Media Talk: The New Yorker's Royal Mockery

Media Talk: The New Yorker's May 2 Issue


Clearly, The New Yorker didn't get the same memo as the crew at The Chaser/ABC stipulating that material from the royal wedding supplied by the BBC cannot be used ''in any drama, comedy, satirical or similar entertainment program or content''. 

The Digital Gloss Files


...with Margaret Tran and Satchel Girl 

Lauren Conrad is a regular webpreneur. The reality TV star, fashion designer and author (ah-hem) last week launched a pretty beauty site, The Beauty Department, sure to be a hit with her teen fan base, with the view to "provide girls and young women with a basic how-to of simplified versions of popular trends and styles that they can recreate themselves." The site is a collaboration between Conrad and her hairstylist Kristin Ess and makeup artist Amy Nadine. Additionally, the newly relaunched LaurenConrad.com features her blog-style edit of fashion, beauty, lifestyle and entertainment content (celebrate, decorate, dine, grow, primp, wear), as well as a community girls can sign up to; an ideal platform for online retailers to shift their wares and her publishers her books.

However, new research shows that despite increasing their online spending, teens still prefer to shop for clothing in-store (at least in the U.S.). It's a social thing. And a lack of credit card thing. That said, the internet influences the purchasing decisions of teen girls, coming in behind friends and magazines and ahead of TV and movies in terms of shopping power.

Conde Nast is reportedly cooling off on its magazine apps (is snubbing the almighty Apple's app plan wise?). But, notes Steve Smith, publishers appear to be taking a sit back, watch and wait approach in order to refine their new media content models based on the mistakes and victories of newcomers. WWD's Blast app gets a special mention, as does Vogue's cover stories series of apps and Martha Stewart's cookie recipe app. 

Glossy Covers: Forget me Knot

Glossy Covers: Forget me Knot

One more sleep, one more sleep! Sleep being the operative word. If Kate Middleton is anything like I was the night before my wedding (which just so happens to be exactly four years ago today!), she won't get a wink...and the makeup artist (apparently herself) will be commissioned with performing a minor miracle on her eye bags while her bridesmaids will all do their best to remain cheery and composed under the circumstances (bless you, one and all). However, given Middleton's nonchalant demeanour, I imagine that tomorrow she'll look more like the casually cool bride on the cover of The Knot. She wears an organza gown by Rhonda Hemmingway (dreamy, is it not?).  

Girl Talk: Beyonce, bouncing for obesity

Girl Talk: Beyonce, bouncing for obesity (+ Right 2 Childhood Conference)

This Beyonce clip, which is part of First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move!" campaign for childhood obesity, is a remake of her 2007 single "Get Me Bodied". For much the same reason that I feel discomfort when little girls sneak a peek at their mums during Zumba class, Beyonce's cafeteria booty shaking has me shaking my head.

I have nothing against women getting their sexy on – in fact, a Zumba class is an unreal way to do that without having to set foot in a stinky nightclub. I am also all for exercise and teaching kids how to value and look after their bodies. But there should be a distinction between what is child-appropriate exercise and what should be reserved for adults. Beyonce, her beautiful booty and super-short-shorts, heels and knee-highs tread a very thin line in this regard (to think they banned Katy Perry from Sesame Street?!).

Girl Talk: Julia Zemiro – teacher's pet

Girl Talk: Julia Zemiro – teacher's pet

"At school I was the teacher's pet and I don't know if you remember teacher's pets but it's hideous because other kids hate you. I was trying to please all the time and kind of, 'Look at me, I'm the most tidy, I'm the best.' It wasn't until I was a bit older when I started making people laugh because I was in a group of girls who were all funny and I remember in year 10 sitting down at lunch and going, 'Why don't we have boyfriends? Is it because we are too loud, we are a bit chubby or we talk too much?' We seriously considered how we could alter our behaviour to get a boyfriend but in the end, I was like, 'No, I would rather be who I am and do what I do and be a bit loud and if I don't have a boyfriend, then I don't really care.' Even though I'm an only child, I think I just like company. I'm drawn to people, so when I was 15, my mum enrolled me in acting classes and I thought I had found heaven."

- SBS's Rockwiz host, actor, singer, comedian and Sydney Girls High alumni Julia Zemiro, 44, once described as "the most interesting woman in Australian television" talking to Kate Waterhouse for The Sun-Herald, 24 April 2011. Another bossypants? See also: 20 Questions with Julia Zemiro.

Girl With a Satchel

Book Shelf: Tina Fey's Bossypants

Book Shelf: Tina Fey's Bossypants

To dislike Tina Fey, particularly in liberal feminist circles, is akin to doing a Judas on Jesus. She is the lady who wrote Mean Girls, after all. And what a wonderful thing that movie was, teaching us back in 2004 – the same year Perez Hilton launched his snarky website – that wanting to be a popular Queen Bee can get you into loads of trouble (the film's star, Lindsay Lohan, is irony personified). 

Four years later, as Paris Hilton responded to John McCain's election campaign ad with her own take on self-satire, Fey's fame went viral after nailing her impersonation of Alaskan governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin with her Saturday Night Live sketch. In 2010, Jezebel.com declared, "God bless Tina Fey. It is impossible to impinge on her awesomeness", after Anna Wintour put her on the cover of American Vogue, airbrushing out her trademark scar (more on that soon). Tina Fey, it seemed, could do no wrong. Everyone wanted a piece of her. And now you can have a piece of her, too, by way of her memoir, Bossypants.

