Glossy Talk: bon appetit, Gwyneth!

Glossy Talk: bon appetit, Gwyneth!

"It’s tough for some people to accept Gwyneth Paltrow’s transformation from movie star to domestic goddess," writes The New Yorker this week. "Something about the combination of her willowy looks, her glam life style (she is married to Chris Martin, the Coldplay front man), and the unlikely food tips in her e-mail newsletter, Goop—“I was stationed at the deep fat fryer (Delight! Fried zucchini! Fried anchovies!)”—produces cognitive dissonance. But Paltrow takes it in her stride."

Like Our Cate (and Our Nicole), Gwynnie receives more than a Goldilocks helping of bad feedback, which she seems to take in her stride, so the reader reaction to her bon appetit cover will likely come as no surprise to her, or the bon appetit team. Fasten your bibs and hide the knife block, this is a bold move!

"The leaked cover started circulating on the web Tuesday by popular food blogger Chez Pim, showing a smiling Paltrow tucking into a bowl of pasta wearing an electric blue dress in her London kitchen," reported The Independent.

Glossy Covers: Country Style inspires young growers

Glossy Covers: Country Style inspires young growers

Following on from Monday's notice of News Limited's foodie activities and The New Yorker's small growers cover, comes news that News Magazines' Country Style has joined forces with Stephanie Alexander's Kitchen Garden Foundation to launch the inaugural Harvest Table competition. The comp gives city and country kids the chance to get their class or school to present a collection of food they've grown themselves to create a traditional Harvest Table to be judged by a panel including Country Style editor Victoria Carey, regular contributor Caroline Webster and Alexander, who has a lovely way with words...

GWAS Perspective: Who the bloody hell are we? The Economist's Australia Appraisal

GWAS Perspective: Who the bloody hell are we? (The Economist's Australia Appraisal)

The Prophet Hosea, who preached in Israel before the fall of Samaria in 721 BC, conveyed the Lord's anguish with the faithlessness of a people who had been brought out of Egypt with the hope of future prosperity and security.

"The people of Israel are like a half-baked loaf of bread," said the Lord. "They rely on the nations around them and do not realise that this reliance on foreigners has robbed them of their strength. Their days are numbered, but they don't even know it. The arrogance of the people of Israel cries out against them... Israel flits about like a silly pigeon; first her people call on Egypt for help, and then they run to Assyria!"

The parallel with Australia, brought to our attention by the British-based publication The Economist in a 16-page special report last week, is uncanny. Like the Old Testament Israelites, Australians suffer under a national blanket of insecurity that sees us switching loyalties to wherever we derive our prosperity – currently, China – and security (America), much like our taste for sporting fixtures and television shows waxes and wanes (we love cricket when we're on a winning streak; not so much when we lose).

Media Talk: Enthusiasts Rule at Express Media Group

Media Talk: Enthusiasts Rule at Express Media Group

"One of the things we do that's very unique is we don't employ qualified journalists. We employ enthusiasts to connect with fellow enthusiasts. It's worked extremely well because we have a very good indication of what the audiences want and how to deliver them what they want because the people producing the magazines are passionate about making sure the information is relevant, accurate and entertaining."
- Glenn Wright, director of marketing and group publisher, Express Media Group (EMG), the 24-year-old publishing group with 250 staff and 55 titles, which recently acquired nine News Magazines specialist titles, c/o Mediaweek Australia. The group also owns, which sells magazine subscriptions, DVD box sets and branded merchandise, and an in-house DVD team, which creates multimedia covermounts for the titles.

Media Talk: "Carbon Cate" for T Magazine and the Prius effect

Is this woman still smiling? Feted one minute, under scrutiny the next: who'd want to be a celebrity?
  "Cate Blanchett and I are trying to determine whether she’s a fake — or whether she’s merely as hidden from herself as she seems to be hidden from strangers who would like to capture her essence over breakfast at the Chateau Marmont, tape recorder and pen at the ready," writes Daphne Merkin in her profile of the Australian actress for the summer issue of T The New York Times Style Magazine, adding that the makeup-free, unmanicured Blanchett has made an art form of self-effacement in a celebrity-tweeting culture.  

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Girl With a Satchel

Glossy Covers: The New Yorker's Small Growers

Brooklyn, NY, based illustrator Peter de Seve brings the small growers market movement to life for this New Yorker cover. Back in March, a 'No Farms, No Food' rally, coordinated by the American Farmland Trust, was held in the city attended by farmers, food advocates, environmentalists and foodies. The aim was to generate awareness of the importance of New York's farming and food economy and push for funding and legislation that protects farmland for future generations, increases consumer access to nutritious, locally-grown food, and helps farmers protect water and the environment, while bringing home "the local food and farmland connection for all New Yorkers". According to AFT, New York State loses farmland to development at 9,000 acres a year, or one farm every three and a half days. 

As with Australian Stephanie Alexander's 'The School Kitchen Garden Project' and sustainable farm projects and workshops cropping up in inner-city areas, New York schools, community centres and churches are also harvesting small urban crops to encourage highly engaged grassroots interaction, and innovation, with produce, garden skills, cooking and consumption. Read up on the Five-Borough Farm Project at the Edible Queens Blog. And spot the garden gnome above.

