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Is Subscribing to Magazines Worth It?

After a thread was bumped on theFashionSpot last week, I began to think: Is it worthwhile to subscribe to magazines?

I used to subscribe to UK Elle but decided to cancel my subscription because I disliked its new format after a redesign. I replaced Elle with UK Vogue after I happened to stumble across an excellent subsription deal. I also subscribe to UK Harper's Bazaar because it offers subscribers an exclusive cover, so the thought of exclusivity forced me to make the annual commitment.

I was (secretly still am) a fanatic about getting a magazine in pristine condition, so never in my wildest dreams did I consider a subscription to Vogue. The thought of getting a damaged copy through the mail was almost unbearable (luckily no complaints thus far). Vogue's just one of those magazines which is an investment and a real coffee table statement.

What advantages does a subscriber get? Like Bazaar, many publications use exclusive subscription covers to entice new readers. Price is also a factor. My current Vogue subscription allows me seven free issues a year (paying full price for the remaining five). 'Free issues' being an incredibly clever choice of words and an excellent marketing tool. It's imperative you find yourself a good deal.

My one complaint is that sometimes you will see an issue in the stores before you recieve it through the mail, which can be frustrating after most publications entice their customers by stating they'll receive issues before its on-sale date.

Below is the subscription cover to UK Harper's Bazaar's April 2014 issue with Sarah Jessica Parker, photographed by Alexi Lubomirski.



See what I mean? Why wouldn't you want to subscribe to recieve this beautiful cover?

Overall, I am very content to subscribe to a magazine. My main reason is to keep the print industry alive. Ever since I started to collect fashion magazines in 2005, I've only ever known print versions and I'm still not completely fond of digital copies. There's something about holding a tactile issue and admiring the content in person which seals the deal for me.

I'm curious, which magazines (non-fashion magazines welcome) do you subscribe to? Check out the thread here. You can also visit 'Subscription Help' for questions you may have regarding subscribing to a particular publication.


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As Seen on Screen Jewelry from Brooklyn Designs

 Brooklyn Design

Brooklyn Designs is a new discovery for me, but being a screen junkie, I can officially say that I am obsessed. If you’ve ever watched a TV show and coveted a piece of jewelry worn by one of its stars, or generally channelled your inner Olivia Pope/New Girl/Snow White on a daily basis, then you may want to check out the Vancouver-based maker of pretty, shiny, jangly things.

Brooklyn Designs is regularly featured on television programs like The Vampire Diaries, Scandal, The Crazy Ones, The Doctors, Hart of Dixie, The Bachelorette, and Once Upon A Time to name just a few. Having been founded by Surrey, B.C. native Brooke Mosher in 2003, the brand has steadily grown as a coveted label and been embraced by television wardrobe departments. You can see some stars donning Brooklyn Designs’ jewels over on the webpage, which evidences the versatility of the handcrafted pieces.

Brooklyn D

Mosher’s SS14 collection is likely be just as successful, combining earrings with dewdrop inspired gems, which hang delicately like slowly rolling raindrops. The colour palette for this season includes cool neutrals like grey, aqua, milky white and seafoam green that reflect the waters of the west coast.

Everything is crafted in labradorite, grey agate, aqua chalcedony and rainbow moonstone gemstones, as well as sterling silver and 14kt gold-filled components (ranging from $40 to $200). Nothing is too fussy or chintzy, which I think makes Brooklyn Designs the kind of jewelry brand for those who don’t wear jewelry. As Mosher says, “The simplicity of the piece makes it a great staple but it is also a symbol to remind yourself to love the skin you’re in.”

Maybe it’s that lack of camera distraction that has made the label so popular onscreen, but I can tell you, I will seriously have my eyes on Sarah Michelle Gellar’s earlobes from now on.

Images via

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Naomi Watts Sparkles at BVLGARI’s Decades of Glamour Pre-Oscar Party



Sartorial chameleon Naomi Watts is no doubt saving her most opulent efforts for Sunday, but the look she wore to BVLGARI’s Decades of Glamour Pre-Oscar Party in Los Angeles on Tuesday is giving us high expectations.

After jetting back from the brand's presentation in Milan, Naomi played host for the night in a strapless, straight-off-the-runway Altuzarra gown from the designer’s Fall 2014 collection. On the runway it was worn with slicked-back hair and bare shoulders, drawing attention to the designer’s careful use of cut and color, but Naomi took a risk by adding bright lipstick and a vintage necklace with amethyst and emerald jewels.

Given that she was hosting the event, it was a risk that paid off. The jewels and lipstick complemented the neon accents on her dress perfectly, more than standing up to equally solid efforts from her red carpet companions Camilla Belle, Kate Hudson and Emmy Rossum. We’re also thinking it’d be an easy look to emulate on a non-Hollywood salary. Well played, Naomi. 

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Enter the Pradasphere at Harrods

Get ready to enter the Pradasphere as the Italian design house has announced a collaboration with luxury retailer Harrods, launching in May, that will allow fans of the label to delve into every aspect of the brand in an interactive, multi dimensional experience to shed light on the inner workings and thoughts of the Prada brand.

pradasphere main 620

image: Prada


Speaking to Vogue today, Harrod's fashion director Helen David said the "Pradasphere will transport our customer into the fabulous world of Prada here at Harrods, marrying two brands synonymous with luxury, design and creativity…We've worked with the Prada team behind the scenes to create a phenomenal, unique experience, celebrating the brand's history as well as the creativity of today."

The Prada-immersed hub will occupy the 4th floor of the Knightsbridge store and will include everything Prada from past collections, collaborative and special projects as well as a Prada cafe where shoppers can take in the experience over a latte. For those truly out to shop, Harrods will be releasing an exclusive capsule collection of ready-to-wear, accessories, shoes and bags that have been inspired from Prada's last 100 years of design.