Bossypants, has a sort of Last Supper quality, in which Lorne Michaels, the long-time Saturday Night Live producer to whom Fey says she is indebted for her success and recruited the young Fey in 1997, is the Messiah, and Fey plays the ever-grateful Mary Magdalene (though, as she puts it in her introduction, if you're looking for spiritual allegory in the style of C.S. Lewis, "Michaels could be a symbol for God" while her "struggles with hair removal a metaphor for virtue").

Girl Talk: Women at war (what's it good for?)

Girl Talk: Women at war (what's it good for?)

Excellent column by Angela Mollard c/o Sunday magazine
One of the biggest frustrations about being a woman, and more particularly where we find ourselves in the progression of feminism to full equality with men, is our tragic propensity to be our own worst, and each other's, enemy. As if the odds weren't already stacked against us, we are further curtailed in our development as full and flourishing human beings by our capacity for hate.

Media Talk: Dateline's Yalda Hakim in Frankie

Media Talk: Dateline's Yalda Hakim, Frankie

"There is trauma. But I think the culture's started to change. We can talk about stress, we can talk about anxiety, we can get counselling. I find that management nowadays wants to talk about these things and provide counselling for you when you come back from a Kabul situation or a Cairo, or some place where you've confronted some extreme hostile environment and it could affect you psychologically. The most dangerous situation I've been in was in the drug dens in Kabul when I was surrounded by hundreds of opium and heroin addicts inside this den – just me and one security guard. They were sort of threatening to come forward and attack me and blaming the Western world for all their woes and associated me completely with that. Plus, there were needles scattered all over the place and I just had thongs on. Bloody Havaianas or something! So yeah – you have to reassess that kind of thing. When you're in these male-dominated environments, to be taken seriously as a woman, just to get around – it's hard."

SBS's Dateline co-host Yalda Hakim, 27, talking to Frankie magazine

Girl With a Satchel

REVIVAL: A History of Everyday Life


For a long time, the cheese grater I owned and which everyone I knew owned was the box grater or the handheld flat grater. Then IKEA came out with its “chosigt” grater, which fits snugly over a plastic container and is interchangeable with a plastic lid for storage.

It’s a nifty idea, but it isn’t an original idea. The Tupperware version, in signature Tupperware pale apple green, has been around since the 1960s. And you can potentially find either - or both - at an op shop.

Media Talk: Blogging up an addiction

Media Talk: Blogging up an addiction

"When I looked back on the last 18 months and wondered why I'd got so ill, the answer became pretty self-evident: it's because every spare scrap of time that had hitherto gone on stuff like pottering in the garden, having the odd game of tennis, taking the kids to school, listening to music, reading, walking and relaxing, has been almost entirely swallowed by by blogging. And I can't pretend I didn't enjoy doing it: that's the problem – it's an addiction. As a blogger you can't read a news story without wanting to comment on it. You're constantly trawling your other favourite blogs to see whose story is worth following up. And when you're not doing that, you're busy catching up with the hundreds of comments below your latest post, trying to not be cut up by the hateful ones, while trying to respond encouragingly to the sympathetic ones. I love it. I love my readers (the nice ones anyway). But for the moment I love slightly more the idea of not driving myself to an early grave."

- UK Daily Telegraph blogger James Delingpole on taking a blogging sabbatical in 'Blogging's not a job – it's an expensive addiction', Spectator Australia, April 16, 2011. Ha! The folly of the blogger – I could write an entire book on that. Of course, this same ideology might be transferred to any all-consuming occupation that hinders one's ability to lead a healthy, fruitful and balanced life. And it is also entirely possible to be a blogger who is not driven by a "suicidal missionary zeal" (hmm), nor insane (?##!!!) nor ill (cough). I think. Blogging is fun, fun, fun!*

*Tongue in cheek, obviously. These days – most days – I genuinely really enjoy blogging.

Girl With a Satchel

Pop Talk: Fairy floss Apocalypse

Pop Talk: Fairy floss Apocalypse

With Gawker prophesying over Lady Gaga's new release "Judas", Emma Plant contemplates what the pop world is trying to tell us.

Apocalypse now! Tis the song theme leaving popstars' lips of late. On one end of the pop culture spectrum, fashion is dictating the current trend is brogues. On the musical end, it’s brooding eschatology notions (ironically from the likes of very fairy floss superstars who also sing about bubblegum).

Why the recent darkness? The corner street preacher says, "It’s a sign of the times". Do not be afraid, though, instead heed the advice that our popstars are prophesising.

Media Talk: The new column writing formula

Media Talk: The new column writing formula – less crafted, more deconstructed?

"A personal letter carries the scratch of the pen, the lick of the envelope. A weekly column carries the air of a pondered framing of arguments, choice of words, the tap of the laptop key, the long pauses, the delete key, the cut-and-paste procedure, the balancing of paragraphs, the final wordcount. All this may survive in magazines like The Spectator, and be sought there; and in books, too. But newspapers are increasingly about almost literally contemporaneous report, quickfire commentary, fast analysis and response. Where opinion, judgement and reflection are called for (and they always will be) the reader will increasingly feel he wants to be, as it were, with the columnist, alongside him, as he hums and hahs and feels his way to a response...Such writing will not – I stress this – be more superficial, more trashy or less intelligent than my kind of column; but it will have a lightness, directness and frankness, and, with all those things a sort of formlessness, a train-of-consciousness quality. We will write more as we think, or speak."

