The good, the bad and the glossy of September magazines

From hot pink at Elle to anniversaries at Vogue: September magazines reviewed


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The temperatures in CoMo may remain stubbornly summer-like, but now that it’s nearly September, I can’t help but day-dream about the perfectly crisp fall days ahead — and what I’ll be wearing as I stroll (read: sprint) from East Campus to my classes through the leaves. Luckily, with dozens of fat September issues dominating the magazine racks, I don’t have to look far for fall fashion inspiration.

In the past few weeks, I’ve managed to collect and read a surprisingly tall stack of September issues. I must say, after a while it becomes frustrating to read that boots are in for fall for what feels like the umpteenth time. For those of you who want to be more strategic with your reading material (or who just want to avoid wasting $5 on a product that is 80 percent ads), I’ve compiled the best and worst of what’s in this month’s glossies.

It’s only fair to start with the mother of all fashion magazines: Vogue. Vogue’s 916-page September issue is its biggest ever, beating out the 840-page September 2007 issue (subject of R.J. Cutler’s fantastic documentary, "The September Issue"). But editor-in-chief Anna Wintour had good a reason to top her 5-year-old record —- this September marks the magazine’s 120th anniversary. Naturally, a good chunk of the magazine is devoted to a retrospective on Vogue (don’t miss the cool fold-out that highlights vintage covers), and really all other things fashion, but Vogue also doesn’t skimp on other editorials. The star-studded pages include editorials devoted to not only cover girl Lady Gaga but also Florence Welch, Rooney Mara and the usual legion of supermodels. For the trend-inclined, creative director Grace Coddington lent her styling genius to four different shoots. Although the magazine may include more than 600 pages of ads, its actual content features no shortage of inspiration.

If high fashion is not your deal, Glamour provides a more well-rounded approach to September. The 2012 issue features Victoria Beckham, who also guest-edited the magazine, and boasts itself as Glamour’s first official fall fashion issue. While the fashion section is meatier than usual, the magazine’s content still includes the usual roundup of diet tips and hot male celebrities. But for those who like clothing suggestions and trend previews, the fashion section, which gives solid (if a bit obvious -- rich colors and leather for fall? I never would have guessed) tips for fall, will satisfy just about anyone. Keep an eye out for actress Elizabeth Olsen’s editorial in the back of the magazine — the military looks she highlights are cute and surprisingly wearable.

You’ve been told never to judge a book by its cover, and Elle’s September issue proves that the same holds true for magazines. Between the hot pink background and Katy Perry’s purple hair and pink sparkly dress, nothing about the cover conveys fall, or for that matter, class. But if you can make it past page one, the rest of the magazine is a treat. At more than 400 pages, the magazine is certainly hefty, but it stops well short of Vogue’s size, and throwing it in your bag won’t make you feel like you’re lugging around a dumbbell. The fall fashion section impeccably integrates trends from the runway with slightly more affordable options, and although the editorials tend toward monochromatic, the limited color scheme is surprisingly refreshing given the garish cover.

For the culture junkie in us all, Vanity Fair’s September issue stays high-brow enough to make you feel slightly less guilty about reading yet another fashion magazine. If you can stomach an absurdly pretentious society piece, the profile of those teenage socialites, the Brants, makes for an amusing read. If you’re only interested in clothes, head straight to photographer Paolo Roversi’s beautifully captured look at Raf Simons’ work for Dior. Ralph Lauren receives similar (and deserved) star treatment. Though Kate Middleton’s cover photo, a rather unflattering paparazzi shot, might make you skeptical of the best-dressed list, the artsy portraits of the surprisingly diverse list of honorees are simply stunning.

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