Magazine Wars: July 2012
On the cover: Hoorah for models named Ninja Singh. Especially ones sporting a star spangled shirt with pinstriped pants against an ombre background and projecting all kinds of badass attitude on the cover of Elle. The inside shoot, however, rids Singh of her long locks for no good reason other than to prove how unattractive a bad bob can look.
Read it: “The New Wave”, which spotlights the fetching progeny of famous people like Theodora Richards (daughter of Keith); Sonja Kinski (daughter of Nastassja); and Billie Lourd (daughter of Carrie Fisher) and thus proves the universally acknowledged truth that pretty people beget pretty people. “Mad About Hamm”, because even though Mad Men star Jon Hamm has been profiled to death, this one contains the now infamous Hamm quote where he branded Kim Kardashian a “fucking idiot”. “Photo Sensitive”, Deepanjana Pal’s elegantly penned ode to the power of photojournalist Raghu Rai. “It’s A Steal”, a round-up of the best beauty buys, all for under Rs1,500. The “Style For Less” photoshoot, because is that, could it be…why yes, American’s Next Top Model season 8 winner Jaslene is indeed the Puerto Rican pouting beauty (pretending to be Indian) in this Mahalaxmi Racecourse-set shoot, answering our long-held question of what happens to the reality show’s contestants once their US careers are done.
Don’t bother: “Eye Spy”, an advertorial masquerading as a behind-the-scenes look at the stars of Burberry’s Eyewear campaign. “A State of Bliss”, on the world-famous Himalayan Ananda spa which seems to be there for no other reason than that it was written by sometime actress-socialite Simone Singh.
On the cover: Model Diana Penty in a black embroidered Emilio Pucci gown. Penty nabs her first major fashion cover with the newly suffixed title of model-actress. Given that Cocktail is Penty’s first film, there’s little fodder from which to spin a 1,000-word article, so the good folks at Vogue blessedly skip the breathy profile for ten succinct points of interest. Penty being a) a model and b) a particularly pretty one at that, pains are taken to mention that she eats…rice, and can play…the piano…and in case that isn’t enough quirk to endear her to us, we’re also told that she’s not a great dancer, and doesn’t like high heels. Models…see, sometimes they’re
exactly somewhat like us.
Read it: “Home advantage”, about the Indian female basketball, golf and chess champs making us proud. “Crime Watch”, about another Indian, this one an NRI, also making us proud: Veena Sud is the half-Indian, half-Filipina writer responsible for hit TV series The Killing and the soon-to-be director of an adaption of Hitchcock’s Suspicion. “The reunion”, British journalist Christa D’Souza’s touching account of her trip to Mumbai to visit the Indian family her father rejected. The “Tails of the City” shoot where eight women—models mostly and a token musician—try on designer interpretations of the shirt, demonstrating its eternal appeal.
Don’t bother: “The Victorian Line”, about David Beckham spouse Victoria, which appears to still be making the case for why the one-time Spice Girl is a legit designer. “The couple hasn’t taken a vacation in three years,” notes the writer a tad piteously, but alas, after waxing breathlessly about their silver-leafed walls, their A-list friends and their quick jaunts to their own vineyard in Napa, it’s hard to dredge up sympathy. “Scent of a Story”, where Gucci creative director Frida Giannini plugs the Italian’s brand newest perfumes, giving heft to our long held suspicion that Giannini must be in at least one magazine issue per month for her PR to keep their jobs.
On the cover: Parineeti Chopra in a red Tom Ford jacket sporting a helmet of hair that looks in dire need of conditioning. Unlike the Elle interview, which called Priyanka Chopra’s cuz a fatso, HB goes the conventional route of summing up Chopra’s career path, plus eliciting a candid admission that Chopra Jr. does on occasion need help with her style. The photo spread shows Chopra in two close-ups too many, all the better to minutely examine her hair, which has been flat ironed to fried perfection.
Read it: “Great Finds”, where HB finds high street alternatives to designer togs. “De-age Your Face”, for the latest innovations in skin care, plus make-up tips for looking somewhat flawless. “The Hunger Games”, a surprisingly sensible case for not going on juice-only diets, which often lead to hair loss, dizziness and headaches.
Don’t bother: “Back to the Future”, spotlighting Tarun Tahiliani and a few pages later Tahiliani’s wife Sailaja on the “Secrets of Eternal Chic” which in a word or two is: having money. Lots of it. “Fashion’s Freshest Crop”, which looks at fashionable and frighteningly precocious Indian teens who can tell the difference between a “Comme des Garçons” and “Calvin Klein”. And lest there be confusion, this, according to the writer, is a good thing. “Red Carpet Beauty Secrets” from L’Oreal Paris brand ambassadors who naturally plug the beauty brand’s own products.
On the cover: Finally, someone thought to put singer-actress Monica Dogra on their cover. However, mainstreaming her style—the rather prosaic pairing of a patterned shirt with patterned trousers—somewhat lets down the tag of her “making indie cool”. Inside, Dogra, a bit grim-faced, possibly about the unimaginative wardrobe choices, talks to comedian Tanmay Bhat, giving us insight into her USA days and initially turning down an audition offer for Dhobi Ghat.
Read it: “Game Changers”, about indie labels making their mark, including Miriam Strehlau and munkee.see.munkee.doo. “New Girl”, about the hit TV show’s half-Indian second female lead Hannah Simone, who true to her desi roots, also happens to hold two degrees from two universities. “What the Hell Is Indie?”, where Grazia staffers share their definitions of the wantonly used genre (we love: “If you haven’t heard about it, it must be ‘indie’” and “Support group for guys who wear skinny jeans”). “Repeat after us, ‘Ayur-ganics’”, which breaks downs homegrown ayurvedic labels like Iraya and Kama, and more importantly, highlights their star products.
Don’t bother: The advertorial-esque “A Step In Time”, about how to pair Ferragamo watches with runway trends because that’s exactly what we keep in mind when choosing a multi-lakh time piece.
On the cover: David Beckham, one of “The 25 Coolest Athletes of All Time”. This being GQ, a few athletes are cited for their success on and off the field, namely British Formula One champion James Hunt (“bedded over 5,000 women”), Romanian tennis player Ilie Nastase (“nickname: ‘Sex Legend’”), and Imran Khan (“…men wanted to be him. Women, however, just wanted to bed him.”) A reprint of a February 2011 story from the US edition, with some deletions to make way for sportsmen from India or those popular in our country—American footballers Tom Brady and Joe Namath get replaced by M. S. Dhoni and Rahul Dravid for instance—the cover story is likely to have readers pondering over one glaring omission: Sachin Tendulkar.
Read it: “The Dark Horse”, about Manali-based luge rider Shiv Keshavan, “India’s only internationally ranked winter athlete” and “the country’s best shot at its first Winter Olympic medal”. The profile, like the cover story, is part of a series of “Olympics Special” features, which include portraits of six contenders decked up in designer wear. Photogenic boxer Vijender Singh gets a fashion feature all to himself—a whopping 14 pages! There’s also writer Girish Shahane’s op-ed on why he believes India’s poor showing at the Games can be put down to genetics, and Kishore Singh’s column on Anish Kapoor’s ArcelorMittal Orbit sculpture, described by him as “the Eiffel Tower, pulverised by a gigantic crane”.
Don’t bother: The Q&A with Diesel founder Renzo Rosso, which is yet another advertorial disguised as an article, this one about his new Black Gold luxury line. “40 things you always wanted to know about the tourbillion, but were too afraid to ask”, because unless you’re into that sort of that thing, it’s, er…a waste of time.