- Times columnist Matthew Parris, writing in The Spectator Australia, 16 April 2011. 

Teen Girl With a Satchel by Georgie Carroll


Georgie and DOLLY columnist Maude Garrett
Even though I am one of the biggest fangirls in the world, I had never actually met any of my favourite celebrities until last Saturday. I went along to Supanova Pop-Culture Convention with my best friends ready to meet my future husband, Tom Felton (aka Harry Potter's Draco Malfoy). 

As I stood in line, I looked around and realised there were thousands of other girls there for the exact same reason as I was, and this was just one of the four days you could meet him. It was a crushing moment as the reality hit that he probably wouldn’t actually marry me, though when we met and he called me "sweetheart" and "lovely" and hugged me and stared into my eyes, I decided that was the equivalent of a proposal.

Glossy Covers: MAEVE magazine

Glossy Covers: MAEVE magazine


I wish MAEVE magazine was available in print. This nostalgic winter issue is perfect for curling up with in your bed with a hot cuppa on a drowsy doona day. Chantelle from Fat Mum Slim writes on ageing, floaties and mother guilt; Katrina Higham shares her pikelets; Rachel Skrobalak misses the bus; Danielle Quarmby discusses her daughter's autism spectrum disorder; Cheong-Ah Hwang's paper sculptures are passing whimsical fancies; Jasmine Nerrie writes 'Kitchen Memoirs'; "Flossy P", aka Alice Flossy Pumpernickel, is the new girl on the block; Cath Connell shares her tips for making a family album; Amy Purfield-Clark models her satchel; Julie Parker uplifts with her words; and the dreamy illustration and photography is a visual escape for dreary days.

I wish I'd seen the "Never Cut Your Own Fringe" page before Tuesday. Oops. Seemed like a good idea at the time!

Girl With a Satchel

Glossy Talk: A magazine-loving blogger's lament

Glossy Talk: A magazine-loving blogger's lament

Glossy Talk: Editor shares crafty tips at uni forum

Glossy Talk: Editor shares crafty tips at uni forum

The editor-in-chief of the Weekly, speaking at a Sydney Ideas forum at the University of Sydney on the importance of the editor in the digital age, said the "extraordinary pressure on editors" of magazines and newspapers to chase readers had encouraged the use of "increasingly loud headlines (and) tricky executions, or in some cases completely misleading TV promos, or cover lines".

- Caroline Overington, reporting on Sydney University's 'Editors on the Future of Editing' Ideas Forum, at which The Australian Women's Weekly editor Helen McCabe shared her 'Seven Threats to the Craft of Editing', for The Australian (a GWAS must-read!).

Girl With a Satchel

Glossy Talk: Will Princess Kate save the glossy day?

Glossy Talk: Will Princess Kate save the glossy day?

Kate Middleton not only has the weight of the British monarchy on her slender shoulders: editors of glossy weekly gossipy magazines are hoping the princess will come through for them, too. 

To get readers in a right royal mood, Woman's Day and New Idea have this week published tributes to the Danish royal couple, Prince Frederick and our Princess Mary and their newly named twins, Josephine and Vincent, as well as stories hooked on the April 29 do at Westminster Abbey.

"The Woman’s Day team worked late last week to get the special issue to NSW, Victoria and Queensland readers today, in what was a practice run leading up to the royal wedding when Woman’s Day will work through the night to bring readers a keepsake royal wedding issue in record time, on-sale on Sunday May 1, and to be distributed nationally," said a statement.

Additionally, The Day's stablemates GRAZIA and OK! will be working over the Royal Weekend to collate news and images of the event for publication on Sunday, and The Australian Women's Weekly will publish a collector's edition on sale Wednesday May 4.

"These special Woman’s Day, GRAZIA, OK! and The Australian Women’s Weekly issues represent a significant investment in editorial, production, distribution and marketing resources," ACP's managing director Phil Scott said in a statement. "They demonstrate ACP’s commitment to our readers who want and expect to know everything about the wedding of England’s future king and queen."

Suddenly, it's as if the glossies are performing a valuable and noble public service.

In light of research out today pointing to the doubling of the Australian cost of living, putting a further 7.5 per cent strain on households (double the inflation rate of 2.7 per cent) and crippling the average discretionary spend budget, the glossips have reason to be stationing themselves as indispensable commodities, standing their ground much like the Buckingham Palace guards.

Glossy Talk: Paper Giants? The birth of the ACP girl

Glossy Talk: Paper Giants? The birth of the ACP Girl

"We decided that you’re an intelligent woman who’s interested in everything that’s going on, the type of person who wants a great deal more out of life. Like us, certain aspects of Women’s Lib appeal to you but you’re not aggressive about it. And again like us, you’re all for men – as long as they know their place!" - Ita Buttrose, Cleo, 1972

Flanked by an energetic, ambitious and fashionable young team of writers, Ita Buttrose is cut from the fabric of the model ACP editor: confident, assured, intelligent, dignified, sophisticated, supportive. Stoic in the face of the mercurial Kerry Packer's dressing downs, shouldering his anguish as much as her husband's, she is caught between the realisation of the Women's Liberation movement and her sense of duty to both her male 'superiors' at work and at home. "Keep Calm and Carry On" is her motto. And it helps her realise her ambitions.

