Insights • Inspirations • Destinations • Design

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Glamorous Age...




Have you noticed there are very few magnificent magazines anymore, particularly for women of 'The Glamorous Age'? (As my friend calls it.)




The Glamorous Age is the age between 35 and 70. It's the second part of our lives. The great, glamorous, dignified, wise, do-what-we-like-cos-we've-earned-it deuxième part of our lives. We get thirty-five years of this. And by god we're going to enjoy every minute. 

The Glamorous Age, you see, when we women start feeling confident. When we start dressing the way we want – and usually the way that suits us, whether we're wearing a sexy frock, a business-like suit, or simply dog-walking attire. 

It's when we start dating proper men. And I mean gentlemen, rather than those scruffy, slovenly, perpetually poor, drunken-ass ratbags we hung around with in our twenties, simply because they owned a Ducati, or knew how to kiss, or came from some obscure aristocratic English family. 



The Glamorous Age is the age when we finally make headway in our careers having worked our asses off for ten or fifteen long years. It's when we start to afford designer labels, and travel, and nice houses. With gardens we can potter around in, wearing Hunter wellies and planting hydrangeas. 

It's when we stop accepting nonsense and bulls**t from other people (terrible word but really, no other phrase for it), and when we start considering that we might just make it in life. And not just make it either, but really tie a bow around the whole thing and make a bloody great celebration of it. 




The Glamorous Age is when we realise we have an entire wardrobe of beautiful shoes – I mean spectacularly beautiful shoes, having learned where to buy them cheaply in the world – but we're just as happy to wear lovely casual ones, usually with lovely casual tops and pants to match. (A very French look.)




But The Glamorous Age is also when we've acquired pieces like a proper winter coat (Max Mara, if we can afford it), a proper 'opera coat', a proper Parisian trenchcoat, a beautifully designed handbag, proper luggage, proper lipsticks (Chanel, or YSL), proper fragrances, elegant leather gloves (some of us even have driving gloves: not me; but I want some), and sometimes even a spectacular collection of glorious chapeaux. 


The Glamorous Age is when we splash out on expensive bedlinen because it reminds us of the time we stayed in that five-star hotel in New York. And because clean, starched, ironed, high-thread-count white linen is SO much nicer to sleep on.

And The Glamorous Age is when we know how to garden, cook, keep house, wear slips under dresses that need them, write thank-you cards (or emails), place our cutlery on an empty plate the right way, be courteous to our neighbours and strangers, and generally live a life that is kind, gracious, and full of compassion and humour in equal measure.




According to the ABS, there are more of us in The Glamorous Age than any other demographic. We are the masses. The median. The generation with the biggest population. 

So why are there so few magazines catering to us?

Whatever happened to all those fabulous ones we used to have?




For vintage magazine covers (a sliver of sentimentality) try:

paperpursuits.com

www.vintagemagazinecompany.co.uk

www.condenaststore.com

http://designtaxi.com/news/353331/Vintage-Vogue-Magazine-Covers-From-The-Early-20th-Century

30 comments:

  1. In addition we know how to throw a glorious intimate luncheon, and never want our guests to 'clean'.

    Saving the clearing up to afterward, guests gone, cleaning/washing in gratitude for our friendships, home, food, sharing......

    We recognize potential in younger women, taking them to lunch somewhere posh, pay the tab. Paying forward what a previous generation did for us.

    Are never afraid to tell anyone, if needed, "your words are harmful to my spirit." & realize, "because it makes me happy." is good enough reason for anything.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

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    1. Tara, I loved these. It's so important to inspire young women, I think. I'm always telling others they can live their dreams. They can write a book, start a business, become a success....

      But it's your last para that's really poignant for me. I think that's what we really learn with age. Respect for ourselves.

      Just love your thoughtful, wise and insightful comments. Thanks for taking the time. xx

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  2. Amen! I end up buying , no kidding, about 12 mags at least bc there just doesn't seem to be a mag that caters to a well rounded woman. I am not specifically obsessed with shoes nor pillows unlike some editors' opinions. Perhaps you should start one?

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    1. I second this!

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    2. This is so sweet. I am considering it. But I don't think it should be 'my' magazine. I think it should be a magazine for, and by us all. There's so much talent in the blogs we read, including those written by the people here. I'm working on a little idea, and put it into action later this year, time permitting. x

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  3. You've outdone yourself Janelle arent all those covers gorgeous.

    I think that is Dovima with the A she of the famous Dovima and the elephants at the Cirque d'Hiver, in that gorgeous black and white Dior.

    Love your paean to the glamorous age but one thing why stop the glamorous age at 70?

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    1. Which one's Dovima? In the 'A' cover, do you think? You have such a good eye!

      And I agree - isn't Iris Apfel 91? Let's hope we're all that glam heading into our centenary!

      xx

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    2. yes in the pink dress with the A ,

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  4. Here, here! It's also an age where we take a chance and make our working life the life we always wanted.
    PS. Not sure if I've ever commented here Janelle but am a regular reader. I have to ask - in a VERY former life, did you live and work up here on the Sunshine Coast? Have I got the right person? If not, ignore my mad mind wonderings!

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    1. Yes I did Nikki. That's a good memory! I was the editor of The Weekender magazine at Noosa and the S/Coast for a little while, before moving back to Sydney to head The Sydney Weekly and other publications. But I always missed Noosa and the coast. You live in such a beautiful part of the world. Thanks for reading - so lovely to hear from you. x

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  5. I LOVE this post. Firstly, the second cover I actually recognise from when I was young, and magazine obsessed and I bought it. It did speak of glamour to me. Secondly, you are so right. I was flicking through Aussie Vogue recently and actually felt that they didn't speak to me at all. I'm in the demographic the advertisers are targeting, and yes, I can afford to buy some of the stuff they feature (not all of it of course - will never be able to buy couture), but the 17 year old, baby faced and stick thin tatoo'd giraffes that they feature do not look like elegant women to me. They look like they're playing dress ups. The models with tatoos all over them are supposed to be edgy I suppose, but to women over a certain age (like my mother in law), they just think prison escapee. Especially irritating is a beauty article, where they extoll the virtues of beauty products aimed at those gaining wrinkles, and have a 19 year old to illustrate the article.

