When I was in my forties and gaily decorating the first apartment I ever owned, I relished leafing through Metropolitan Home for ideas about paint colors for the walls, upholstery for the sofa and treatments for the windows. What fun it was to see the lovely things I could do in my new home. Arlene Hirst, one of my oldest friends, was a design editor at the magazine. I looked forward to her juicy tidbits about furniture trends and cool new gadgets for the kitchen.
Now I can go blog-wild and get advice, recommendations and ideas from design mavens all over the world. Every maven has a different temperament and taste so I can search till I find one whose style suits me. Magazines like Metropolitan Home, Domino and scads more simply lost relevance and interest. They were vanilla. No edge. Same stories rehashed year after year.
Metropolitan Home died today. While it saddens me to see people lose their jobs, I will not miss the magazine. I also would not miss Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, W and Elle. I’d much rather read the amusing fashion posts at www.amidlifeofprivilege.blogspot.com, a delightful blog by Fab Over Fifty Lisa from California. “I prefer to call it Fierce at Fifty,” she says. “Because life is not what I thought it would be and the adventures I had at 20 do not compare.” Lisa suggested I also look at www.passagedesperles.blogspot.com, a witty and smart fashion blog written by Dutchess. There are others.
“I get annoyed when I see articles in women’s magazines about makeup or clothing appropriate for women in their 20s, 30s and 40s. Sometimes they even include 50s, but rarely do they show women older than that. Do they think older women are no longer interested?” Leslie wrote to FOF. “When magazines run photo essays on well-known older women, why do they photo shop all the wrinkles out?”
Leslie, you and I know we’re interested in fashion. Women over fifty spend $25 billion a year on clothes. The fashion magazines, however, are not interested in us. They don’t really care what we think or look like. It will ruin their image if they focus on women over 39.
Anna Wintour (she’s the editorial fashion guru at Vogue, if you don’t know) turned sixty last week. Personally, I think she’s more interested in glossing her image than the glossy magazine is in its reader’s interests.
When Domino folded, a former editor launched Lonny, an online design magazine that directs you right to the products it features. And faboverfifty.com will do the same with fashion and the other products we all swear by, books to bathing gel. Anna Wintour won’t be telling us what she loves; we’ll be telling each other.