Perhaps the print publishing legacy of Ita Buttrose, played to perfection by Asher Keddie in last night's debut of the ABC telemovie Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo, is as much on paper as it is in the model of The ACP Editor.

Pop Talk: Bieber fever strikes the satchel girl

Pop Talk: Bieber fever strikes the satchel girl

Never say never, particularly when choc-tops, Cheap Tuesday and child prodigies are concerned, says pop-culture commentator Emma Plant.

On cheap-Tuesday night on the Gold Coast, two girlfriends in their twenties took themselves along to the Justin Bieber movie, Never Say Never. Not because there was any particular avid Justin loving; it was simple, unashamed curiosity.

The cinema was full... of empty chairs. In fact, the only other occupied seats were warmed by six twenty-something men. Manly men (if that means anything). In retrospect, it was all very bizarre. At the time, my choctop* was giving me glorious pleasure vision.

Two significant things have since given me pause for thought, leaving a purple Bieber residue in my mind...

Media Talk: SMH fashion (continued)

Media Talk: SMH fashion (continued)

Please forgive GWAS' current obsession with Georgina Safe's fashion coverage for SMH, but I'm just fascinated by the spectacle of the GIANT double-page spread, and the commensurate fashion stories appearing earlier in the paper, each Thursday (which, I might add, I get on Fridays...such is rural life).

I was also more than a little smitten to see one of my favourite Sydney fashion designers smiling back from the latest edition (take a bow, Clare Press of Mrs Press) beside Natasha Silva-Jelly's byline. The boutique retail sector is suffering, says Silva-Jelly, "besieged by the new world of e-commerce", but there is hope for those who embrace the internet, mobile, social networking and VIP in-store events, while differentiating their in-store offering and services, just like Press and, at the mass end, Sportsgirl.

Meet & Greet: Caroline Milford


After playing a role in her own version of The Nanny Diaries between careers as an English and History teacher and newspaper journalist, mother-of-three Caroline Milford is all too wary of the perils of hands-off parenting, more particularly with daughter Nadia, now 15, who is mortified by her mother's presence on her Facebook wall, but might one day be appreciative of Caroline's commitment to instilling good values.

"Fashion's nice; it's okay to be a bit trendy, but you certainly don't dwell on that or prioritise that over your sport and your academic achievements," says Caroline. "It's a dangerous way to head. The thing with being a hands-on mum is you have a much bigger influence. Your child could be getting all the wrong messages from their friends, from magazines, and that's not healthy. I'm a mum who has a career, and a healthy marriage, and who is fashionable but not obsessed."

Shop Talk: Abbie Lane, Highfields (a slice of heaven)

Shop Talk: Abbie Lane, Highfields
Goodies inside Gottabee Country, Abbie Lane, Highfields
In the Highfields mountaintops, just outside of Toowoomba, lies a magical place called Abbie Lane, an arts and crafts village housing six boutique shops and a homely cafe where you could while away the better part of a day. 

I spent approximately five minutes there, but so taken was I with this haven of homecrafts and vintage wares, such is its ability to refresh one's soul with the comforts of old, that I have vowed to return for some shopping nourishment with girlfriends, which in turn nourishes this little community. 

The village celebrated its first birthday last November, according to the Highfields Herald, with a carnival and huge cake. Come, take a quick visual tour of the treasures I found in two of the stores...   

GWAS Talks: Emma Magenta, author/illustrator

GWAS Talks: Emma Magenta (Part Three!)

"What I find beautiful is actually the mistakes in things or the flaw or the things people have rejected."

The Emma Magenta story goes something like this: art graduate works in Paddington book store; doodles her thoughts and illustrations on brown paper bags; gets noticed by magazine editor (Real Living’s Deborah Bibby) and author/publisher (Bradley Trevor Grieve); scores book deal; creates series of grown-up picture books; saves many women from deep depression. 

It could be the script for its own movie; it's certainly part of Aussie publishing folklore. But Magenta, a self-described hermit, is more comfortable these days having her alter-egos take centre stage.

Her latest protagonist, the unlucky-in-love Phillipa Finch*, found herself in an animated ABC series narrated by Magenta's friend Toni Collette, which is now out on DVD and complimented by a fancy website, stationery (Ask Alice), homewares (Third Drawer Down) and, of course, a book.

Glossy Events: DOLLY Respect, Girlfriend Compliments

Glossy Events: Teen mag love abounds with DOLLY Respect, Girlfriend Compliments 

It's Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday... (God bless you, Rebecca Black). But it's also Girlfriend Compliments Day and DOLLY Respect Day

Australia's two teen girl magazines are sharing the glossy love via their respective campaign events today, encouraging teens to pay it forward with an encouraging word and show ourselves and our fellow girls some respect. In a clash of the campaign slogans, it's a little confusing, but the messages are definitely complementary. 

Book Shelf: The Gradual Demise of Phillipa Finch (Part Two!)

Book Shelf: The Gradual Demise of Phillipa Finch

Sometime between girlhood and womanhood, stuff can go wrong. Terribly, terribly wrong. The kind of wrong that completely throws you off centre and ruins all your dreams of getting a life-size My Little Pony, flying to the moon (on a unicorn), living in a tree house like the Swiss Family Robinson (just me?) and having a prince magically sweep you off your feet (Kate Middleton, notwithstanding). 

It's called reality. And it sucks. In fact, it sucks so much that you can die from it; if not physiologically, then most definitely emotionally (there is currently no national record for emotional deaths). Phillipa Finch has suffered an emotional death. She cannot go on pretending everything is fabulous. And, what's worse, she can't find a good coffee to console herself anywhere.