Girl With a Satchel

Glossy Talk: New-look Famous' brand campaign

It's "game on!" in the glossy weekly sector, with Pacific Magazines' Famous the latest title to launch into promotional overdrive with a clever new multi-platform brand campaign featuring the tagline, ‘Mondays suck. Get FAMOUS’, produced by creative agency Bashful, and a redesign to boot.

"Whether you’re struggling through the hangover from hell, or just suffering from back-to-work blues, we wanted to be able to tap into this common feeling of Monday dread, and remind people of how FAMOUS can make your Monday better," Famous editor Gereurd Roberts said. 

Media Talk: The Courier Mail's Cookbook Collection

Tempting Queenslanders at the newsstands until June 7 is The Courier Mail's 10 Cookbooks in 10 Days Collection, a series of mini titles each containing 20 recipes from celebrated cooks and chefs, including Jamie Oliver (with yesterday's Sunday Mail), Stephanie Alexander, Donna Hay, Matt Moran, Kylie Kwong and Gary Mehigan. 

The books – each branded with an identifiable multi-colour ticker and featuring pointer ads to News Limited food portal – can be purchased for $2 when you buy the paper and produce a token with the view to readers building up a neat winter-time collection.

Aesthete: Autumnal joie de vivre!

Aesthete: Autumnal joie de vivre!
Main Street, Mount Tamborine c/o David Pohlmann
Eva, Milan, c/o The Sartorialist
The blue door, c/o Australian House & Garden magazine
Girl With a Satchel

Glossy Review: Cosmopolitan's locomotive

Glossy Review: Cosmopolitan's locomotive

On Wednesday I pulled up stumps with two teenagers talking about their travel plans; to go or not to go to Europe? "Yes, you must!" I exclaimed, my enthusiasm tempered by the thought that I am fast becoming one of those 'older' ladies who regales tales of her youth to be met with a perplexed look. My mother had travelled Europe with her sister, you see; my sister with a school friend, and I with a friend, too – it's one of those coming-of-age things that Aussie girls, so far away from the rest of the world, do.

Speaking to the Ciao Bella Travel girls the previous day, I'd admitted to the embarrassing fact that I had compiled a 'Look Book' for the trip to Europe for which I'd saved for over six months and would see me away for just shy of a month. A look book! Really. We reasoned that some planning is required in the wardrobe department to ensure you don't look exactly the same in all your holiday photos, as most summer snaps would evidence (one dress, one bikini, is all you really need for a beachside holiday, right?).

Sponsored Meet & Greet: The ladies behind Cherry Pick Me

Kirsty and Sarah of
The bookshelf in Sarah Tate's West End apartment is a study in Gen-Y eclecticism: Clive Hamilton and Richard Denniss' Affluenza sits alongside Everyone Worth Knowing, the successor to Lauren Weisberger's The Devil Wears Prada; Lance Armstrong's memoirs meet Zadie Smith's On Beauty; Nick Earls' Zigzag Street and Bill Bryson's Down Under at one end, Jung Chang's Wild Swans and Andrea Levy's Small Island at the other. This is a girl you could rely on for a recommendation.

The sprightly, affable Sarah is one half – the younger half, by five years, she'll have you know – of the business-minded sister duo behind successful online retail business Ciao Bella Travel. Five years on from the site's launch, she and sister Kirsty Keane are gearing up to launch their new business, Cherry Pick Me.

Built on the back of the deal-a-day site momentum, the sisters will be using their discerning taste to cultivate the best online offers for savvy female shoppers. "We wanted it to be a really cool mix of things - the focus groups said what they love about the daily deals site is the surprise factor," says Kirsty. "It's a topic of discussion for them at work."

The Digital Gloss Files

...with Margaret Tran

Amidst the industry's excitable convulsions over iPad possibilities, the quiet achieving Nook Color e-reader from Barnes & Noble is patiently solving many magazine woes. Magazine sales on this device have matched up to, and in some cases, exceeded iPad sales. B&N have reported that "since November... 1.5 million magazine subscriptions and copies of single issues had been sold on the Nook." Not to mention, electronic versions of magazines are more cost-effective to create for the Nook than the iPad but, of course, this comes down to the fact that the iPad offers a multimedia experience whereas the Nook is primarily an e-reader. Another thing considered has been that women are more inclined to buy books and, by extension, devices designed to support books.

B&N have also just released its new model called The All New Nook. Retailing for just US$139, it comes with a reported battery life of two months. Oh yes, two whole, delicious months, but only if you keep the Wi-Fi off. Intriguingly, the Kindle has now been marked down to $139 on the Amazon US site. Nothing like a little healthy competition, it seems. Alas, B&N have not yet extended their e-reader to the international market. Can it only be a matter of time?

Video uploaded by nookBN @ YouTube

Michael Wolff at AdWeek unleashes on pitfalls of tablet publishing, saying "The Daily is the result of a hopeless misreading of the form." He also had this damning thing to say on the current industry:
"There is a loud, jarring, jumpy, desperate, look-at-me sense of tablet publishing; it tries too hard. It is not just that tablet design invites people to look over your shoulder and enter your space, but it makes the reader self-conscious too. So much design, so little function. So much brand, so little purpose."
So what is the future of iPad publishing? According to Paid Content UK, it lies in independent publishing.