 From the outside, the London Store's windows will also be dominated by the Pradasphere, showcasing all kinds of gems from Prada's burgeoning archives.

pradasphere 620

Prada’s latest collection for a/w14 at Milan Fashion Week; image: WENN

While Muiccia Prada, who recently took up the position of joint CEO with her husband Patrizio Bertelli, runs an empire of coveted luxury clothing under the Prada name today, the brand's humble beginnings will be of great interest within this grand exhibition. Ms Prada's grandfather Mario Prada launched the brand back in 1913 as just a small leather goods company, which in contrast to the latest offerings from the Italian house, will make for a taste of history, not simply fashion, when the Pradasphere opens to the public.

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Racism in the Fashion Industry: Was Ajak Deng Canceled from Balmain for Being Black?

Ajak Deng opens Naeem Khan Fall 2014 / Image: IMAXtree

Ajak Deng opens Naeem Khan Fall 2014 / Image: IMAXtree

Yesterday evening, IMG model Ajak Deng sent out a serious of aggrieved Tweets which seemed to claim that she had been cancelled from Balmain's Fall 2014 runway show over her race. 

Screenshot via

Screenshot via

Deng's comments were quickly picked up on social media, in the tFS forums and in the Fashin Livejournal community. 

"Very proud of you Ajak, if you're reading this," said tFSer Firefly216, before other forum members jumped in to show their support. Deng later deleted her Twitter account (some speculate that she did so at the request of her agency), but not before screenshots of her remarks were posted all over the Internet.

The fashion industry has been the target of widespread criticism over its whitewashed runway shows. Former modeling agent Bethann Hardison brought international attention to the issue last September, with a raising awareness campaign called Balance Diversity, which was co-sponsored by supermodels Naomi Campbell and Iman.


Deng's comments seem to support all available evidence about fashion's racist casting practices, however, there are still a lot of unknowns in this instance, and those are worth mentioning: 1) We don't know for sure that Deng had been booked for Balmain, 2) We don't know that she was canceled, 3) We don't know what exactly transpired between Deng and Balmain designer Olivier Rousteing/his staff. 


Making this all seem more complicated is the simple fact that the Balmain show was pretty diverse in terms of casting. This is not just a case of Rousteing, who is half-black himself, filling his runway with one or two token black girls: by my count, eight black models walked the Balmain runway yesterday — including Jourdan Dunn, who opened it. 

That being said, racism takes many subtle forms (this concept is known as 'microagression' in academia and on Tumblr) that are often hard to identify as an outsider, especially if you haven't personally experienced racism (which I haven't). And Deng's darker skin makes her a greater target for the fashion's latent racism than, for example, Jourdan Dunn, who has lighter skin and is better established in the industry. (Of course, Dunn has also been the target of racism over the course of her career.) 

The Tumblr blogger DynamicAfrica put it this way: 

"Whether you want to believe Ajak or not, one thing anyone cannot deny is the fashion’s industry’s racism and their often slick way of dealing with the casting of black models. One or three tokens, black models that look a particular way, or better yet, making all the models black because it’s so ‘fashion forward’ (pun intended). Citing the fact that Balmain opened up with Jourdan Dunn is also step in that direction. It completely negates Deng’s experience. Perhaps I’m naive but, aside from the fact that the fashion industry is racist, I highly doubt a top model like Deng would ‘risk’ her career by going out against a huge label like Balmain. Whether I’m wrong about this doesn’t matter to me. As a black woman who’s is also dark skinned and African, I’d rather give her the benefit of the doubt in this situation – especially knowing that even when not much is said and done, through our very existence as black people we are incredibly well fine tuned to understand when we are victims of racism, even when we can’t exactly ‘prove’ it. When racism is so embedded in a system, when it’s part of a culture, those who have the upper-hand are often blind to, or do not question, their participation in these structures. For starters, just google ‘Balmain’ and let me know when you see a dark-skinned model with a bald head and features that resemble Ajak Deng’s walking their runway."

We have reached out to Deng's agent at IMG and Balmain for comment and will update if we hear back. 

See also:



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Saskia de Brauw is Vogue Italia’s Wonderfully Wild March Cover Girl (Forum Buzz)

Vogue Italia dropped its March cover this morning featuring Dutch model Saskia de Brauw, wearing a dress and skirt from Christian Dior. Brauw poses for Steven Meisel alongside some stuffed animals (not something you would expect on the cover of Vogue). The outcome of the 'wonderfully wild' shoot is very striking, with styling by Marie Amélie Sauvé, hair by Guido and makeup by Pat McGrath, it's no wonder we're in for a wild ride. Vogue Italia is in a league of its own!



TheFashionSpot forums couldn't contain their excitement after the cover was posted. "This is A-MAZING," wrote JessicaKarina

Nepenthes enthusiastically posted, "Finally! My initial reaction to this was shock which is exactly what I've been waiting for. I love how off Saskia's pose is and how strange the composition is in general. A definite win from Vogue Italia. Hopefully the content will be just as exciting!"

"Just crazy about this cover image, striking, and cool to see Saskia!" commented Miss Dalloway

A few members didn't share the same sentiments, with Bertrando3 writing, "It looks gimmicky and not good. Are we sure Meisel did this??? It looks really bad."

CATO made members laugh, "Its a joke, isn´t it? for me it's 'Vogue meets National Geographic.'" Member kuli trendy also made a reference to National Geographic magazine: "I thought it's NatGeo magazine… The face painting is too distracted…" he wrote.

Check out the thread and join the discussion here. There's also a behind-the-scenes video to watch too!

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