Glossy Covers: Harper's Bazaar editor Edwina McCann on Cate Blanchett

Glossy Covers: Harper's Bazaar editor Edwina McCann on Cate Blanchett

"A Cate Blanchett cover opportunity is not something that comes up very often. We had been working on it with Cate and the Sydney theatre company for over a year. We used a young New York-based Australian photographer Will Davidson. Cate Blanchett is one of the few talents in the world who you can comfortably run in black and white. Her look is so strong it adds to the image." 

- Harper's BAZAAR Ausrtralia editor Edwina McCann speaking to Mediaweek about her May cover. Meanwhile, Lady Gaga fronts the magazine's American equivalent.

Girl With a Satchel

Guest Post: Justine magazine with I Heart Daily


Justine magazine consistently catches our eye with its real-girl focus and hugely amazing Young Adult books coverage! Here are just a few things we love about the April/May issue (on newsstands now, and including a story about I Heart Daily!):

♥ You hear a lot about "being yourself" but in "Be the Best You," writer Rachel Smith explores all the different parts of our personalities and how to bring out the best version of each (professional, social, online, alone). Because, hello, multiple personalities are part of life.

♥ Cover girl and "Victorious" star Victoria Justice answers reader questions in her interview. Love that.


Pretty: The Gradual Demise of Phillipa Finch (Part 1)

Pretty: The Gradual Demise of Phillipa Finch (Part 1: a visual segue)
The Gradual Demise of Phillipa Finch media pack
Sometimes I just get really excited about things and want to post about them prematurely, before I've had a chance to stew over their contents or transcribe the interview or string a proper sentence together (said the perfectionist). This is one of those times. And hence, part one – a visual segue – of my tribute to Emma Magenta's The Gradual Demise of Phillipa Finch. A book/film review and interview are to come!*

*I also have a tendency to shoot myself in the foot with posts such as these (coincidentally, this is something Phillipa Finch could relate to). So if we are needing distraction from my undelivery on this front, please busy yourself by scooting over to Michi Girl, where you can see what Pip Lincolne has to say about The Useful Box. She can write succinctly, unlike moi. 

Girl With a Satchel

Glossy Talk: Reese Witherspoon on life in Vogue...and ELLE

Glossy Talk: Reese Witherspoon on life in Vogue...and ELLE

"You know, it can be a crazy life. Sometimes you feel like you are on a speeding train and you just don’t know where it’s going. You can start to lose your identity and what it is that you are really working for... I don’t wake up to make movies. I wake up to have a wonderful family and to cultivate the best life for all of us, and it’s great to now have a partner in that... I have my moments when I feel like I’m just going to collapse and I can’t do it anymore and I’m failing at everything. Like, you’re kind of good at a bunch of stuff but not really good at anything."

- Reese Witherspoon talking to US Vogue’s Jonathan Van Meter, May 2011 issue

Glossy Covers: asos May 2011 (& body politics)

Glossy Covers: Josephine de la Baume for asos spring (& body politics)

Parisian actress/singer/model Josephine de la Baume for ASOS magazine
The other night I watched the terrible George Clooney film (I know, it sounds like an oxymoron; as if he can do any wrong) The American. Apart from appreciating the sculpted Clooney, the one saving grace in a plot line so thin it was at risk of floating away on a feather, was the cast of beautiful women who shared the screen with him: namely Violante Placido (Italian), Irina Björklund (Finnish) and Thekla Reuten (Dutch).

As with ASOS magazine's "ooh la la" cover girl Josephine de la Baume, who has a bottom and boobs (gasp!), it was refreshing to see new faces and women's figures that were less hard-bodied Hollywood, more voluptuous old-cinema. It's pretty sad to think such women are an anomaly on screen...but more still that the buxom are nearly always synonymous with sex (no coincidence that two of Clooney's conquests were prostitutes), while skinny ladies have the fashion world sewn up.

Guest Post: Author Louisa Deasey on Dumbo feather...

Guest Post: Louisa Deasey on Dumbo feather...
Dumbo Manifesto: “You can change the world by putting beautiful things in it.”

I first stumbled across Dumbo feather a few years ago at a café, where I ended up ordering lunch just so I could finish the one interview I was reading. What struck me then was the purity of the stories, people simply giving their vision of life, and art, with no cross-promotional purpose. Of course, I expected never to see it again.

But just like its Disney namesake who could fly with his feather, Friday night’s relaunch of issue #27 to a crowd of creatives in Melbourne’s Craft Victoria proved that sometimes all you need is a dream and a pen, and the rest falls into place.

Faith Talk: The Christian scent

Faith Talk: The Christian scent
God offers us Chanel but sometimes we opt for the cheapie, knock-off imitation scent.

You know those bathroom sprays that just make the stench smell worse, adding a heaviness to the gag-worthy aroma that permeates the whole house (evacuate! evacuate!)? In the same way, Christians who haven't fully accepted Christ are a bit on the nose. You can look good, you can talk the talk, but like our friend Pepe Le Pew, you have the potential to create major STINK.

In theory and practise, a fully developed Christian should smell sweet, having cast off all those old hurts, habits and characteristics that make us reek (gossip, anger, unforgiveness, malice, criticism, bad habits, guilt, general ungodly conduct) and replacing them with spirit-filled perfume (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, self-control, gentleness, humility, faithfulness).

