Unashamedly ostentatious, British society glossy Tatler makes no apologies for its silver-spoon-fed, parochial outlook. Lucie Goulet glances inside the gilded May issue...
The following quote is taken from an issue of Tatler, published right after the 1929 Wall Street Crash: “One’s friends seems to be quite unreasonably opulent, and the theatres and restaurants are as full as ever… I hear nothing but the purchasing of flats and castles and the building of vast country mansions”. Going through this issue, 70 years later, the feeling is a bit similar. In ‘Give Peace a Dance’, John Graham draws a comparison with the interwar period, when “life may have been difficult, if not desperate, down below, but the top slice of society had a ball”.
Speaking of balls, Versace-clad cover model Elle Macpherson could light up a disco. The first question Olivia Falcon asks Macpherson is, “Has the credit crunch bitten you yet?”. Apparently it has, but she is quite thankful for its “fabulous love bite”. Macpherson doesn’t throw away clothes, but gives them to her (very lucky) friends. She loves art, Jimmy Choo, working late at night and her two sons. The supposedly down-to-earth supermodel gave up carrying Birkins when “they became the must-have bag for the bourgeois girl”.
The good bits:
- ‘Beauty & the Beats’ is a first person narrative of how Hannah Rothschild discovered the life of her great-aunt Pannonica Rothschild. Well-married Pannonica got divorced at a time when women didn’t leave their husbands, especially not in her milieu, to follow her love of jazz. Expectably, the family never really forgave her. Rather than making the feature a two-page biography, Hannah Rothschild writes the article as a tale of a personal journey, with its doubts (What if Pannonica “fitted that offensive stereotype of a white woman chasing after black men”) and joys, including meeting Pannonica herself.
- Simon Blows also does family introspection, accusing “his late uncle Jonathan of poisoning his grandmother in a tale of family feuds, madness and suicide”. The Blow’s family saga is material for a riveting soap opera.
- For ‘Dorm Trooper’, Ticky Hedley-Dent goes back to her alma mater Benenden, a typically English boarding school. She gives a good analysis of how boarding school life has changed over the past two decades.
- If you are planning on holidaying in Paris in the near future, ‘One Night in Paris’ is a guide to the city’s sexiest, best (and most expensive) hotels.
Blink and skip it:
- There are two reasons ‘Team Harry’, on Prince Harry’s inner circle, could be of interest for you. The first is if you are in it. The second is if you consider being part of it a social accomplishment. If you are neither, you can skip it without a blink.
- India Hicks lives on a Bahamas islands, has got four kids, an amazing partner, a successful natural and body fragrances line, a blond, aristocratic good look and the family pedigree that goes with it. It’s not so much that the article, ‘Bahama mia!’, is bad, more that it is annoying with its perfection and sun-soaked pictures.
- In ‘Garden State’, Deana Goldstein sets jewels among flowers and butterflies for a sweet and springy shoot.
- In ‘Vive la Couture!’, Elettra Rossellini poses as Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face in the season’s best couture. She wears Valentino, carrying balloons by the Louvres, Chanel in the train station and Dior for the ultimate wedding dress shoot.
Glossy posse: Amanda Sheppard, Andrea Dellal, Ambra Medda, Elle Macpherson, Elettra Rossellini, India Hicks etc
Glossy stats: May 2009 Volume 304 Number 5, £3.90, 185 pages
Glossy bosses: Geordie Greig, Conde Nast - Contrary to what I wrote last month, Greig is editing this May issue, despite being editor of the Evening Standard since February. That’s how ahead of time magazines are planned!
Glossy ads: Burberry, Tiffany & Co, Dior Joaillerie, Louis Vuitton, Chanel Fine Jewellery, Breguet
Glossy rating: 3 – mostly because the editorials are true eye candy