Friday, October 14, 2005

Magazine Feature: VANITY FAIR


My brother used to stuff Vanity Fair magazines in whatever free space there was in the balikbayan box he'd ship over now and then. He knew how much I enjoy reading this magazine. Subsequently, as I assimilated into the local culture, I made a wonderful discovery: the used book kiosk at the university belt area that I pass by often also sells back issues of some U.S. magazines, including Vanity Fair.

After two or three months of buying from this kiosk, while walking by one afternoon, I was pleasantly surprised when the saleslady who has now gotten to know me by face, motioned for me to come over. I was certain she had a newly-arrived edition saved for me. She bent down to dig up something from a shelf behind the counter. Although enclosed in a plastic bag, I could tell it was a magazine as she -- as if in some clandestinely fashion -- revealed the top portion of its glossy cover. It wasn't Vanity Fair. Noticing the puzzled look on my face, she exposed just a little bit more of its cover. Suddenly, I realized she was showing me some gay magazine, which I presumed was too salacious in cover and content as to be publicly displayed with the others.

I could only chuckle in response. With Vanity Fair’s covers – of mostly stars in the film and music industries styled in elegant couture -- the saleslady must have assumed it was a publication in the same league as Vogue, Harper’s and Cosmo whose readership comprised mostly of women and gay men.

I should have told her that, on the contrary, it is more in the company of smart magazines such as New Yorker, Life, and Esquire. And that Vanity Fair, launched way back in 1913 as a voice for the avant-garde, evolved into its present form as a fascinating mix of image and intellect; highlighting people, places, and ideas that define modern culture.

With celebrated writers like Dominick Dunne and Gail Sheehy, and award-winning photographers like Annie Leibovitz and Bruce Weber, Vanity Fair gives fascinating profiles of people and power like no other magazine. Most of their contributors are famed novelists and seasoned correspondents. As a whole, Vanity Fair’s literary style is intelligently accessible; its photo journals superb.

They will feature say, the masters of modern architecture this month and on the next, expose the power behind hip-hop’s dark underbelly. They can be iconoclastic on one story, and absurdly silly on another. From the majestic abodes of the English royalty to the seedy dungeons of L.A.’s S&M subculture, from the bizarre to the sublime, Vanity Fair will cover any intrigue either through image or text, or both.

Vanity Fair is unpredictably cool.

Get a taste of VF now, click here.


posted by Señor Enrique at 8:23 AM

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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