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BlogMagazinesJune2015

posted by Natalie Paddick

The Other World In Which I Delve..

 Whilst doing some work researching another project  .. It occurred to me that I should be honest about just how much I love magazines.. I am not ashamed to admit this, in fact I am really quite proud, it’s like all ‘demi-obsessions’, sometimes you just have to face up to what you are and what you do!! I am not as bad as I was … But I do like a glossy …


From a design aspect they are such a useful tool, they inspire and challenge the way you approach a particular design. You can take as much or as little from the concept…  I am not as consumed by ‘all’ magazines as I used to be, but I still approach them with a certain protocol; those that know me well allow me this idiosyncrasy…. These publications are to me like an adornment, an expensive gift, a treasure. I get a buzz from it, I have a certain set of rules in order to get the best out of the reading moment. Glossy magazines are expensive, but for me worth it; however, I am not ashamed to say I will read from any denomination! But I do treat each periodical with their own level merit and consideration... If you are interested in any design then magazines are the way to go … But nowadays it is always easier to Google the ‘look’ and much quicker, you don’t have to search for your design, just push the enter button …. I do this now all the time … But I like the ‘old fashion way too’!

This interest, which I have honed and developed over the years primarily started with Vogue and World of Interiors, whatever my mother left in the guest bathroom to impress my parents visiting entourage. These publications would surely prove to any visiting guest what up and coming bourgeoisie people they really were, and they very much were style icons of their time. There was never a dull moment on all fronts, but they particularly liked all aspects of design and this bore out in all aspects of their lives. However,  you had to ignore the hideous additions that my paternal grandmother offered, which was of those Cindy Dolls that masqueraded as a loo roll cover, really none of us know … What was that all about? Grandma’s loo roll creations were very over the top, they were crocheted little numbers; never as I recall were they made in any co-coordinating sympathetic colours that might enhance the bathrooms they were deposited in? Usually made in hideous bright pink and oranges garland with the odd purple stripes; the outfits had been dowsed in sugar water which when dried would leave the wool dress stiff, creating shapes that reminded me of Ginger Rogers flowing dresses. Nothing was simple in our house! Our Cindy loo roll holders were even if a ghastly a cut above the rest they had ‘cami-knickers’, I know because I looked!



Anyway these big showy magazines were piled on the table in the guest bathroom. I used to closet myself in this bathroom, on the carpet! And luxuriate in the glamour and style of the beautiful images, I would imagine what I was going to be and do when I was older. I am however still not a six foot blonde and nor do I have a wall to floor marbled kitchen, but I live in hope! They ignited my imagination and gave me such pleasure and enjoyment, I never read the articles as I could not relate to them at that age, I just liked all the imagery. Having on one occasion, reviewed an article on all things Spanish some days earlier; I still smile at the psychedelic vision that greeted me one Saturday morning of my father dressed in white Matador frilly Spanish shirt and brightly coloured burnt orange waistcoat, which my mother had copied form the magazine. She had even tied his waist with a red tie just like in the picture. As a small stout, balding man this was a sight to behold and not in any way an outfit he could carry off…..  But it pleased my mother. As was my mother’s way to carry off whatever was her current design obsession, we ate a great deal of Spanish food in that period and I had the pleasure of a sombrero hat. The house was accessorized in associated Spanish paraphernalia, personally I never liked the place mats with images of Bull fighting, it did tend to put you off your food…. But that was the magazine effect in our house and fortunately it never lasted long as the next months magazine would throw up a whole new style design for my mother to copy and embellish …


And so began my love affair with Magazines …. I have collected them for more than twenty-five years all still remain in pristine condition, I might add!  My collecting of these periodicals has on occasions brought me into conflict…  Primarily with my mother and sister-in-law … My mother more than reasonable treats ‘my’ magazines as chuck away objects and has long since found my way of cherishing them irritating! Much like any political opponent if she gets the opportunity to wrong foot me with the licky sticky finger smudging the corners as she irreverently turns the pages of the magazines, trust me she will ….. It is a silent enemy between us … “Sorry darling I didn’t realise it was special, you seem to have so many!” To be fair she has a point! 



