As the Cleo crew and a bevvy of beautiful Sydney identities
So, we know the cover shot of Kate Hudson (2009's top Aussie cover girl) by Cliff Watts is from the same set of studio images that gave us covers for the March 2009 edition of Harper's BAZAAR Australia and the January 2009 edition of British Harper's BAZAAR (glossies like to swap stock shots like sisters swap clothes), and we are also a little bit over the structured shoulder trend, but the hot, summery font shades against the white background lend the cover a striking edge that's hard to ignore on the newsstand... if only it weren't obscured by the hideous plastic bagging of a beach dress. Grr. Speaking of "grr", that's exactly what Hudson is saying with her eyes and mouth. Perhaps she is having a "Telepathic Orgasm" as she thinks about "Kinky Sex"? Or maybe she is just hungry.
The good bits:
- While 16-year-old Hollywood paparazzo Austin Visschedyk kind of gives me the creeps, the little guy comes across as likable. I had to laugh at this quote: "I'm treated differently to other paparazzi. I'm cute and cuddly - I'm not a 40-year-old pervert looking person."And he seems to have good morals: "If I took a photo of a star doing something bad, or a pic that would hurt them, I'd delete it." We can learn so much from the youth of today.
- Cleo is owning talent from the blogosphere. This issue, style bloggers lovemaegan, phosphenefashion and psimadethis put their DIY skills to the test. There's also a photographic spread based on passiveaggressivenotes.com; 'Home, Sweet, Home' with blogger Kirsten Grove (simplygrove.blogspot.com); 'City Slickers' featuring Aussie street-style snappers; and 'Our parents were awesome', a Frankie-flavoured pictorial spread drawing on vintage photo blogs, like myparentswereawesome.tumblr.com, momstyleicons.blogspot.com and dadsinshortshorts.blogspot.com. Thanks for the fresh new linkage, Cleo!
- Kate Hudson is owning smiley roles: "I feel as though, when I'm 40, I'll have plenty of time to play the depressed housewife."
- Tania Gomez celebrates women of the cerebral kind in 'Is smart the new sexy?', a three-page feature accompanied by stacks of Penguin books (cute). "Smart is becoming the new sexy because our society has well and truly outgrown its own time-honored gender stereotypes," says cultural studies scholar Maja Mikula. "We are surrounded by astute, intelligent women." That's a comforting thought.
- Bec Whish imparts 'Retro Life Advice' gleaned from clinical psychologist and Mad Men fan Muriel Cooper, under sub-heads including 'maintain your independence', 'accentuate the positive', 'stay cool under pressure', 'rise above office politics' and 'present yourself well'.
- Carla Caruso investigates the world of food blogging, where 'foodgasms' and 'food hangovers' are all in a day's work and bleeding bank accounts and bulging waistlines are hazards of the job. There's gentle advice from an addiction specialist on passions turning unhealthy. I really enjoyed this piece.
- 'Fashion Heavyweights For 2010' is an ironic headline for a feature full of skinny people. The list includes Kate Lanphear, Kate and Laura Mulleavy, Dree Hemingway, Phoebe Philo, Tommy Ton, Olivier Zahm, Tavi Gevinson, Scott Schuman and Garance Dore. Love the layout.
- 'Is staying in the new going out?' asks Rachel Hills. When even Paris Hilton is over the party scene, the Zeitgeist has shifted. "Nanna" girls are the new socialites.
- In 'Self-help or self-harm?' Sarah Ayoub investigates whether self-help courses can undermine your health. Ayoub launches with the story of 34-year-old PA Rebekah Lawrence, who committed suicide after attending a Turning Point seminar, and asks if it's right that the industry – which plays on women's emotional needs – is self-regulated, with many unqualified life coaches practising. Advice - seek out a mental health professional.
- Chloe Sevigny = stunning in hot pink lips shot by Kenneth Cappello. J'adore this feature! Why isn't she on the COVER????!!!!
- 'Moving in... with your parents' asks if doing it the second time 'round can work; 'We're so vain' asks if we're the "maintenance generation" and includes a bunch of helpful self-talk tips for the image conscious.
- Four pages of screen-grabs and celebrity quotes make up 'The film that changed my life.' Simple and effective... make way, I'm off to the video shop!
- Candice Chung asks, 'Do we all have to be success stories?'. Chung relates her personal story of falling short of typical life success measures, explores the plethora of anxiety-inducing choices on offer to us, and rounds out by redefining success. There's a helpful checklist for personal contentment, too.
- David Smiedt writes 'Fling or forever?', giving us insight into the male dating psyche: are you a 'current distraction' (aka "mattress buddy") or 'something more'? He uses chivalrous phrases like, "given the chance, of course he'll do you", to help you on your path to relationship enlightenment. There are some gems here ("nothing brands a woman as 'fling' quicker than her propensity to apologise for everything"; "the most resilient partnerships are those that are strengthened by conflict"; "continue to be the well-rounded, evolved person he fell in love with").
- Popular columnist Nicole Daboul reflects on her year of dating in 'Great expectations'. She hasn't found love yet, which reflects love's ability to be more "happy accident" than "result of writing dating column". She ends on a cuddly, hopeful note: "I wouldn't mind if love could just bowl me over, and maybe make my head spin." Next to Daboul's column is a page of marriage proposal stories.