    And yes to all you wrote - we have Frette bedlinen that was exactly the same as in the beautiful hotel in Florence we stayed in, I have a Max Mara coat bought 12 years ago, and a nice trench, and good shoes. Definitely quality over quantity for me.
    I would love to find a Vogue article that appeared in 1988 (I think), which was a "letter from Hardy Aimes to his Antipodean God-daughter") in which he advised her on matters of taste (such as, fur only on the inside of a coat or a collar, not a whole coat which is vulgar (in his opinion), matching tapestry luggage is in appalling taste (it was all the rage at the time), and many other things about putting together a proper wardrobe). I've searched online, and it's not anywhere on the web, but it was so influential on me as a 13/14 year old. I'll have to try harder to hunt it down xx

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    1. Dear Janelle

      Beautiful covers! Love the glamour and pics of elegant women (so good not see cover pics of girls of 15).

      So agree with you and with Heidi and smr. And yes, let's not stop at 70. I think of Ari Seth Cohen's blog and his wonderful book, "Advanced Style" (I bought it in Paris last year but think it's available in Oz now). Admire the fabulous women he photographs - the pleasure they take in outfitting themselves for the day, their spirit and originality - and so many are probably well over 70.

      We don't need all the stick figure pictures in magazines. Real women don't look like this, and the magazines set such bad examples for our daughters and grand daughters. I admire French Vogue for making a decision to use only models of healthy weight and size. I hope they can stick to it.

      I worry for the future for my little grand daughters. Though I have to tell you, Janelle, I'm so thrilled about our older g.daughter aged just 8. DIL sent us a picture from her phone yesterday of our dear little girl in a children's public speaking contest. She's standing at a little rostrum looking so cute but terribly serious, one hand on the desk and leaning forward with great intent as she speaks into the mike. Julia Gillard is standing alongside her, just a pace or two behind. G.daughter looks totally unselfconscious and very focused. Quite gorgeous. Best wishes, Pamela

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    2. Heide, that Harper's Bazaar magazine cover was my all-time favourite too. Do you remember the fashion shoot inside? They were all wearing the most fabulous frocks and wandering around Paris. It wasn't pretentious at all. It was fabulous. It was aspirational and inspirational and humorous and sensational, all at the same time. I don't know who the editor was? Kari Upton Baker? But it had SUCH style. And yes, I'm longing to read proper beauty articles that aren't one line short of an advertorial. That Hardy Aimes article sounds fantastic! Will try and find it too. It'll be in the archives.

      And Pamela, that is SUCH splendid news about your g'daughter. I can imagine how focused she'd be, with Julia behind her! Hopefully that will have an enormous impact on her, and she'll grow up to be prime minister herself!

      Hugs to both of you for the lovely notes. x

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  6. Yes, agree Janelle. I'm desperate for an elegant women's mag that isn't obsessed with Brazilian waxing and Ryan Gosling. That said, remember when Ita Buttrose published her self-titled mag all those years ago but couldn't make a go of it? But I live in hope.

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    1. Ita was a great editor - I had a little to do with her when I was a young 21-year-old editorial assistant in Sydney – and still stands as one of Australia's most influential women. What she achieved with the W/Weekly was extraordinary. Her marriage collapsed, she gave birth on her own, and then went straight back to work and she never once complained or alluded to her personal turmoil. Then when she left, Packer refused to pay her super. So many magazine editors made so little money in the 1980s and 1990s... But the legacy they left is remarkable.

      And yes, her self-titled pub wasn't the best idea, but her heart was probably in the right place! x

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  7. So agree, and I love the covers you've chosen .... I also remember some of them ;)

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    1. So many beautiful covers in the 1980s and 1990s, weren't there? x

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  8. So totally true. It would be lovely if there was a magazine that was actually relevant to us!! I would purchase and read it. Today's magazines are aimed at a younger audience and seem to just be shopping manuals.

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    1. Even the home / shelter magazines are either too edgy or too irrelevant or too fuddy-duddy. x

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  9. I love this idea of the glamourous age, please expand this. But oops, my hubs is scruffy , slovenly and poor, I went our with the rich gentlemen in my 20's I think I've done it all backwards!

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  10. Three cheers for the Glamorous Age! Well said!

    Susan x

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    1. Thank you Susan. I think I'm just voicing what we all feel. x

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  11. Jeanelle, I used to live in Maine, I know the lobster fascination well!

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    1. That's right - I forgot! You're a lobster lover from way back! Loved your post on this - so original... x

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  12. You really pegged it. I was feeling a little down about my age but you made me feel better all over again. The answer of course is we don't need magazines telling us how to live anymore, and besides, we have wonderful blogs to read now!
    xo

    Sharon

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    1. Don't feel down about your age. (Although I can understand that. I completely forget I was turning a year older today until yesterday!) Besides, I think our forties is a great age. I've started doing what I want now. I'm not going to wait until I'm 60 to travel the world... x

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  13. Now 56, embracing me as I gaze in the mirror, my wants and desires as a woman, wife, lover, sister, friend, business owner, artist, and more. Wake up everyday happy to have another opportunity to make it wonderful and glamorous in the way that only I can do it! Love your blog!
    Kathy

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