New fashion magazine Post has launched with exclusive availability on the iPad. Founder Remi Paringaux, 27, an art director who previously worked for traditional magazines (as in on paper) like Dazed & Confused and Vogue Japan, had this to say of his former publishers: "What I find terrible is that these companies have actually curbed progress by not allowing their digital teams to grow." Intriguingly (if not annoyingly), initial encounters with Post found the first issue took almost nearly 20 min to download using super-fast US internet.

But who needs apps? Digital start-up OnSwipe makes your website feel like an app. Noice, noice.

So what is the effect of digital on magazines? Subscribers for life, says Arthur Sulzberger of The New York Times. That might be true of the US market, but as many might understand, the Australian market works almost oppositely.

Heidi Klum has launched her new lifestyle site with AOL.It feels a little Goopy if you ask me.

What happens when brands become publishers?This is the future of media as social media author, Mitch Joel notes, saying "it could be brands hiring their own journalists and putting out their own publications, filled not with canned marketing messages but actual content."

For the first time,online advertising revenues outstripped print revenues for Future Publishing.Could this be a sign of things to come?

Locally, News Magazines has challenged user generated content outside the digital space by selecting 50 readers to direct content for the latest issue of Australian Good Taste. What's interesting about this is that magazines like that's life!*, Better Homes and Gardens and New Idea already use reader content within this competitive food publishing market, doing so for many years and most recently, with their online counterparts. But alas, different markets might speak otherwise.

Also happening locally, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)has electedNielsen to provide the industry-preferred standard for online measurements on audiences.

Nominations for the Online Journalism Awards 2011 are now open.

Wired's Editor-at-Large Ben Hammersley will take part in the 2011Global Media Ideas conference as part of the Vivid Sydney 2011 events. Also joining him areTim Chang, who was recently named on the 2011 Forbes Midas List of TopVenture Capitalists, andOrvar S‰fstrˆm, Scandinaviaís number one game and film commentator.

And in case you missed it, here's how to set up a Facebook page for your business.

Margaret @ Girl With A Satchel

*Disclaimer: Margaret is a former employee of Pacific Magazines, which publishes that's life!, Better Homes and Gardens and New Idea.

Book Shelf: A fashionable four

Book Shelf: A fashionable four
With Emma Plant

Through Thick and Thin, Gok Wan, Random House, $35
Through Thick and Thin yells at you like a personal trainer; life-affirming, yet a touch irritating. This could be attributed to Wan’s writing voice, or perhaps the internal hesitation to read another ‘transformation’ autobiography. Putting the cringe aside and reading on proves to be a good thing in this instance, though. A male biography that positively sorts through male (and female) eating disorders is a gem. Wan has been called a friend to all women. His television series sees him as a star that renders confidence and good dress sense to all the ladies who watch it with open hearts. Easier done on TV than said in real life. The best thing about his story is it gives Wan more humanity and reduces his untouchable status as a fashion celebrity.
Style, Lauren Conrad, HarperCollins, $29.99
True to her gentle, all-American style, Conrad bestows on us no-nonsense fashion advice. Preppy–girly-girls, eat your hearts out. You will devour the pages replete with Lauren-love. Bows on shoes, perfect T-shirt layering, doe-eyed makeup how-tos and even a little life philosophy are all thrown into the mix. Obviously Style is aimed at die-hard Hills fans. In the text Conrad admits to making many fashion faux pas on the television series, yet avid fans will refute this ever happened. The result is a ‘have no bad days’ guide. If it’s your cup of tea, it is an easy commitment.

Vogue Model: Faces of Fashion, Little Brown, $99.99
If you have paid any attention to the sartorial end of the culture pool in the last decade, you will have seen most of the images in Vogue Models: The Faces of Fashion. Showcasing models from the likes of Christy Turlington to the more unusual Anja, Vogue Models is a comprehensive as it gets… for white women. A major criticism is the book depicts only two black women. Visually, the book’s photography is testimony to Vogue’s sophistication and momentous content. In the trademarked Vogue way, Vogue Models makes no apologies for the ideals of beauty and feminism it perpetuates. If it did apologise for such content, it simply would not be Vogue. On a more practical note, don’t buy this book if you don’t have a personal caddy; for a book celebrating such svelte women, it is ironically robust.

Makeup: The Ultimate Guide, Rae Morris, Allen & Unwin, $39.95
Ah, Rae Morris; the antithesis to Napoleon Perdis. If Australia has one smart makeup artist, it is she. The lady knows how to interpret and change faces. With avant-garde flair, perfect minimalism and practiced Morris methodologies, the Aussie-born beauty has staked claim on old cosmetic territory. While the book is meant to be a guide, it really is targeted at knowledgeable and proficient artists. If you love a good perve-worthy paperback and you have some unleased land on your coffee table, consider it. If you want to start at step one of the making up process, bail. While it is a considerably lovely book, it is definitely for those already in the know.

