Magazine Wars: December 2011
On the cover: For their 15th anniversary issue, Elle have fallen back on that near-extinct mag cover species: models!—no less than three of them, dressed in “designer of the year” Sabyasachi’s bag-lady boho-chic clothing. We approve.
Read it: “The Sartorialists” fashion shoot, where designers, bloggers, stylistas, models and other assorted well-dressed peeps of the fashion world mug as if it were already 2012; “The Solstice” photoshoot where Lakshmi Menon shows us why she’s India’s greatest model export, shot in flawless perfection by boyf Prabuddha Dasgupta; “The Fat Whisperer”, because apparently fat can disappear if you talk to it, but only if you’re a Hollywood fitness expert who must first dispense a series of regiments, including but not limited to “a glycolic rub, biomat heat therapy, magnetic therapy, lipo cell treatment and pressotherapy”. Kudos to the writer for keeping her skepticism intact. The Dark Prince Karl Lagerfeld gives us his advice for travelling in style, which includes this unarguable diktat: “It’s important to be properly dressed because people are horribly negligent about their appearance when travelling these days. I am opposed to that.”
Don’t bother: The Khan sisters are clearly required to be in one magazine every month; this time it’s designer Farah Khan talking about LV bags, how she relaxes with “advanced level Sudoku” and offering priceless advice such as: “You could be wearing something drab, but if you’re confident, you come across as the best-looking person in the room” (it helps of course when you’re wearing rocks the size of lemons). The “Hot 100” list, only because they put possibly the worst movie ever made this decade—that would be New Year’s Eve—in their selection of rom-coms. “Mister Marvel”, which appears to be random cuts from a previous interview with Burberry designer Christopher Bailey cobbled together to fill a page.
On the cover: With her shoulder-length hair pinned back and up to resemble a choppy, gelled quiff, Vogue’s December cover girl Priyanka Chopra, dressed in a red Gucci gown, looks marginally appreciative about being styled like the lost member of a 1990s boy band. Inside, Chopra, dressed in all-black outfits against a Christmas-y red background, says she would like a plane or a bungalow in Mumbai (whichever is cheaper); doesn’t have the “luxury of having a bad day” or being rude (she’s clearly forgotten about this); and learned how to act “to a certain extent” somewhere along the way.
Read it: Ashish Jagtiani’s hilarious and en pointe investigation into our all-consuming need to know everything and everyone. A look at Gayatri Devi’s scandal-causing and equally well-turned out mother, the Maharani of Cooch Behar who broke off an arranged marriage via telegram, and was known to carry to parties, a live turtle covered in gemstones. The “Garden Party” photo shoot because we’re totally for wandering around topless during the peak of winter. The travel guide to Rajasthan where locals and old-hands like Munnu Kasliwal (of Gem Palace), Valmik Thapar (the naturalist) and Tikka Shatrujit Singh give you their insider picks for the desert state.
Don’t bother: The “luxe list”, of the 100 things crazy, rich people with too much time and cash on their hands can buy, like a gold plated yacht (!), a garland of flowers made by Tarun Tahiliani (price on request!) and our personal favourite, a Swarovski studded bottle of water, modestly priced at Rs1.2 lakh.
On the cover: Nargis Fakhri making the rounds as the latest mag cover girl, in a sparkly Bibhu Mohapatra gown and on-trend hairstyle of the moment, the side braid. Inside, Fakhri deflects most of the interviewer’s questions, giving standard-issue “don’t drink, don’t do drugs, don’t party” answers, just in case, ya know, the censor boards are reading.
Read it: How to wear the latest marketing manufactured trend, the unfortunately named blirt (that would be a cross between a shirt and a blouse). “The Girl With The World At Her Feet”, about The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’s scrawny star Rooney Mara, photographed pre-piercings and neo-Nazi haircut. “The History of the Clutch”, because you can justify your next purchase by saying this trend dates back to the 1800s. Ryan Gosling fans, there’s no such thing as too much Ryan Gosling, plus this interview comes with a picture of the star’s T-shirt quarter-unbuttoned. “Tested & Approved”, where the Grazia team gives you the low-down on popular diet books and cookbooks, including what works and what doesn’t.
Don’t bother: “A Beautiful Life”, where Olay face and actress Madhuri Dixit shares her “lesser known secrets”, which apparently include her need to moisturise, using Olay skin products and vacationing in Maui. Let is be said that some secrets are best left unspoken.
On the cover: Katrina Kaif wearing head to toe Louis Vuitton. Inside, Kaif in badly highlighted hair goes all Lady of the Manor on an estate in Ireland, which naturally involves a pack of hunting dogs, a few horses and a couple of mixed-race men hiding in shady corners.
Read it: Book agent Bill Clegg talks about the journey of getting sober and being on the social circuit as a teetotaller. Words to live by: “There is little said in a drunker slur that hasn’t been said before.”
Don’t bother: “Decoding the Dress Coat” because the layout design and shoot look more catalogue appropriate than Harper’s Bazaar worthy. In fact, this month’s issue has an annoyingly high ad to edit ratio, making it near impossible to tell the difference between legit content and the “promotions”. Fahad Samar’s somewhat commonsensical guide to partying in India, which involves universally endorsed behaviour like “bring a gift”, “only air kiss” and “desist from drugs”. The “All Wrapped Up” photo shoot because there’s something strangely twisted about models dressed in animal fur cuddling baby winter animals (like owls and wolves) after they clearly just skinned their parents.
On the cover: Lady Gaga. GQ India attempts to get investigative by promising us “the real deal behind the princess of pop’s Delhi act”. Inside, journalist Raghu Karnad makes the most of his ten-minute face-time with the global superstar, by telling us everything from the questions he wasn’t allowed to ask (“Does fame ever betray you?”) to how concert organiser Arjun Rampal hadn’t heard a lot about the singer but knew that his kids were into her. The three-page (!) cover story makes for an entertaining read, vividly describing the actual gig (“No. One. Moved.” Koel Purie told Karnad) and the carefully constructed hype around it (the event, Karnad suggests, was essentially a win-win situation for both the organisers and Gaga, who got to feed off each other’s respective celeb clout).
Read it: “How GQ Are You?”, a 50-question quiz that you’ll enjoy if you’re a quiz junkie even if it tests your knowledge of such useless things as Freida Pinto’s career and male footwear. “Living The Dream”, a profile of hotelier Vikram Chatwal that details how a stint in rehab has done little to alter his playboy lifestyle
Skip it: “The Cult of Bang & Olufsen”, which as its title suggests, reads like an advertorial, one that is no less than four-pages long.