Porter magazine

I’m a sucker for a glossy magazine and, although I buy fewer now that so much content is readily available online, a tantalising cover will always draw me in. And so it was that a copy of Porter somehow found its way into my possession when I was browsing the shops in Gloucester Road after a meeting last week.


{Gisele graces the cover of the launch issue}

A brand new publication from the team behind online luxury store Net-a-Porter it claims to be “the fashion magazine for the stylish, intelligent woman of now”. Just as with the retail operation, the magazine oozes pure luxury so don’t expect to find any ‘Get the look for less’ or ‘More dash less cash’ features. The fashion, as one would expect, is nothing short of spectacular with dresses by the likes of Lanvin, Versace and Louis Vuitton (and plenty of POA – price on application…)


The beauty features are refreshingly down to earth and, unlike some mags, seem to be targeted at a wide age range, not just 20-sonethings with flawless skin. Mixed in with the high octane glamour are some more meaty reads such as an interview with Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Lynsey Addario who was kidnapped in Libya in 2011. There is also a 12-page spread dedicated to actress Uma Thurman (who, funnily enough, I had just been thinking about a couple of days before I bought the magazine) and shorter profiles on designer L’Wren Scott and J.Crew creative director Jenna Lyons. An impressive line-up of contributors includes photographer David Bailey (on his banned documentary about Andy Warhol), movie mogul Harry Weinstein (on the allure of silver-screen star Grace Kelly) and shoe maestro Manolo Blahnik who writes about the return of the mule.


I’m not sure why, or even if I’m alone in this, but I always read the back page of a new magazine first. And Porter magazine doesn’t disappoint: its back page, appropriately if somewhat unoriginally, entitled ‘Last word’, is dedicated to wrap dress queen Diane von Furstenberg.

All in all, as one would expect from the brand headed up by Natalie Massenet, one of the most powerful women in fashion, this is a confident launch that manages to stand out in a crowded market at a time when many are predicting the demise of Old Media. I , for one, can’t wait for the next issue of the bi-monthly publication to hit the shelves…


Oxford Street Brings LFW to the Masses


Oxford Street has never been my favourite shopping destination – too noisy, too crowded and too touristy. Its only saving grace is Selfridges but it’s been years since I ventured further east than the iconic yellow signs of the largest department store on the 1.5 mile long shopping street.

But this month Oxford Street is hosting the most influential fashion campaign of its 150 year history and it may be just the thing to tempt me back. In celebration of London Fashion Week, Oxford Street has teamed up with the British Fashion Council to give shoppers an insider glimpse into the fashion industry. Over 15 of the street’s most internationally recognizable fashion emporiums, from Selfridges, Topshop and River Island to John Lewis, House of Fraser, H&M and Gap have provided a range of exclusive experiences such as fashion forums, guest star interviews, makeovers, blogging workshops, celebrity pop-up DJs, in-store styling sessions and fashion career mentoring.

Even if you can’t get there in person you can still be part of the experience, as shoppers from across the globe will be able to get their fashion fix 24/7 with the launch of Oxford Street TV and real time store updates via social media. In addition, Oxford Street has collaborated with London Fashion Week designers, including House of Holland and Alice Temperley, to dress the street with 75 fashion flags, each illustrating the very best of the British fashion industry.

“This season we have taken fashion week to the streets of London and rallied support from the whole capital by making London Fashion Week much more inclusive,” British Fashion Council Chairman Natalie Massenet said in an opening speech on Friday. “Anyone, all of us are free to come down and join.”

Personally, I think that anything which gets people interested in fashion and supporting the industry, including events such as LFW,  is a good thing. What do you think? Do you welcome the democratization of designer fashion or do you think it’s wrong that the high street is ‘cashing in’ on London Fashion Week?