- I always enjoy Kathryn Eisman's columns. This month she writes about after-dark attire, referencing "Susan Boyle when she snuggles with her Kitty Pebbles".
- Bec Whish has some firm words for "perspiration monsters who don't wipe up" and other gym offenders in 'Cleo's Guide to Sweatiquette'.
- '10 Lifestyle Tweaks' is just the treat for a little uplift on a flat day (or life). Cleo helps us sensibly curb junk-food addiction a page over, then tells us why we're so tired (sleep deprivation, lack of fitness, malnutrition, medical issues) and shows us what the perfect lunch looks like (a whole lot of yum). 'Why do I eat when I'm not hungry?' talks about emotional eating triggers (stress, boredom, unhappiness, tiredness) and gives us tricks to nip the habit in the bud. The mag then lets us off the goodie-goodie health hook with 'Indulgence that's actually good for you'.
- Meet three "chicks who surf" for Rip Curl in 'Hang Ten', then visit Queensland with Nicole Elphick via 'Endless Summer' (after considering the Virgin Blue Holidays 'summer stays' page 181) and test out a bike, Agyness-style, on page 192.
- The 'Radar: pop culture and prettiness for your viewing pleasure' section opens with a fun image of the Vampire Weeekend boys. I love this section with its slick design, nuggets of pop culture news and book, album and movie reviews.
The not-so-good (oopsie!) bits:
- 'Forever 21: how to hit the pause button on getting old (saggy bits scare us)'. Noooooo! 1. You couldn't pay me to be 21 forever. 2. Let's start embracing ageing from a young age!
- You know one of my pet women's mag hates? Giving space to shitty men. See: 'Is this guy for real?', a Q&A with blogger Arthur Kade (who rates women on a scale of 10 - "hot" is a 7 and up). Ignore that link!
- 'Are you dating your dad?' writes John Bastick, who reminds us that "men's brains are wired to thinking that younger, prettier females are more conducive to childbearing" before launching into talk of Absent Father Syndrome. Depressing.
- A little ditty about marriage truths by yours truly made it into this issue – am officially the poster-girl for Poo-Pooing Marriage (thank you, confessional blog post) – eek! Thankfully, Husband got a laugh out of it (no divorce papers yet) and a couple of to-be-weds reportedly have, too. This is shameless publicity spiel dressed up as "oopsie bits".
- The Beginner's Guide to Bondage, including breakout box titled 'What tools do I need?'.
- On the second-page 'Tigerlily Issue' opener featuring model Alexandra (@Chic) we are told that the issue has been "created with love by Tigerlily designers Amelia Stanley and Jodhi Meares, and the Cleo team."
- The angelic face of Australian music video director Kinga Burza, 29, opens the 'What's Now' section. Cleo loves a pretty cool girl with connections and this one is passionate about her craft. The opener is followed by a one-page interview.
- Adore the layout for Tigerlily designer Amelia Stanley's 'What I bought' page.
- A snap of front-row fashionistas, including red-lipped "marketing mogul" Jen Brill, open 'In Store'. A very cool image. In fact, the In Store section, chock-full with still-life items, is generally just cool – particularly the 'Shady Ladies' sunglasses layout.
- Swimwear meets streewear in 'Like a tiger'. Love that all the gear isn't Tigerlily, though the range does form the basis for the shoot.
- Model Zippora Seven (who rose to fame via RUSSH and featured in Vogue Australia's December 2008 issue) is the 'Face of the month'. Beautiful image shot by Olivia Hemus for Ruby Boutique.
- 'On Counter: Passion Pop' is an impactful beauty page with a Warhol feel. I also appreciated 'Matt Factor: five ways to minimise a shiny face'; 'Beauty Icon: Zooey Deschanel' (adorable, always); and will consider investing in All About The Glo's Loose Bronzing Powder ($29.95 at Priceline) to get Kate Hudson's chiseled cover look. Priceline is also sponsoring Cleo's 'Make Me A Makeup Artist' competition.
- 'Tight Rope' features a smoky-eyed model in dancewear (think leggings, grey marle tees, tights, leg-warmers, Flashdance tees...). Love this.
- 'Into the blue' is a hazily-lit, scrap-book style denim spread that wouldn't look uncomfortable in RUSSH.
- 'Nine to Five' gives us 10 new looks for the office – neutrals and a little leopard print appear to be the way to go. Like a SHOP Til You Drop spread, it finishes with a page of still-life accessories.
- Gerard Butler in a suit, page 145 'Love & Lust'. Hubba hubba.
- Make 'Forever Yours' cupcakes, page 186, and "text up your living space with some typography-inspired pieces" (page 188).
- Kermit the Frog! 'The Grass is Always Greener' on page 190.
Glossy posse: If Cleo was a school, only cool girls would be enrolled. Kate Hudson, Kinga Burza, Austin Visschedyk, Peaches Geldof, Pip Edwards, Kristen Bell...
Blosses: Sarah Oakes; ACP Magazines
Glossy stats: February 2010; 212 pages; $8.95 with a Seduce beach dress.
Glossy ads: Pandora, Covergirl, Clinique, Herbal Essence, asics, Pepe Jeans...
Glossy rating: 4 - Yes... skim at your leisure then lend to a friend.
* Note: GWAS is a Cleo contributor on occasion. And congratulations to art director Liz, who is newly engaged!
Girl With a Satchel