September Issue reviews: Harper's Bazaar

I don't know if stories about plastic surgery, trends, or dating after 40 will ever really appeal to me but in Harper's it's good for what it is and of all the magazines that do that kind of thing, Harper's is the least annoying about it. I generally don't like it when magazines have how-to-wear guides (especially about "ageless style!") but for the people who do like them, Harper's puts together flattering and usually fun outfits, and for people like me, the guides are very appealing visually. Obviously everything inside The Well is good.

-Story on Susan Boyle which, honestly? It's hard to read it and not like her. Like how thinking UP was stupid would mean one does not have a soul. You have to like her after reading it. She jokes about herself and is modest and ~quirky~ and I like her cat.
-Naomi Campell in Africa by Jean-Paul Goude. I was on the fence about these for a while because I couldn't tell if she was supposed to be portrayed as an animal or just having fun with them. In the controversial Amber Rose pictures Jean-Paul Goude just shot for Complex, she is in a cage, shackled up, and naked. Here it seems to be more about the clothing, and Naomi is racing or jumproping with or sitting on the animals and not acting like one...I think? What are your thoughts?
If we're going to ignore that aspect of it, I do think the photos are neat as fashion photographs. I mean, look at how her arms and legs are positioned here...that's kind of perfection.
EDIT: Ooooopsydoops, the Complex story is by MATT DOYLE, not JPG. My bad!

-"Fashion..and all that jazz" has a cheesy title but otherwise is just plain awesome. The styling is impeccable and, um, Peter Lindbergh! Hi! Plus Chanel and Arlenis look so good!LOL IKNORITE

-Peggy Guggenheim's Venice Um, ok, HI. It's inspired by Peggy Guggenheim, shot by KARL in VENICE which is BEAUTIFUL, model is LARA STONE, in two photos she is with a DOG, and clothing credits include COMME and PHILIP TREACY. So, like, yeah. I die. I think one of my favorite editorials of all time.-This interview where Karl pretends to be Coco Love! He says "Some idiot Karl" which gives me a warm fuzzy "oh, I love people" feeling, like the one I got when I watched that one video interview he did where he seemed to actually be enjoying himself and the interviewer wasn't being a sociopath and/or Charlie Rose. People are upset about his anti-feminist comment in this Coco interview but it truly came off as a joke to me, and as if he was more making fun of people who think all feminists are ugly than feminists themselves.
-"Thriller Fashion" is a Jacko-inspired ed and kind of epic. Aggy is cute, styling is good, and so far all the tributes to him have been articles or on TV so this is different and I like that. Plus they didn't ass it up by including an article analyzing him, which I think we're kind of tired of by now, y/y/y/y/y/y?-"From Seventh Avenue to Sesame Street" Probably my favorite feature in here! Each page (or in DVF's case, spread) is of an American designer somewhere on Sesame Street with a character from the show and a model wearing one of their designs. They're all SO.GODDAMN.CUTE. and everybody is smiling instead of trying to ~play it cool.-"New Pieces You'll Love Forever" The title sounds like another SHOP YOUR CLOSET BE A RECESSIONISTA! piece (though that is in another part of the issue) but it is IN FACT something TOTALLY DIFFERENT: "Buy classics!" I have not read the article, which I probably should if I'm going to criticize it, but I know I am not going to spend $3,000 on a trench coat because it's a "classic," or, something everyone else has, and if this article was written for the average American woman, I'm not sure if she will, either. I don't wanna be too snarky so I will instead babble on about the accompanying editorial with mah gurlll Jessica Stam, but I like to call her Jessie when we hang out and are bffs. In my head. *shuffles feet with hands in pockets* Anyway, the colors are amazing, the styling makes me want to spend $3,000 on a trench coat, they matched a Comme coat with Prada waders, those Dries van Noten sunglasses with the nordic platform Proenza shoe (my favorite of the season), and-brace yourselves-there are really cute dogs! And, of course, Jessie looks totes fab, as always, when we hang out. All the time.
-"Most Wanted"
another one that is visually incredibly rad and, like most fashion spreads, inspiring in the feel it gives off and not because it's advertising a $640 bangle. The whole thing is
floating red and black accesories with jumping red and black playing cards, and it looks cool.
-"Fabulous at Every Age: Leighton Meester" I don't really have a problem with her to begin with and the article isn't ~edgy by any means, so if anything it's a nice read for the bus, or taking a dump, if you do that kind of thing. To be honest her interview with Seventeen was more interesting to me. Harper's did make her look like an old lady in some of the photos which I think is cool and would have made for a more eyecatching cover than the one chosen.
-"Schiaparelli: The Shocking Truth" Ok, I haven't read this one either but it seems really interesting and if not there is a lovely picture of Siri Tollerod with a red glove on her head that is stunning, at the very least.
-Suzy Menkes writes about the 80's I preferred the article about 80's redoux in the September issue of the NYTimes' T Magazine but the accompanying editorial here is good and the composition I think is especially great. Plus Suzy Menk
es seems like she would be very fun to bake cookies with, or comb bangs with, or something.