Emma @ Girl With a Satchel

Glossy Talk: Non-models, insecure?

Glossy Talk: Non-models, insecure?

"I was at the Rankin opening last night, and the women I found most interesting were the non models. I've been thinking of shooting lately, and these are the ones whom I would like to shoot. The issue with the non models girls is that they are so unsure of what they have, and insecure about their bodies. It's an effort to get them to believe they have something unique. I wish they would trust the camera, and free themselves from the idea of what they think beauty is. 2011 has also been a year lacking it girls. I wish that was not the case. I think they are a wonderful balance in the fashion world." 
- John Haro, Fashion Copious.

Media Talk: Dotcom dominance

Media Talk: Dotcom dominance

"These days we ''google'' when we need to find something online. Its very ubiquitousness means few question the Google search process. ''Don't be evil'' had been Google's conduct code. ''We believe strongly that in the long term, we will be better served - as shareholders and in all other ways - by a company that does good things for the world even if we forgo some short-term gains,'' the Google prospectus said. Commercial imperative, however, came to the fore when Brin and Page decided to include advertisements in their business model - even though they had written a paper in 1998 at Stanford arguing against the advertising-based search engine model. And Google is not the only dominant player. Last week Apple pushed Google out of the world's number one brand position. If there is a dominant technology concern, Apple is it - at least for now."
- Kate Askew, 'Internet Gains, False Prophets', The Sydney Morning Herald, May 21-22, 2011

Glossy Talk: Fashion's passive-agrressive aesthetic (and Stevie Dance's departing words for RUSSH)

Girl Talk: Fashion's passive-aggressive aesthetic (and Stevie Dance's departing words for RUSSH)

Earlier in the year we mused on what aesthetic direction fashion, and its associated magazines, might take in 2011 in 'Visions of Femininity'. And here we are, six months in. Transparent, almost invisible girls rendered mute and androgynous in the Andrej Pejic mould, and he appearing, controversially, on the cover of Dossier magazine with his bare, flat-chested, physique and luminous skin and white hair, a whisper away from disappearing off the face of the earth.

Girl Talk: An indecisive, fearful bunch

Girl Talk: An indecisive, fearful bunch

Sunday magazine columnist Fifi Box reflects the sentiment of many a modern woman: "for someone like me, who suffers acute indecisiveness, more opportunities mean more stress around the 'C' word. I have enough trouble choosing between wedges and fries, so when it comes to decisions that affect the rest of my life, I'm quite comfortable sitting on the fence... Being unsure and fearful of committing to either side, I'm flying the flag for the women who can't decide what they want."

Girl Talk: A day in the life of BMX girls

Girl Talk: A day in the life of BMX girls

Day of girls BMX from Ryan Guettler on Vimeo.

The gentle, meek and mannered Australian BMX pro rider Peta Shepherd – the first female Aussie rider to pull of a backflip on her bike – recently showed me a picture of her head after she face-planted a trick. It is one of the most disgusting things I've seen outside the horror film genre. A self-confessed tomboy, Shepherd is one of the crew for my husband's extreme sports ministry. In this clip she's hanging out with fellow riders Camila Harambour and Angie Marino... having her hair done.

Girl With a Satchel

Glossy Review: It's a frog's Life across the pond

Glossy Review: It's a frog's Life across the pond

My affinity for frogs extends back to 1986, when I played the part of a frog in a ballet tribute to the work of Beatrix Potter, whose illustrated work from The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher finds itself on the cover of the March 9 edition of British weekly and "middle-class bible" Country Life. Since then, I've seen them spring (and squashed) kamikaze-like across the road in Dalby, heard their croaks in ponds on Mountain walks and looked down on one who has made his home in my loo. 

I was having a froggy day when the publication piqued my interest: a flick through The Australian had revealed a quartet of green tree frogs accompanying the 'Take the Challenge' general knowledge quiz (FYI Frank Forde succeeded John Curtin as the Prime Minister of Australia; the collective term for frogs is actually an 'army'; and five countries share borders with Bolivia).

While this issue was produced a while ago, before the royal wedding sent us all atwitter, the magazine gives us a good entree into the life Kate and Wills might live. The magazine's recent list of 39 skills Britain's youth should have outside the academic sphere in order to sustain a fulfilling, well-rounded life include skinning a rabbit and using a bow and arrow (as you do).

Glossy Covers: G magazine, Erin Brockovich and lady bees

Glossy Covers: G magazine, Erin Brockovich and lady bees

One of the saddest movies I ever saw as a girl (besides Schindler's List) was the 1991 Macaulay Culkin film My Girl. It was my first encounter with the idea that bad things can happen to cute little girls. Vada Sultenfuss – a bright 11-year-old girl in love with her English teacher – is dealing with her mother's death (blaming herself, as she died giving birth to Vada), her father's new romance and getting her first period in the coming-of-age story. With a tendency towards morbidity, she finds a friend in the quirky, allergic-to-everything, unpopular boy Thomas J. Then he dies of bee stings. And she learns that death is a natural part of life.