Media Talk: The power of Ita

Media Talk: The power of Ita

"I am still astounded [Cleo] got off the ground," says University of Sydney media academic Megan Le Masurier, who did her PhD on the influence of Cleo. "I think without her sway over Kerry and Frank Packer, it would never have happened. Under her leadership, it was a treasure trove which packaged women's lib and sexual liberation to make it palatable for housewives; she translated feminism for ordinary Australian women - it was an intuitive thing."

-'Girl Talk: Ita Buttrose on kick-starting a sexual revolution', a profile by Helen Britt, c/o Sunday Life. Britt's story charts the formidable Buttrose's career from becoming The Daily Telegraph's youngest women's editor to editing The Australian Women's Weekly and birthing Cleo (and two children) in between. Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo airs Sunday April 17 at 8.30pm on ABC1.

See also: Retro Review: Cleo 70s style

Girl With a Satchel

Media Talk: Fashion editor Georgina Safe on scoops, bloggers, PRs and front-row pews

Media Talk: Georgina Safe on scoops, bloggers, PRs and front-row pews

"I really relished the challenge of starting up  a brand new section at The Sydney Morning Herald and Amanda Wilson is very committed to growing fashion coverage at The Sydney Morning Herald and hopefully we can really define what fashion in Sydney is and for readers, whether they work in the industry or are simply passionate about fashion, explain how it ticks and how it works... I feel that fashion is increasingly becoming a stronger part of the front of the book as editors realise there's a very strong business component to the industry, as well as the froth and bubble of a pretty girl on page three. And perhaps that's a sign of the maturation of the industry in Australia...I really feel there's strong ground here to move forward and that there are stories worth taking seriously."

- New Sydney Morning Herald fashion editor, the humble Georgina Safe, talks to James Manning of Mediaweek and Brendan Wood, Mediaweek podcast.

GWAS Short & Sweet

This week's Satchel stash includes QV's excellent hand cream (the flick-cap = genius) and Prestige's 'Beautifully Buff' lippie, which I'm mixing with my stalwart Revlon Matte 'Pink Pout' (for days when my outfit says 'Boring!', my lips say, 'Whee!').
I ran into my beautiful friend Betty and her little dog in the fruit shop on Sunday morning before she trotted off to the Presbyterian church. She looked like a 74-year-old Carrie Bradshaw in a big fur coat and hat. Adorable. I'm convinced that Betty's social routine – a spot of grocery shopping, popping into the newsagent to buy her People's Friend, church and work at the Bargain Centre – is what keeps her in such high spirits. And now there's research to prove it. 

"Shopping more can help save your health and the community," read a Sydney Morning Herald headline last week accompanying a story on a 10-year study conducted in Taiwan and published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health online. The study found that older people (65+) who shopped every day were 27% less likely to die within the study period than less frequent shoppers. 

Glossy Covers: Reese and Jim for Who

Glossy Covers: Reese and Jim for Who (and who is on your celebrity affinity list?)

As with Nicole and Joel's wedding, there are certain celebrity events that are best celebrated in gloss, particularly if they involve a girl for whom I have some deep-seated (though from a vast distance) affection. One of those gals is Reese Witherspoon. 

Delta Goodrem, Mandy Moore and Jessica Simpson feature high on that list, too – there are certain celebrities for whom we simply share a greater affinity; in whose happiness we invest more interest – and thus discretionary glossy spending money – than most.

Speaking to author Emily Maguire recently, she told me, "Long-time [gossip magazine] readers form real emotional attachment to certain 'characters' and follow their trials and tribulations as their lives progress... I think readers create compassion even (especially?) when there's none in the text."

Media Talk: Fashion Police is Safe

Media Talk: Phew, 'Fashion Police' is Safe (but skinny models still reign in print)

Georgina Safe, billed as "Australia's most authoritative fashion writer" by The Sydney Morning Herald may also be the nation's most prolific style scribe. After taking up her Fairfax post on Monday, she produced no fewer than three features, a designer profile and a Fashion Police compilation – accompanied by an image of a super-skinny Burberry model (not shown in full) – for the paper's Thursday edition (not an ideal image to convey, but such is faaaassshhhion, as Vogue editor Kirstie Clements would say*).

In addition to carrying on the Fashion Police legacy, the new-look fashion spread includes a 'Web Watch', three online resources recommended by Rachel Olding, 'On Sale' shopping tips compiled by Thea Naghten and advertising coordinated by Felicity Davis for Trelise Cooper, Leona Edmiston and Shoe Superstore (along with a call to reach the paper's 738,000 fashion-conscious readers every week).

Glossy Covers: A spoonful of Easter

Glossy Covers: A spoonful of Easter

Issue four of Spoonful, the little magazine with a big heart created by Anthea Krook, is "filled with wondrous whimsy, poetic contemplations and fabulous photographers, artists and crafters." There's also a creative Easter competition to enter. The challenge? To paint/cover/decorate an Easter egg. AND there's an adorable Easter card to order, too. A spoondiful day to you!

Girl With a Satchel

REVIVAL: Too much choice


Can a Brotherhood be too big? Maybe not a Brotherhood of Man, but a Brotherhood of St Laurence can. I recently visited the BSL store in Brunswick. It’s a cavernous place with racks and racks of clothing, a dozen tightly-packed shelves of CDs, and a large section of floor space devoted to furniture. I could have spent hours in there, but I didn’t. It was all too much.

