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You read WHAT!?!?

I once got into a discussion of the merits of different fashion magazines with some girlfriends of mine. I stated honestly and simply that Vogue was, in my opinion, the best fashion magazine in existence. One friend turned to look at me as if I had just peed on her Naturalizers and said, "Why? There isn't anything in there you can WEAR!" And then I had a flash of insight. No, there actually isn't much in there that you can wear, and THAT is precisely why Vogue is supreme.

See there were many compliments for Lucky Magazine, and I do pick it up from time to time. Lucky is a beautifully designed magazine, much like a well done department store, where everything is easy to find and there are lovely models showing you great outfits you can put together and there isn't any extra stuff you don't need when you are shopping. No one goes out to find a great pair of shoes and hopes to see a hot new book author discussing his latest work next to the cosmetics. But in Vogue, you find great articles on books, travel and food, as well as fashion. And the clothes are NOT set out in colorful variations upon a theme, with a two page spread of cargo minis in every color and silk jackets (ditto on the colors) that can be mixed and matched. Vogue has themes, like one I saw recently on new trench coats, but each picture wasn't a catalog shot or even a un-messy Lucky layout. The pictures had movement and action, color everywhere, clothes over thing. It was messy and beautiful. Each Vogue fashion shot is a work of art. ART is why Vogue rules. Vogue is art. Lucky is a how-to.

Now please don't send me nasty letters because, I am not trying to trash Lucky. I like Lucky. They are great at showing you exactly how to make the look you are after. Want to look Bohemian? Page 75. How about Urban Art Chic? Page 91. Lucky is so wonderfully popular because they show you lovely pictures that look great on paper and that have what every fashion consumer in America likes: security. You are not going out on a fashion limb if you follow the clothes in Lucky. They show you how in bright cheerful spreads to find flattering and affordable clothes. Vogue does not have such designs. Because Vogue does not ever tell you how you are supposed to do something. Their pictures are works of art, not meant to instruct, but to inspire! I will see a picture in Vogue of a PRADA or CHANEL clad model and in the corner is a little teeny tiny blurb telling me exactly how unlikely it is that I will ever own that outfit because it costs more than I make in a year. However, the outfit inspires. It intrigues me. I think to myself, "I can do that, only more ME looking". Ok, I can't afford the CHANEL jacket and the Valentino skirt, but I know exactly what I like about that picture. I can imagine, "Ok, that skirt is too flimsy for work, but I like the shimmery blue". And that sticks in my mind. So I head out to some department stores with an IDEA of what I'm looking for. If I had been reading Lucky, I would know to head to the closest Express or Scoop NY and find EXACTLY what I saw in the magazine. But Vogue is my compass, not Lucky. I am inspired to find, not told, what to wear. And the catch is that maybe I won't find an affordable shimmery VALENTINO-like skirt. At least not that time. But I might find something that is just as nice when I totally don't expect it, in a second hand shop or in the window of XXI Forever when I walking around the mall at lunch.

Besides the fashion as art angle, there are lots of other things I get in Vogue that I like. Lifestyle things. And long articles about beauty or food or what have you. Lucky is great for the modern American consumer who wants straight on fashion that they know matches and looks appropriate and no articles more that 4 paragraphs long. They pack a lot into Lucky and so there isn't much in-depth reporting. Even reviews are keep at a short-attention-span paragraph length.

So I like Lucky. It's a plucky American magazine that is a wonderful resource. But I just never feel richer for having read it. More informed yes, but a better more well rounded person? No. Vogue, which I always have a subscription to, which I have 4 years worth on in clear plastic magazine holders in my desk in chronological order, Vogue is the muse that inspires. You may love or hate their fashion shoots and reviews. You may not see anything you can afford. You may, as I have before, see fashion spreads of mix and match items that look like they might be playing a joke on their readers, but you never put down a Vogue without THINKING about what you have seen or read.

Thank you Vogue, I am a better person for having read you. And that is why I love Vogue.

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