The G magazine cover line "Bees In Crisis" reminded me of the film. According to the beautifully laid out and educational six-page feature dedicated to the bees, titled 'No Plan B', "these tireless, tiny workers are under siege and disappearing fast, with a sting in the tail for all of us". 

Girl Talk: The Wind in the Willows' provincial acclaim (and small-time fame)

Girl Talk: The Wind in the Willows' provincial acclaim (and small-time fame)

Taking in a local production of The Wind in the Willows with my mother-in-law, niece and her two little friends on Friday night, I was struck by not only the exquisite retelling of this time-tested tale, with its intermittent rap routines and small but colourful storybook set and detailed costuming (all a credit to its director Andrew Wright), but also by the calibre of the performances given by the cast of five (which in itself smacks of small-mindedness). 

To be a witness to people giving their finest – in performance, yes, but in any area of their gifting – is one of life's true delights. And I think we often miss such things, or discount them if we are their bearers, because in this age of globalisation of media and celebrity – with its requisite desire to be in the loop of what the gate keepers deem to be worthy of our attention – we are so focused on what's happening elsewhere, and achieving the grand prize of Lady Gaga heights of fame, or levels of Cannes, Pulitzer and Academy Award critical acclaim, that we are deficit in the noticing and the appreciating of small things.

Parochialism became old fashioned, but what did we lose in the process?

Media Talk: Turning a print profit no easy feat

Media Talk: Turning a print profit no easy feat

"By the time newspapers are published, most people already know the what, who, where and when. Print will concentrate on explaining the why, and the what next. Still, for all the ink spilled about the salvation of journalism, no one has yet found it. The competition for the reader's dollar and their attention is only getting tougher. As a News Corp executive said of its tablet-only US paper, The Daily, its competition comes not just from other news providers, but also from Angry Birds - the smartphone game in which you catapult angry birds to destroy round pigs. Including Angry Birds in a digital newspaper is not so far-fetched; crosswords have boosted sales for decades." 
- Tim Dick, 'Stop press: world still hungry for news', The Sydney Morning Herald Weekend Edition, May 21-22, 2011.

GWAS Short & Sweet - doom, gloom and Daniel

Assorted satchel things: a tea cup gift, a card for a friend, a trip to the theatre and jelly beans.
"Among all forms of mistake, prophecy is the most gratuitous," wrote English novelist and journalist Mary Anne Evans (aka George Eliot) in Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life (critically appraised as one of the greatest novels in the English language). How true – to outsmart the Lord, it would seem, is a sure way to shoot yourself in the foot. 

And so, despite the doomsday reports, here we are. "The Bigger the Ego, the Harder the Fall", read the headline above The Sydney Morning Herald's report on the disgraced Dominique Strauss-Kahn, head of the International Monetary Fund and man of many indiscretions, over the weekend. And there's a lesson in that for prophets of doom like Harold Camping – whom I have sympathy for, because if we can't believe in our own convictions, what do we have? – and still more for us all.

Glossy Talk: Sarah Ferguson for US Harper's BAZAAR

Glossy Talk: Sarah Ferguson for US Harper's BAZAAR

When primping oneself for an image overhaul in which you hope to garner the affections of a public whose perceptions of you as a money-hungry, prince-swindling former Duchess of York, Marie Antoinette is not the first figure who comes to mind as a pillar of humility on which to model oneself. 

But here we have Sarah Ferguson, deserving of our compassion – for we all commit wrongs – but dressed in a lavish fashion and posing in an opulent scene that, in all seriousness, just adds to the offense. But fashion, and fashion magazines, can be vulgar, as time and time again it is proved. And people are forgiving (though maybe not the Queen), if we feel that you have been wronged, too.

Pop Talk: Sucker Punch and Thor

Pop Talk: Sucker Punch and Thor
Popcorn engagements with Emma Plant

Sucker Punch has come and now (thank heavens) it is nearly gone. Anime influence, comical scenery (in the Marvel comic sense), it is Gen Y’s answer to Charlie’s Angels.

This film shows girls, oh-so convincingly kicking butt. But… instead of solving crime and heading back to Townsend’s Headquarters, the teen girls are slaying nazi robots, mythical dragons, stopping unstoppable trains, all the while getting lobotomies and receiving mental health treatment. Sound confusing? Rightly so.

Glossy Covers: The show's over for Oprah fans... sort of

Glossy Covers: The show's over for Oprah fans... sort of

Lady Gaga has usurped Oprah in the number one spot on Forbes' Celebrity 100 List. "The daytime talk maven, who earned $290 million last year, comes in second," reports Forbes. "Winfrey's earnings sank $25 million partially due to a reduced payday at SiriusXM. She still earns big from her syndicated show and from the stars she's spawned, including Dr. Phil (No. 18) Rachael Ray and Dr. Oz. Winfrey's earning power will take a bigger hit next year, when her syndicated show ends and she concentrates all her efforts on the struggling OWN network."

The fears that fans of Oprah will become depressed when they can no longer get their afternoon fix of the Queen of Talk has been given its own name by one medical professional who's dubbed it "Empty Oprah Syndrome". Allayed by the assurance that she will live on in print, online and on OWN (tune into "Oprah's Masterclass"), fans have been happily distracted with chatter over who and what Oprah might have in store for them when the last show airs on May 25. Lady Gaga?  