When faced with a single shelf of CDs, I can flick through the lot in under a minute and maybe come away with something. Faced with a dozen shelves, I started to get a sore neck and mild nausea from squinting at all those spines. And my enthusiasm for working my way through the racks of clothing started to wane after one or two racks. I felt I couldn’t do the store justice, so I barely did the store at all.

The Digital Gloss Files


...with Margaret Tran
Image courtesy of Kicker Studio

As magazines apps in the US struggle to retain audiences, so too the behaviour of magazines on the new platform is also called into question, not to mention how their increasingly digital-savvy audiences consume them.

Former design director for NYTimes.com and now blogger, Khoi Vinh, puts forth TweetMag and Flipboard to help remedy this conundrum. Both social media tools allow you to aggregate all your social streams into a slick content package for a truly interactive experience. In other news, it's a very promising example of what magazine apps could be doing on the iPad.

Video courtesy of TweetMag for iPad from Teehan+Lax on Vimeo

And just in case publishers needed more tips on how to ravish an iPad, Min Online has collated the top 5 things they ought to know about the iPad 2.

Ever wondered when the best time to Tweet is? According to social media researcher, Dan Zarilla, between 2pm and 5pm are prime hours to disperse your content and help drive traffic to your site. And weekends? Tweet your hearts out, because readers have more time to concentrate on what they're digesting. In short, the "trick is to reach people when the noise of the crowd has died down."

Murdoch's iPad-only newspaper, The Daily, is in decline, according to a grim analysis by Nieman Lab.

Is Twitter the new LinkedIn? Not just a home for hashtags, off-beat news and internet memes for procrastinators, Twitter is increasingly becoming the backdrop of the job hunt.

Of course, you could also get a job through your mates. New Facebook app In The Door collates all your friends' work places into one place ó and checks if said places are hiring. And with the ability to list your entire CV on your profile, is it any wonder why someone didn't think of this sooner.

Twitter is also apparently in talks to offer branded pages similar to Facebook, according to Read Write Web.

Dotti launched its online store this week, further expanding their Dotti Nation on the back of an already vibrant fashion community. The new e-commerce extension taps into the retailer's roots and offers shopping by lookbooks, which whittles down every element of the outfit into individual items. Rejoice! More things to add to le wardrobe.

And it looks like Google's new search engine for their e-commerce platform has rolled out to allow optimal browsing.

Are display advertisers too obsessed with click-thru rates? It's a conundrum that's formed a stale undercurrent of repetition with many advertisers over the past decade or so of the Internet age.

According to TechCrunh, there are not enough women of "color" in technology land, thus they need encouraging. The question I gather is whether this is purely a US-centric attitude or something that has filtered its way to Australia. Yay/nay? Discuss!

Is social media the answer to reaching those consumer blind spots? Museums in the US have begun to understand the growing role of Twitter and Facebook in boosting consumer engagement.

Ever wonder how photojournalism fares in the age of digital? Are those camera phone shot photographs and photos swiped off open Facebook profiles merely complementary to a news story? Could they ever be as iconic as all those award-winning journalists whose images remain in the minds of so many? Nathalie Applewhite, managing director of the Pulitzer Center doesn't think so. "We want images that stand the test of time... Snapshots and photos taken by camera phones are not things we can come back to learn from and understand something deeper."

Celebrity reputation trasher / blogger, Perez Hilton, is publishing a children's book. One hopes it will also includes his insightful commentary and MS Paint illustrations. Um, how about no?

Social media is the source of corporation woes, according The Sydney Morning Herald, as their services and reputations are laid bare across the internet landscape, the source of many a conversation and shortfused rants among consumers, but one might take the other baton and ask what does it mean for those participating in said conversational rant?

Newspaper conglomerates continue to expand their wings as The Guardian looking to expand into the US.


Taking command of your digital past is a lot harder than it seems as a recent article in The New York Times reveals. What will your online footprint look like in, oh say, ten years? All those old MySpace and Meebo accounts, ramblings keyed out in a moment of implosive teen angst: will they still be there when you're raising angsty teens of your own?

What's the gloss (Grazia, New Idea, Woman's Day)?

What's the gloss (Grazia, New Idea, Woman's Day)?

Keeping an eye on those naughty glossip magazines and the microcosm of life in the celebrity fast lane.

"Now this is a spectator sport!" declares Grazia, leading into pages and pages full of fabulous wintry outfits and accessories modelled by impossibly chic people sporting all the on-trend items: cue platform shoes, camel coating, shearling jackets, pops of colour, military-esque ensembles, maxi skirts, loafers, felt hats, satchels (!) and animal prints, notably of the feline variety. The cheetah print, you'll find, is also modelled by one Lindsay Lohan on pages 16/17.

Nothing says "glamour" quite like a ciggie and flash of panty-hose as one topples towards the bitumen amidst an "NY bar crawl". Having your inelegant movements published in sequential splendour for all the world to see? That just takes the shame to a whole other level. But we are all spectators in the life that is LiLo, all complacently watching on as fame's hungry lion gnaws at the bones of her dignity on this seemingly continual, and tragic, downfall from grace.

Media Talk: Essential Style out of fashion at SMH

Media Talk: Essential Style out of fashion

It seems Fairfax is systematically sucking out all the fashion supplements GWAS has held so dearly! Following February's Personal Shopper/A2 Culture & Life demise, resulting in The Saturday Age's swift chop from the weekend's newspaper crop (harsh, I know), is news that The Sydney Morning Herald's Thursday edition will no longer feature the 12-16 page Essential Style supplement edited by Angie Kelly.

