What is the definition of the quintessential Lady?
The answer can be found in the fall fashion spread in Town and Country. The magazine has largely been recognized as addressing solely the interests and concerns of the upper class. Its readership mainly has comprised of younger socialites, cafe society, and upper middle class professional society. A preppy, snobbish, and elitist WASP image has been associated with the magazine since its origins. In 1846 the magazine started out as The Home Journal; a weekly magazine of fiction, poetry, and essays along with the social events and leisure activities of the landed aristocracy in the United States. As the first lady editor-in-chief in 1993, Palema Fiori changed the layout of the magazine and altered its perceived image. Fiori is credited with broadening the readership of the magazine’s once narrow, highly selective clientage. She also sought to make the magazine more fashion forward and play down its uppity and privileged reputation. Increasingly, she worked to add diversity to the magazine by incorporating more celebrities of all ages and ethnicities.
Today, I am not sure if the magazine is as progressive as Fiori hoped it would become. The feature fashion spread in the fall issue titled “Behind the Hedgerow” with the subhead of “Some would say that brights and florals are better suited to springtime. But those are the same sort of people who would never dare wear major jewels in broad daylight” doesn’t convince me that the magazine is trying to reach out to readers of an array of ages and backgrounds.
The shoot is of one slender blonde hair and blue eye model dressed in various couture dresses by the likes of Carolina Herrera and Oscar de la Renta, fashioned with brooches and rings by Chanel and Dior fine jewelry, and embellished with a colorful symphony of silk opera gloves. The shots are practically the same. They all take place at the grounds of the Squerryes Court in Kent, evoke the theme of florals and nature, and consist of an aristocratic-look with huge gems, ladylike gloves, and lovely dresses and skirts (no pants are included). The feature only focuses on the trend of florals this fall and fails to include some of its more prominent trends such as leather and menswear-inspired pieces. It is lacking in diversity in several areas, especially its perceived readership. The captions including “She fashioned herself after the queen” and “Here at the Squerryes Court in Kent” drives home the reputation of an elitist, snobby magazine. This fashion spread is solely photographs of “the perfect” wealthy heiress who exudes “class,” “sophistication,” and “ladylike” behavior. Town and Country seems to be sticking to its roots of catering to the upper-class or the now extinct landed aristocrats instead of being fashion-forward and broadening its horizons. Take a look for yourself:
Image Source: http://www.townandcountrymagazine.com