...And, lowlights, since I'm an optimist!
-"Urban Chic" Really? Still? We're still talking about Urban Chic? The whole shoot is kind of bland and I feel bad that the model had to work with such a boring setting.
-"Buy designer clothes because our magazine survives when we are good at advertising them." With an editorial by Terry Richardson that is pretty meh. Yeah.
-"Cheap and Cheerful." This is where the "Recessionista!" talk begins.

To sum up: Worth the money ($5) if you live in the US, and if you don't and it costs like $15 for you then I would spend the money on Vogue Nippon or something. Harper's Bazaar is one of very few good American fashion magazines and the September issue is, if I may use The Proud Family lingo, off the yeezy.~Fin~

photo sources: tengossip, i love kdia, gossiprocks, bellasugar, thefashpack


Annie said...

Peggy Guggenheim's Venice is AMAZING. how could you not love it?

Chloe Tweeny said...

..."so if anything it's a nice read for the bus, or taking a dump, if you do that kind of thing"... Hilarious!

Katy said...

It's pretty sad, fashion-wise, that I was liking and agreeing with your review, remembering the highlights of the magazine, planning to peruse it again, and then all thoughts of that were obliterated when you mentioned The Proud Family. I didn't watch it that much, but I had completely forgotten about!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this review, it was fun and cheaper than buying the magazine.

Isabel said...

I haven't seen Agyness modeling in forever! Glad she's not dead or something.

Anonymous said...

Ooooh I wasn't going to buy it but now I want to! I love Harper's Bazaar, and all of it's status quo dithering (Fabulous At Every Age, the grid of spend/save/store or whatever) just makes me love it more! And Lara Stone? OK, I need it now.


Fannah said...

Great post. I'll just look at the entire ed's and all on tfs or something and spend my money on something else.. had the British ELLE in mind but do you think that's worth 8,20 euros? ;)

Jacquie said...

I actually ha ha ha-ed at this! And I love that Jessica Stam is like so totally like your bff, because Jourdan Dunn and I are so obviously, totally sisters and she invites Karlie Kloss around for dinner on sundays and we talk about all this fabulous and Parisienne.

I lie.

but i am not lying when i say your summary was enough for me! i'll look for a few scans of the shoot, as living in London, i'm not going to shell out £10 or so for this issue!

say hi to Jessie for me xxx

Meg Webb said...

love it. you're wacko.

Jenna said...

Thanks for the review!!!!


Soren Lorensen said...

hey man that chick looks like molly ringwald

ten out of ten for that

Gabby said...


I would have liked to see Oscar the Grouch in Rodarte. Just saying.

Shay said...

thanks for this - awesome, awesome review! I'm so glad you took a stab at those stock "recessionista" pieces that show up in every mag these days.

softbonesbabyy said...

you were featured on's "what is she doing in the front row" column.

you've got to see yourself!!
it's on the front page in collage of photos. A few words were written about you as well.

-avid fan(wendy)

Hazel said...

i really enjoyed how you reviewed this
i hardly get excited for september issues, and i don't really read Harper's, but i love this!
i'd like to see you review other september seems like an interesting topic


Arushi Khosla said...

Fabulous review, darling!
I posted about th Thriller piece a week back, in fact :)
Haven't bought this one yet, but will do soon.
I'm craving September issues but I have exams coming up :(

Lopi said...

I live in Greece, so still contemplating if I should fork out €10/$15 for it. Great review though, thanks Tavi!

Anonymous said...

very cool blog.. nice

Anonymous said...

mm must buy because aggy is so cool!

Unknown said...

I enjoyed watching bits and pieces of Thriller Fashion. it was very inspiring.

Love + Cake said...