I cannot abide for anyone to read the magazines before me … These little jewels arrive once a month, generally speaking ….. And I enjoy reading them FIRST! I stare at the front covers and wonder what delights these periodicals may offer me … What is behind their shiny façade, they fuel my imagination … God knows that does not need to much encouragement!  I can’t help it and yes I do know it is odd! But they are much to be encouraged in my line of work. If you are thinking of an outfit or redesigning your kitchen … Inspiration is what they are!



If on occasions my house guests have come across my recent magazine collections, which I have inadvertently whilst cooking lunch forgotten to hide and they have fingered through them showing a lack of respect that I accord to them. I send my guest, or my mother away with the said magazines, after their meal of course, I am not that rude, and buy myself a new one. Mad or what? ….. I just can’t read them after that ??… They are no longer mine … They have been sullied … Okay maybe I need professional help.. I would like you to know that I am not mean .. I leave other magazines out that I have thoroughly read , newspapers and glossy coffee table books!  ….


My modus operandi  is I never read them straight away, like I never wear a pair of shoes when I have first purchased them. I never peek either …. I just get myself ready for the moment, pending on what time of the day it is … A cup of piping hot weak black Earl Grey tea, or my other passion a chilled glass of white wine. I rarely sit in silence … Another quirk I developed in childhood …. There has to be some noise, music, TV and or the radio … Just background noise I can tune it out but I like to know that it is there … If it is a fine day then the loud noise of the garden water feature is good enough for me … 



So I am ready …. Anticipation mounting …. Sun glasses, sun hat … Wine and noise …. I have already studied the front cover in detail and I have assumed I am going to like the content of this shiny new friend. As I have said I never peek but I also never read or look in order .. I carefully take the page in the corner, never ever crushing it …. Sacrilege …. And I gorge on the visual information these lovely glossy pieces of paper give me.

Even if I don’t like the content I study it, I check it out .. If I were given that piece of furniture, mirror, shoe, hair piece … Fabric … What would I do with it … It ignites my imagination.. Sometimes I am deeply critical of the editorial, sometimes outraged or even moved  … Now we don’t have the quality of editors that we used too .. Once, recently, I opened a Vogue magazine, there was article about Norman Parkinson .. The iconic shot of Jerry Hall in ‘that’ red swim suit with red lipstick .. And they referred to it as ‘Model in red Swimsuit’??? It was Jerry Hall!! …. I suppose the magazine world has to some degrees lost its gloss and certainly a lot of glamour. There no longer seems to be the need for any degree of style … If someone ‘fashionable’ says it is ‘fashionable’  …. Then it is assumed that it is? All about marketing these days …


In magazines you can do what you like design wise, push every boundary … In real life … You learn to temper your imagination something that never sits that easy with me! .. I like to push boundaries … Design wise of course! It is easier to push boundary’s with couture clothing.. Which can be more in the moment … Much more difficult with Interior Design as that work stays longer, unless of course you take my mother’s approach and change everything monthly, this of course is expensive and nothing ever gets finished! …  




Having told you all this …. Panic not I have stopped collecting …  As the storage and the weight of all this paper has become ludicrous, and they lost their gloss when everyone became a ‘style’ critic, including me! ..  But I thought I would put a few of these magazines over the next few months on the site .. As they are fun and iconic … I have recently got all the magazines out of storage and put them on shelves in my conservatory study, thus my passion has been re-ignited.. I just love looking at them, one at a time, in repose … A wonderful, (I hope), rediscovery … 



I collect Interior Design books by the way … Stylish numbers with price tags to match …. But they never did it for me like the glossy allure of a magazine … And in case any of you are worried about my mother … I gave all of these designer books to her so she is quite happy…  



Nowadays in design … “No tear sheet required!!” …. Although my house is littered with them … I am addicted - Hook, Line …. And Design Sipper …. !!!



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