There's something wonderfully nostalgic about looking through old magazines. The glossy pages we thumbed through when we were in our impressionable tween and teen years told us who was cool and how to look cool (and we believed them).
If Tavi Gevinson's recent announcement that she will be reviving a Sassy-esque mag with Jane Pratt showed us anything, it's that the girls who grew up reading Sassy are fiercely loyal to the mag that shaped their identities in a real and lasting way. Lauren calls Jane Pratt her "personal Jesus," and wrote that "Sassy is the reason [she] became interested in fashion as a 5th grader." In her open letter to Tavi Gevinson and Jane Pratt on our blog crush The Hairpin, former Gawker scribe Emily Gould said as much, writing, "Sassy and, later, Jane got into my brain when it was at its most malleable; these magazines were such a profound influence on the way my tastes in books, magazines, bands, cute boys, and first-person writing developed that I hear their editorial voice in my head at the oddest moments, for example recently I was doing my laundry and I remembered a Jane tip about how you can use, and I think I quote? "like, half the amount of detergent" you're currently using. I remember whole blocks of text from "Tiffani-Amber Thiessen: Something Does Not Compute." I became the kind of writer and person I am in part because of these magazines."
So it's with an understanding of the powerful and formative hold that the glossies we once pored over still have on us that we launch our newest series, "From the Glossy Archives." We're pulling old glossies--from Sassy to Vogue to Pop--from our bedroom shelves and from eBay and scanning in the funniest ads, the most surprising stories, and most salient editorials so we can all reminisce together. And for the true magazine nerds out there (ourselves included), we will, of course, include the masthead so we can watch the editorial musical chairs play out throughout the years.
First up? We figured US Vogue from November 1988, Anna Wintour's first issue as editor-in-chief, was a good place to start. The mag is a gold mine so we'll dispense the nuggets piecemeal starting with the masthead, awesomely '80s ads, and a feature that is an ode to Alaïa (before Alaïa and Wintour hated each other). Editorials to follow.
Take a look.
Lauren and I went down an internet k-hole for a bit googling everyone on the masthead. You'll recognize many of the names from Vogue's current masthead on this one from 22 years ago. Note how Virginia Smith has climbed the ranks from Fashion Assistant.
Lauren Hutton's got a reputation to live up to, ok? One must be very fancy to wear American Legend mink. It's evident from a quick skim through this Vogue that Anna's love affair with fur was strong from the get-go. Fur ads account for a good chunk of the ad pages, and show up swaddling models in editorials later on.
Hello? Girl on the L train is that you?
Alaïa and Wintour had a falling out years ago which has since turned nasty in the press. Last year, when he was omitted from the "Model as Muse" exhibit at the Met's Costume Institute, he told WWD that Wintour “behaves like a dictator and everyone is terrified of her," and that she had snubbed his work for the past 15 years. But not in 1988! They're totes best buds in this issue.
But what's more surprising in this story (in addition to Jesse Jackson's presence on the page) is a pull quote from Alaïa: "There is no elite class of women with perfect bodies; in fact, I showed my clothes on a seven-month-pregnant woman. It's a question of proportion." So here we were thinking pregnant models are the new hotness, what with Miranda Kerr posing pregnant and nude all over the place and Adrianna Lima being approached to walk the runway preggers only to be turned down for the gig because she wasn't showing enough, but Alaïa was doing it over 20 years ago.