In regards to the naomi campbell spread, have you heard of Gregory Colbert? I feel like they might have been inspired by his work with this spread, only obviously put a style aspect into it.

You should check out his work, google "Gregory Colbert, Ashes and Snow"

The difference in these is that HB probably used trained animals, and colbert photographed people with wild animals. He's amazing and his work is beyond beautiful.

sofiasophie said...

The first pic is AMAZING!
and I definitively wanrt a jacket like the one in the last pic!

Callan said...

Laura is so amazing, you have to love her.
And as for Harpers, it's not for me, maybe if i was a 30+ female living in America, i may consider it, but until that day, i shall continue to treck to Borders in the city and purchase overly priced imported issues of Arena Homme +.
good review tavi!

kate cait sith said...

Tavi I just saw your editorial in Pop.
Crying tears of happiness.
NYC editorial surfacing in time oh I'm sure.
+ Please do a U.S. Vogue review while pretending Anna didn't reject a Comme jacket in The September Issue trailer thaaaaaanks.

Unknown said...

Thank you, thank you for reviewing this mag! Were I live (Helsinki, Finland, Europe) we get all the american fashin magazines like two months later, they must come over on the slowest ship in history.

Harpers Bazaar is my favourite because the lifestyle they present is so over-the-top, I love fantazising about being able to buy 3000 dollar coats!

Glowing Doll said...

Sesame Street Was my life when I was three.

Unknown said...

Congrats on being in Grazia magazine

Anonymous said...

The "Seventh Street" story was ony of my favorites! I think this might be my favorite issue September issue of HB yet!

Sydney said...

i'm really diggin' the Thriller Fashion but Peggy Guggenheim is, well, fabulous.


kenneth said...

I'm sorry, I feel you couldn't be more wrong about this issue. It is fairly awful-the cover to begin with. An awkwardly photo-shopped Blair Waldorf is neither inspiring nor elegant. The contents? "Wild Things": Yes this is racist. A black woman jumping rope with monkeys? The first picture may be stunning but the shots with the crocodile and elephant are reminiscent of past America's Next Top Model shoots. "Fashion...and All That Jazz": This same story is done at least once a year by a major fashion magazine. It is another pigeonhole for African-American models and the outfits are pure costume. "Peggy Guggenheim's Venice" is a direct rip-off of a shoot done a few years ago by Vogue I believe. It featured Natalia Vodianova. Agyness Deyn as Michael Jackson is neither a relevant Fall fashion story nor a respectful tribute to the man. "From Seventh Avenue to Sesame Street": This is original at least, and yes, it is nice to see models and designers smile. However, it feels forced. There is no visual correlation between the clothes and their surroundings-no bright colors in soft simple shapes. Compositionally it is a mess. "New Pieces You'll Love Forever": Another annual fashion shoot-the stylish English countryside. Costume. "Fabulous At Every Age, Leighton Meester": This shoot seems to equate aging with becoming a frigid relic of the 1980s, and who is possibly interested in a 23 year-old's perspective on this topic? "Urban Chic", which you didn't like, I find to be okay. Eniko Mihalik verges on plainness and I feel her awkward face somehow makes the clothes seem more interesting. Plus it reminds me of old Ann-Sofie Back, whom I quite like. "Supermodels Supernatural": While you ignored it, this is the only feature I find to be stunning. Yes, it has been done before but never quite as beautifully as in the photos of Kristen McMenamy and Helena Christensen. My only critique-pages 416 and 417, too many awkwardly posed hands. So...those are my two cents. I hope the other Fall magazines aren't as disappointing.

Anonymous said...

Love this review and your whole blog!
The Leighton Meester article was not up to par in my opinion. Boring, I'm pretty sure I didn't even finish the article. Like you said, the one in Seventeen was more interesting (I'm slightly embarrassed to admit that I read Seventeen.)
Loved the Karl interview and of course Aggy is terrific!!

Mario Dodovski said...

I love the editorial modeled by Aggy. It's really amazing :D

Unknown said...

I like MJ Agyness - she would've looked good in one of his vids...

Grazia also had a similar tribute to MJ - they put together around 10 MJ inspired outfits - there are some scans here, you might have seen them already...

Katie said...


Elizabeth said...


It's hard to believe that we're the same age!!

You're super splendiferous!!

I wanna hug you because you're so awesome!!

I heart your blog. It is the shiz.