The Digital Gloss Files

...with Margaret Tran

Sassy and Jane aficionados rejoice! Jane Pratt, founder and former editor of the two now folded magazines has launched her website,, "where women go when they are being selfish, and where their selfishness is applauded." However, common knowledge has shown the online sphere isn't always kind to the self-absorbed culture as it might've been in the magazine heydays. Indeed, the comments under Jane's first post on launching the site seem to attest it so: narcissism is passe?

Initial clicks has it feeling like the Jane edition of Jezebel. As the target market of bright, young women will soon find, it will be a question of what can offer to the plethora of lady communities that have sprung up in the online spaces. Can it compete in an online market where women already have a multitude of established websites to connect through since both mags folded?

Is traditional media losing its appeal among today's youth? A recent study by confirmed more and more peeps of Generation Y are turning to mobile devices, websites and apps to satisfy their retail and content cravings, with their habits strongly underscored by an active presence in consuming and contributing to social media. Immediate thoughts would agree with a resounding "YES", but if you're nursing an addiction to paper stock and exquisite magazines like I am, then perhaps some might argue otherwise.

Vogue Australia will feature online shopping as part of their annual Fashion's Night In shenanigans.,, Ginger & Smart, plus Clinique, Myer and Sportsgirl, are among over 90 Australian and international brands and online shopping portals participating (Paypal is also a major partner). Editor Kirstie Clements says the inclusion "is to engage that audience in a celebration of online shopping where unites a selection of great brands to provide exclusive offers to our audience for one night only." Scheduled for June 8, it's a well-timed move considering online retail sales reached $38 billion in the last three months alone.

The folks at Pop Up magazine launched their first event for "the world's first live magazine, created for a stage, a screen, and a live audience... an issue exists for one night, in one place." Combining all the elements that make up a magazine (reviews, interviews, beautiful photography, artist profiles and so on), it really puts the magazine creation process on the stage and beyond its conventional confines. Fast Company wonders, what does a 'live magazine' mean for publishing?

It's events such as Vogue's Fashion's Night In that contribute to the evolution of the "live magazine", where otherwise traditional journalism is underscored by the very mastheads that hope to retain their audiences in a changing media landscape.

Next in the chronicles of the magazine and the iPad: why are publishers saying yes to Apple? Forbes reports that it's because Apple users are more likely to give out their info, with about 50% of Apple users opting into publishers' databases.

Image by Oleksiy Maksymenko for Paid Content UK
That said, Nielsen reports show that just 5% of Americans own an iPad with that number reduced to less than 2% when applied to UK audiences. It's not all doom and gloom as this group "watch more video and read books; are more accepting of advertising and are more likely to make a purchase after viewing an ad, than users on smartphones or other devices."

Really though, how do people really use their iPads? The Atlantic reports that in a study of 850, 34.7% browsed the web, down 2.8% from six months ago. Good news for the apps (and, by relay, magazines looking to invest in apps), users spend 1.8% more time on them, while time spent watching video and playing games also increased about 1-2%. Having said that, more users browse news sites on browsers (up 37.1% to 38.1%) as opposed to using the news sites' iPad apps (33.9%, down from 34.9%).

Thinking of investing in a magazine app? Here's a short guide to the pricing logic behind the apparently weird subscription system on iPads.

Plus a guide for publishers looking to sell to advertisers on the iPads, courtesy of the New York Times. Current deals among Hearst and Conde Nast apparently offer a flexible run in pricing, customer data and plans, something that will surely be secured once publishers get familiar with the plethora of emerging platforms.

Oh yeah, and New York Public Library's brand new iPad app, Biblion, is delicious, with one commentator upholding it as the standard all magazine apps should aim for.

Broadcast news is beating print news online, new numbers show.

Original content in just 48hours by Ashton Kutcher? Oh, yes. Working with Intel, he forms "IdeaJam: Dream Bigger" in a bid to find new ways of story-telling through talented content producers.

Video via IdeaJam @ YouTube

Lookie, lookie! Easy guide to how journalists can make use of Facebook by Vadim Lavrusik of the Nieman Lab.

A recent study has shown that almost 50 percent of journalists now use social media as a means to find a source. Using said media as a means for distilling and creating content is also cited in the findings.

Girl Talk: The preservation of the self on the everyday internet

Girl Talk: The preservation of the self on the everyday internet

We need boundaries in life to truly flourish. That I know now. When you are young, boundaries seem like such a drag. Freedom is the succor you think you want. The bastion of personal happiness. But with all that FREEDOM comes choices. Too many choices.  

Without structure, without guidelines, without rules, we flounder, sinking forever deeper into the man-made vortex until we can barely climb our way out of the hole. And so it is with the internet. Another link to follow, more news to chase, another morsel of your life handed over to the insatiably hungry mouth of the worldwide web... in this amazing race, there's not a lot of grace. How can one ever hope to keep pace?

Help me! Help me!

