Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Penny Martin, Editor-in-Chief of The Gentlewoman:
Women talk to each other very differently when men aren't in the room

Mira Duma and Vika Gazinskaia

The Telegraph has done a little piece on Penny Martin, the much revered editor-in-chief of The Gentlewoman. She comes across as very charming and down-to-earth but also, incredibly erudite. Apparently, she was on track to receive her PhD and was working on a thesis about women’s magazines – "about Vogue, Thatcherism and the representation of the working woman." Amazing, no? I was particularly tickled by this little note on why it was important to her to chose a markedly conversational style for the magazine:
'I think it is very important that you can hear the way women sound. I think women talk to each other very differently when men aren't in the room and I wanted that sound of their voices,' she says. 'What I wanted to reproduce was that thing when women sit down and say, "God, I love that."' She mimes pulling at a jacket. 'You know, they touch each other.'
Read the whole interview. You will feel she knows you.

via The Luxe Chronicles

3 comments:

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed that interview as well, loved finding out a little more about her background. I really like how the magazine has evolved - to be honest initially I found it a little self-serious but I think over a few issues they've found a tone that's just right. I love what Penny Martin said about how bad most magazines make women feel - I remember picking up Allure at my hairdresser for the first time and feeling shocked by the end of it: so many things I'm meant to be better at I didn't know about - being a better friend, better in bed, balancing my finances, grooming my brows etc etc. Not mention all the "must haves" of the season missing from my wardrobe.

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  2. OMG, yes! Absolutely! As a feminist AND a lover of fashion, I often feel so guilt-stricken after having read a traditional fashion mag. Not only do I feel bad about myself, but I also feel like I am betraying smart women everywhere.

    What I appreciate about The Gentlewoman the most is that they have been able to accomplish a balance of substance and aesthetic pleasure that is almost unparalleled.

    What other magazines do you read and recommend?

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  3. Actually I read a lot of men's magazines because they also often have good interviews and features - I like Esquire and recently they had that great interview with the shooter who killed Osama (which you can actually read for free online). It helps that I find men's fashion inspiring since there's lots of emphasis on tailoring, shirting, fine leather goods - and the imagery associated with that appeals to me. And I remember GQ the year before had a great feature on Parisian restaurants and I tried 3 of the recommended places and they were all great. Fantastic Man is lovely to look at, but I only buy if I find the featured personalities interesting. There's something more relevant about men's magazines compared to women's mags, and they also seem more in tune with pop culture.

    I don't read women's mags as avidly as I used to - I still buy American Vogue out of habit because I've been reading them since I was a teen. Vogue UK sometimes has beautiful editorials but it's not consistently great so I only buy a couple times a year. I like the photography in Self Service but I think pretty pictures aside, the magazine lacks depth. Kinfolk is beautiful but after about two issues I thought it was monotonous and one dimensional.

    I also buy Monocle from time to time even though three in four issues are annoying, haha (elitist economics!). But I like the aesthetics and occasionally their features are worth reading. I like their fashion editorials as well because it's a classic, unfashion-y look.

    I know, I'm so negative! What magazines do you recommend?

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