of the wild antics of Formula One drivers of yore. (Peeing in public was quite the rage, apparently.)
Don’t bother: “Summer Coats”, a selection of 11 light jackets to keep you cool, did the folks in GQ forget that June equals monsoon in this country?