Thursday, 22 December 2011

Last-Year Reads: Betty and Lionheart Magazines

I mentioned my fondness for Frankie magazine in my last post. That gives only the slightest hint at what is a pretty serious magazine addiction. Bliss, Sugar, Mizz and Just Seventeen all advised me - wrongly or rightly - through my teenage years. Four years of jumpers and woolly socks wearing while at university in Edinburgh were punctuated by escaping into the glamorous world of Vogue. I moved to London and acquired a Time Out subscription. I hung around in fancy newsagents and fell in love with Lula. I turned 30, developed a new interest in homewares and the Living Etc and Elle Deco subscriptions duly followed. The list keeps on growing: I'm currently aspiring to live in the pages of The Gentlewomen and, of course, I have the pleasure of helping the very talented team at Oh Comely. I'm not exactly sure why I like magazines so much. I like the excitement of turning the page and the possibility of new places, people and trends to be discovered. And, I guess, I like surrounding myself with 'stuff', be that books or clothes or magazine. That was all a very long winded way of saying that I'm a sucker for any fresh print publications that may come my way, and hence this post about two new print magazines: Betty and Lionheart.

I'd read issues one and two of Betty online, admired their style, and wanted to see how it worked physically. It's every bit as pretty in the flesh.

Their real strength is in the fashion pages: if you like the look of blogs like Wish Wish Wish and Wayward Daughter, Betty's sweet style is sure to appeal. There's also interviews with people like Emma Block, Elizabeth Lau and Donna Wilson, leading to a slight (66 pages) but focused magazine - you can perfectly picture a Betty kind of girl (and not just in the Clueless definition of a 'Betty').

If I was a few years longer, I'd probably want the Betty girls to be my best friends.

I heard about Lionheart magazine from no other than Pat Albeck when I interviewed her for issue 7 of Oh Comely, and had been curiously following its progress via its blog ever since. The magazine is the work/passion of one writer, Helen Martin, and I'm full of admiration for all the love she has poured into its pages, and the sheer amount of work it must have taken to produce this publication. It's a slightly older and more word heavy magazine than Betty which features interviews with people like Pat, Bleubird's Miss James Kicinski and Emma Block (again) alongside beautiful illustrations. The first issue has the theme of Bravery - if you start your own magazine that's a pretty apt theme - but is packed full of different ideas. I'll be really interested in seeing how these all settle down and how the magazine finds its voice (or should that be roar?) in future issues.

Both magazines share an interest in fashion and design, illustration, cooking and crafting. I really like the way the varied nature of blogs seems to be influencing the subject matter of these magazines and result in things made by women for women to read that don't involve diets, sex and celebrities. And endpapers. I'm not sure if endpapers is the correct terminology for magazines, but the printed inside covers of both these magazines are beautiful. You don't get that with Cosmopolitan. 

1 comment:

  1. These look like good companions to my oh comely subscription :) I totally agree they are vastly superior to cosmo and the like, i can't bear to buy those mags anymore unless a very long train journey lies ahead!


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