Pretty: Gorman's whimsical winter campaign

Pretty: Gorman's whimsical winter campaign

"We wanted to create something quirky, feminine and playful," says director Nadia Barbaro of her video for fashion label Gorman's autumn/winter campaign. "A girl rides a magical bike that transforms her outfit and the contents of the basket as she travels."

The whimsical campaign stars Gabriela Aloisio and was shot by Stefan Duscio with the sound of Wolves at the Door's "Warrior" providing "a darker mood for the film, which balances out the girliness".

"The contents of the basket were not so much symbolic as just visually quirky," says Barbaro. "The taxidermy bird and eggs were chosen because they were quite fragile and much too delicate to ride in a basket. The poor model was so afraid they would come flying out of the basket and break whilst she was riding! We originally had ceramic items piled high, but they smashed on the first take!"

Girl With a Satchel

Pop Talk: Positive peer pressure

Pop Talk: Positive peer pressure

"In America, we have gone way too far on to the side of individualism and we have lost the idea of connection with other people. We have forgotten that we need that to be happy. We could adopt the joys of living in a small place where one knows your neighbours but you don't need to live in a village to do that." 
- Tina Rosenberg, New York Times magazine writer and author of Join the Club, which explores social cures for positive change, interviewed by Megan Johnston for 'Under the Influence', Spectrum, The Sydney Morning Herald, May 14-15, 2011.

See also:
Rachel Hills on authentic online social connections
Catholics, Cupcakes and Community

Girl With a Satchel

Girl Talk: Shiny! Pretty! Skimpy! Women in Sport

Girl Talk: Shiny! Pretty! Skimpy! Sporty!

The Meriden Rhythmix coached by Danielle Le Ray
A gold medallist performed on Australia's Got Talent last night. And like Kyle, Dannii and Brian, we here at GWAS had never heard of her before (and, fittingly, the show's website doesn't either: for the record, her name is Naazmi Johnston and she killed a grasshoper with her hoop to take out Commonwealth Games gold in her ribbon routine in Delhi and also made history with Australia's first all-round gold medal in 16 years!).

Shiny, sparkly, skimpy... yet accomplishing amazing feats of mind, body and spirit. Emma Plant looks at the reportage of women in sport and the focus on marketing the female form over her function.

Any woman who has ever perused a newspaper, magazine or cantered through a sports bar a la Black Caviar (the number one female athlete in the world... and, yes, a horse!) would have spotted the void in media coverage of female athletes. Column inches seem only to be allocated to one who props a bikini, looks exceptionally pretty while sweating like a pig, or happens to be standing alongside a man (or jockey).

Media Talk: Rick Gekoski on blog gobbing

Media Talk: Rick Gekoski on blog gobbing

"I come from an older and different culture from this blogosphere. As an academic, writer, sometime journalist and broadcaster, I am used to a world in which, when something is said in a lecture, column, book, article or broadcast, it sets the terms for the ensuing discussion. Students take notes, readers, listeners and critics think carefully about what is on offer, and then respond to it. In the blogosphere, things are different. Here an initiating statement is a catalyst, not a set text. The discourse is freewheeling, associative, often solipsistic, and the fact that it is largely pseudonymous makes for a certain (if slightly spurious) freedom and equality."
- Rick Gekoski, chairman of judges for the Man Booker Prize, writing for SMH.

REVIVAL: Rich Enough

I used to dream about being able to afford designer clothing, gemstone jewellery, antique furniture and an Italianate mansion in a hip, inner-city suburb. I used to dream about being rich, but I honestly don’t do that anymore. This is not to say that if a windfall came my way I wouldn’t live it up, but I’m not chasing that windfall in any meaningful way.

The dream of expensive clothing, jewellery and furniture went first. When I made the switch from buying new to buying (mostly) second-hand, I stopped coveting things and merely rejoiced in what I found when I went shopping.

Then the dream of living in a hip, inner-city suburb went. This came about because my boyfriend’s new job meant a move to a rented house in a country town. As it turned out, it wasn’t just any country town, but a country town where I managed to make good friends. I was as surprised as anyone that I should suddenly have a host of new friends as I approached my mid-thirties. 

GWAS Notes: OCRF White Shirt Day

GWAS Notes

The white shirt means business, and today it's about the business of saving lives from Ovarian Cancer. Together with madison magazine, Witchery is supporting the cause with its annual White Shirt Day event. 

On this day, ladies are encouraged to wear their favourite white shirt, with a touch of silver accessorising (silver being the colour of the OCRF), for a special photo shoot opportunity with celebrities hosted at the Chapel Street (Vic), Mid City (NSW), Indooroopilly (Qld) and Nuffield Street (NZ) stores.

If you can't get to one of these locales, pop into your local Witchery store to pick up one of the seven white shirt designs – my favourite, the one sported by the pretty Pania Rose to the right, is priced at $129.95 – a canvas tote bag ($29.95), or silver charm bracelet or necklace ($49.95). You can also shop online at or visit to pledge your support of the ladies suffering from the disease and their friends and families.

