News & Runway

Trendsetter: W Magazine Steps It Up

It’s been a long time since I’ve subscribed to a magazine. I know subscriptions are otherworldly cheap compared to newsstand prices, but I’ve always really liked to snap up the monthlies hot off the press.  

Don’t get me wrong, some publications are of no interest to me.  I’m never going to buy Allure.  Okay, wait.  If Ashley Olson is on the cover of Allure, maybe.  

I used to buy W years ago.  But with less money to spare these days, and for how little I enjoyed W compared with its Conde Nast siblings, I stopped reading it.

A couple days ago I walked in the newsstand, and as I was paying for Elle (for the record, the Drew Barrymore interview is a real downer) the clerk asked, “You want to see the new W?” 

As I began muttering my usual, “No, come on, you know I don’t —,” it was handed to me, and I did a full-body swoon at the August 2010 cover. 

Jon Hamm – the Mad Men star who is going to drive us crazy all over again when the new season premiers on the 25th of this month – and Rebecca Hall look stunning.  Did you know they are starring in Ben Affleck’s new film, The Town?  I can’t predict how the movie will be, but Nathaniel Goldberg’s photographs of the pair are out of this world.  The hats – Lola and Patricia Underwood – look so good on Ms. Hall, it might just bring boho back for good.

Just when I thought I’d had enough of gap-toothed long-gammed models – okay, I’ll probably never be sick of them – I came across Alasdair McLellan’s shoot, “Sweet & Vicious.” 

The pictures are outrageous, and whether consciously or not, they are much more inspiration than look-book, which is something that used to turn me off about W.  I don’t always want a story line; sometimes I want the clothes to wear the model, not the other way around.  

I’m having a hard time handling Coppi Barbieri’s photographs of Fall purses.  Ever since Phoebe Philo took over Celine, I’ve been in agony over her brown leather satchels and monotoned-leather shoulder bags.  The gem in this spread is red – python, to be exact.

I did a little snooping around the magazine world, connecting-the-dots to get to the bottom of W’s sudden excellence. 

Something about Stefano Tonchi taking over as Editor-in-Chief in July – he used to be Editor of the very prestigious T: The New York Times Style Magazine – is working.  He brought Terry Richardson back after a 14-year W ban, for starters!

At $13 per annual subscription, I subscribed to W.  I don’t need it warm off the press, but having it arrive in my mail box will do.