Instead, Sydney readers with an interest in fashion will be presented with two pages of fashion-intense coverage (trends, news, personalities) under a Style banner each Thursday (starting tomorrow), which suggests SMH is getting serious about fashion (and potential stylish link-bait online). The new section will be edited by Georgina Safe, who was fashion editor at The Australian for six years before joining Fairfax on Monday.

Faith Talk: Changing your focus

Faith Talk: Changing your focus

"As a man thinks in his heart, so is he." Proverbs 23:7
Simple Things Small Joys, Shop 4 Abbie Lane, Highfields Qld
- a little pocket of Heaven on earth!
Sarah Young writes in Jesus Calling: "Before Satan tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden, thankfulness was as natural as breathing. Satan's temptation involved pointing Eve to the one thing that was forbidden her. The garden was filled with luscious, desirable fruits, but Eve focused on the one fruit she couldn't have, rather than being thankful for the many good things freely available. This negative focus darkened her mind, and she succumbed to temptation. When you focus on what you don't have or on situations that displease you, your mind also becomes darkened. You take for granted life, salvation, sunshine, flowers, and countless other gifts from [God]. You look for what is wrong and refuse to enjoy life until that is "fixed." When you approach [God] with thanksgiving, the Light of [His] presence pours into you, transforming you." 

So true! And I so needed to hear this today (God is never a moment too late, but very rarely early). See also "There's Hope", a beautiful, amazing, heart-warming song by Alabaster Box.

Girl With a Satchel

Glossy Covers: Inside Out's "sense of place"

Glossy Covers: Inside Out's "sense of place"


A "sense of place" and "personal style"; two lovely concepts to be celebrating with Inside Out's 11th birthday issue. Additionally, the magazine has commissioned three works of art by emerging creatives inspired by the concept "Homes with Heart" to gift to newsagent and supermarket buyers in stores tomorrow, while the May/June issue also introduces the winner of the Inside Out/Wattyl Interior Design Competition, 22-year-old Jess McGregor, "a space-savvy Arts/Law student who shares a Melbourne Terrace House", spends "a lot of time on design blogs and flipping through interiors magazines" and fashioned her bedroom into a study/sleep space by designing a bookshelf and storage unit. After the jump a glimpse inside (it's a vibrant treat)...

Media Talk: Fairfax Digital's Jane Huxley

Media Talk: Fairfax Digital's Jane Huxley

"Over the last year mobile and video have started to consume not only more of my time, but more resources...By 2014, reports indicate 35% of internet access will be mobile only; that includes smart phones and tablets. That's a pretty interesting and telling stat in itself. The way we are gearing up with our strategy in the next fiscal year it will come to the forefront and be a significant discussion for us. In terms of penetration, the majority of the usage is coming from smart phones – around 80%. That's only 30-40% of the overall base. So smart phone users have much higher engagement – they browse more content, stay longer and are more engaged with content."

- Jane Huxley, Fairfax Digital General Manager, Media, to Mediaweek, which also reports Fairfax Digital has seen a 762% rise in daily unique browsers between January 2010 and January 2011. Clearly, Huxley – who has responsibility for "everything that is not sales" – and Pippa Leary (managing director of media) are doing something very right. It seems women are dominating at Fairfax Digital, indeed the upper echelons of Fairfax across the board. My fair Fairfax? Just floatin' it.

See also:
The Status of Women in Australian Media (Media Satchel)
Fairfax Magazines' Lisa Hudson
Fairfax Digital's Pippa Leary @ mUmBRELLA

Girl With a Satchel

Media Talk: Jackie O, Michael Clarke & pillorying pretty people

Media Talk: Jackie O, Michael Clarke & the pillorying of pretty people

While it's not likely GWAS readers are out of the loop, the two biggest local celebrity driven news stories this week involve two very pretty people – radio host Jackie O and Australian Cricket captain Michael Clarke – and public behaviour which been perceived to be irresponsible in some quarters. Inadvertently, Jackie O has become the careerist poster girl for Gen-X's bad multitasking mothering skills, and Clarke for Gen-Y's lack of respect for certain official postings of national significance (the second most important job in Australia?!).

Both Clarke and Jackie O appeared in The Sunday Telegraph over the weekend: the trendy Clarke in jeans, a tee and boots with laces undone celebrating his 30th birthday in Bondi with his posse, including his girlfriend Kyly Boldy, notably being piggy-backed by a family friend; and Jackie O pictured brandishing new baby Kitty while walking across the street and picking flowers alongside the story 'MPs brawl over Jackie O' and 'Celebrity backing in feeding furore' (catch up on the full saga at mamamia).

GWAS Short & Sweet


This morning, fruit toast with real butter and a toast to Christine Middap, former editor of QWeekend for a stellar legacy issue. As reported in March 15's Media Satchel, Middap – who launched Qweekend in 2005 – has been appointed editor of The Weekend Australian Magazine and so has moved her family to Sydney in pursuit of her next career step.

"The decision was made all the more difficult because of the things that I value about our life here: a wonderful neighbourhood in which we have made many lifelong friends; a school filled with parents who give and care; a book club made up of inspirational women who thrive on interesting conversation and raucous laughter," she writes in her farewell letter.