Girl With a Satchel

GWAS Bulletin Board: The Clothing Exchange (Melbourne)

GWAS Bulletin Board: The Clothing Exchange

"It wasn't long ago that spending an evening mid week swapping clothes in a laneway bar was thought as totally out of the ordinary, perhaps even strange," writes Linda Vydra. "Six years later The Clothing Exchange is now part of the fabric of our sustainable city having challenged the status quo of how Melbournians acquire 'new' clothing. Thousands of swappers have enjoyed our events, which can now be enjoyed in cities across Australia."

Have fun swapping, Melbourne lasses!
Girl With a Satchel

Glossy Covers: Rose Byrne melancholy for Madison

Glossy Covers: Rose Byrne for madison

The raccoon-eyed, sparrow-like Rose Byrne is a melancholy figure, to me representing the kind of girl I am on the days when I feel particularly downtrodden by the world, or lacking in vital nourishment (sleep, love, serotonin!), wanting to burrow deep beneath my doona until that feisty little Pollyanna within breaks free of the glum and gets up, gets dressed and sets about... doing the dishes. It's so cathartic, is it not, to control something so small, which makes you feel like you're on top of it all? Bless you, dishes, for not running away with the spoon, and for always being there for me in my time of need.*

I saw Byrne – full of life and fuller of figure – play opposite her then-boyfriend Brendan Cowell on stage in Sydney a few years ago. She was radiant. Mesmerising. In her element. In contrast, the madison cover story, penned by Tiffany Bakker, posits Byrne in a gloomy Dickensian setting: "It's been a long, cold day in New York City and Rose Byrne sure knows it. She's perched on the balcony of a warehouse in the vibrant Chelsea district, clad in little more than a sheer shirt and pants as a cruel wind whips across her shoulders. But the arctic blasts don't seem to bother the Australian-born, 31-year-old actress, who barely flinches as she strikes a pose."

Media Talk: The view from Fashion Week

Media Talk: The view from Fashion Week

"We turned away 250 media who wanted to attend, including photographers and freelancers. It is fairly exclusive. We need to make sure that those that we do let in are going to create the highest yield for participants... In the last five years as we've started to understand the evolution of online and digital platforms, fashion's newly embraces that media stage." 
- Graeme Lewsey, communications director, Rosemount Australian Fashion Week, in response to the record number of media who registered for Fashion Week 2011 and the 500 delegates who were validated, including UK fashion blogger Susie Lau from Style Bubble, whose site is the fourth most read in the UK.

"Things are super challenging now with everything being so immediate. You can get previews now of the shows before they even happen. When does it stop? As a journalist you have to go with it, but particularly for me, I love words and I like writing things in a considered manner and I want things to be word perfect. When you're just doing things on the fly all the time, it's really hard to step back and write something elegant." 
- Glynis Traill-Nash, fashion journalist, The Sydney Morning Herald,,

Source: Mediaweek Australia

Glossy Covers: Vogue Nippon's Bride Supplement

Glossy Covers: Vogue Japan Bride Book (+ is happy marriage a media taboo?)

In email conversation with a bride-to-be today, we both agreed that we hoped to make more of our Gen-Y marriages than our Boomer parents had been able to. This is why, perhaps, the Royal Wedding was met with such unexpected fervor by young and old alike: thoughts of what could be, and what could have been.

Many have been let down by the institution, but who – or what – is letting it down?

Beyond this dogged commitment to seeing marriage through 'til death, all married couples need support in this endeavour, a realistic checklist of what to expect when the Disneyfied confetti has settled and an assurance that things need not deteriorate – they can get even better! – perhaps now more than ever. In our individualistic society, the self often comes at the expense of the other half, or "the marriage", which might be viewed as a separate unit, which you've mutually agreed to honour.

Teen Girl With a Satchel

The newest musical by one of my biggest obsessions, Team Starkid – most famous for their viral web musicals A Very Potter Musical and A Very Potter Sequel, which feature newest Glee star Darren Criss as Harry – was cause for celebration in my world

Starship follows the story of Bug, who lives on an alien planet and just really, really wants to be a Starship Ranger (a member of the human space explorer group). Filled with hilarious songs, jokes and characters, it was love at first (three-hour!) viewing.

Recently I was lucky enough to be able to Skype-Interview one of the members of Team Starkid, Julia Albain, who plays Crabbe in the Potter musicals and Starship Ranger ‘Specs’ in Starship. Julia, who gets to count Darren as one of her closest friends, has just published a short book titled A Glamorously Unglamorous Life about her year in New York City.

Guest Post: Elizabeth Berkley with I Heart Daily

Elizabeth Berkley grew up on the legendary TV show Saved by the Bell in the 80s and 90s, and because of syndication, a whole new generation of girls is getting to know her character Jessie Spano. Over the years, she's interacted with thousands of fans, and her new bestselling book, Ask Elizabeth, and website are resources for the girls who reach out to her every day. She sat down with us to talk about how she hopes to provide "real answers to all the questions you secretly wanted to ask...."

I Heart Daily: How did your girl-talk workshops come about?
Elizabeth Berkley: In my quick exchanges [with fans], I was genuinely interested in chatting with the girls and learning about what mattered to them. So many girls told me that they never had someone care to ask about what was happening in their life. I decided to create a safe space for them to truly connect with one another in a meaningful way.