GWAS Glossy Yearbook 2008

The pop culture, magazine & pretty thing happenings of 2008...

As GWAS jumps off the treadmill that is the blogosphere and heads to Sydney's northern beaches for some downtime with the fam, and the mag girls put the finishing touches on their March editions and kick up their heels, let's take a minute to reflect on the year that was in the Land of Gloss...

The most talked about magazine launches of the year...
The titles we said farewell to in 2008...
  • The Bulletin (ACP Magazines)
  • New Woman (ACP Magazines)
  • Vive (POL Publishing)
  • CosmoGIRL!
  • ELLE Accessories
Aussie Glossy Land's game of musical chairs...
  • Harper's Bazaar's Alison Veness McGourty took on Grazia
  • Jamie Huckbody appointed editor of Harper's Bazaar
  • New Idea/Pacific Magazines' Robyn Foyster made EIC of The Australian Women's Weekly – goes on paid three-month hiatus before commencing work at Park Street (whee - holiday!);
  • Mirella Cestaro made EIC of New Idea;
  • New Idea weathers sh*tstorm over Prince Harry 'media blackout' saga;
  • Kerrie McCallum leaves Shop Til You Drop for InStyle
  • Justine Cullen appointed editor of Shop Til You Drop
  • Nedahl Stelio leaves CLEO to pursue "other projects"
  • Sarah Oakes leaves Girlfriend for CLEO
  • Fashion director Jo Ferguson departs CLEO; moves onto NW and Woman's Day
  • Zoe Foster leaves Harper's Bazaar to edit (live on August 19)
  • Sarah Cornish left Total Girl for Girlfriend
  • Amanda Taylor made editor of Total Girl
  • Kerry Parnell leaves Marie Claire to take on Glamour (now shelved)
  • Charlotte Scott leaves RUSSH; is replaced by Natalie Shukur
The people and pop culture events making headlines in Glossy Land...
  • Heath Ledger's death (January 23);
  • Andrew Morton's "unauthorised" Tom Cruise biography;
  • UK ELLE founding editor Sally Brampton writes of her depression in Shoot The Dam Dog: A Memoir of Depression; former Woman's Day editor Nene King talks nervous breakdowns with Steve Dow; former UK Marie Claire editor Liz Jones discusses the glossy posse's thin obsession;
  • Tyra Banks threatens to usurp Oprah as the queen of the talk show circuit;
  • The US writer's strike causes a fuss;
  • Hillary Clinton's electoral campaign results in a teary; power suits make a comeback; Clinton appointed Secretary of State;
  • Teen Vogue cuts ties with The Hills;
  • Project Runway's Nina Garcia makes a cameo on Ugly Betty; ELLE's Anne Slowey debuts Stylista; Garcia moves to US Marie Claire;
  • Bill Henson's controversial photography for Art World results in a NSW government review of laws regulating child nudity and art;
  • Russh Australia uses 16-year-old model Zippora Seven in a provocative beach shoot; Vogue Australia features Seven in its December 2008 issue; a primary school teacher is fired after appearing naked with her partner in CLEO;
  • The skinny model issue overshadows fashion week; the age limit for models at Australian Fashion Week is set at 16; Russian model Ruslana Korshunova commits suicide;
  • Rachel Zoe turns reality TV subject;
  • Is size 0 over?;
  • Rachel Zoe up-sizes for the September issue of US Harper's Bazaar; says she never feels sexy;
  • 90210 brings skinny back;
  • Photoshop cops it;
  • Everyone is girl crushing on Carla Bruni;
  • The 90s supermodels return in full force;
  • Anna Wintour is named an OBE for services to British journalism and British fashion in the US; Wintour denies she will retire;
  • Italian Vogue publishes an "all black" issue;
  • The Olympic games makes stars out of swimmers Michael Phelps and Stephanie Rice;
  • Sex and the City The Movie, Australia and Twilight take movie marketing to a whole new level, with the glossies only too happy to inflate the hype;
  • Famous goes cheap, lowering its cover price from $4.50 to $3.50;
  • Maxim magazine names Sarah Jessica Parker the "unsexiest woman alive"; later makes her its "unexpected crush" of the month;
  • Kath & Kim is poorly received in the US... kind of like Kylie Minogue and Vegemite;
  • Kylie Minogue turns 40!;
  • Orlando Bloom and Miranda Kerr are Australia's new sweethearts; Lara Bingle and Michael Clarke are the new Bec and Lleyton;
  • Power lesbians Lindsay and LiLo, Ellen and Portia and Jess and Ruby grab headlines;
  • Australian Cosmopolitan magazine gets 100 pages fatter starting with the September issue;
  • Scarlett Johansson makes the cover of the re-designed Australian Marie Claire;
  • The green/eco movement is nudged aside by the global financial crisis;
  • "Credit crunch" and "recessionista" enter the media lexicon ("eco chic" no longer the cool kid);
  • Alaska's vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin gives Tina Fey's career a boost;
  • ACP magazines' internal publicity department was expendable;
  • Sarah Murdoch usurps Jodhi Meares as the host of Australia's Next Top Model;
  • Jodhi's ex, James Packer, bails out of PBL Media;
  • Britney gets her body back (gossip mags go bananas), wins at the MTV awards, goes 'on the record' for MTV, makes covers of Glamour, Australian Cosmo (looking fives years' younger) and Rolling Stone;
  • The Paid Maternity Leave Scheme is shelved thanks to the tightening of government purse strings;
  • Barack Obama wins the US election; is named Time magazine's person of the year;
  • Jennifer Aniston won't shut up;
  • Women loathe Nicole Kidman;
  • But celebrity mums are the business ;
  • Roberta Myers oversees US ELLE magazine's best year yet; Glamour's Cindi Leive named Forbes' most powerful fashion magazine editor;
  • The Australian edition of Glamour is shelved indefinitely;
  • Weekly magazines experience a circulation nosedive (with the exception of OK!), while the likes of Marie Claire, Harper's Bazaar, Vogue and Women's Health hold their readership ground;
  • Mischa Barton's fashion credibility plummets; Gwyneth Paltrow's skyrockets. This is Very Important to know... on par with what's happening in Afghanistan.
Top Cover Girl Commodities
  • Angelina Jolie
  • Jennifer Aniston
  • Reese Witherspoon
  • Sarah Jessica Parker
  • Britney Spears
  • Madonna
  • Keira Knightley
  • Rachel Bilson
  • Jessica Alba
  • Blake Lively
  • Kate Bosworth
  • Gwyneth Paltrow
  • Victoria Beckham
  • Heidi Klum
GWAS Glossy Awards
  • Magazine of the Year: Marie Claire Australia; runners-up Shop Til You Drop and Women's Health
Marie Claire is looking youthful and fresh in its smaller, plumper package. The editorial is always diverse and the fashion pages continue to set the bar. Shop Til You Drop has been the underdog of the mainstream glossies but is consistently on-target and sells like hotcakes. Women's Health, with its cheeky tone, random pop cultural references and girls-kick-ass fitness focus is a breath of fresh air. Special mention also to Franie magazine, who never fails to inspire and remind us that not all women's magazines need contain mind-and-energy sucking diet/exercise/sex advice (unless it's done particularly well, as in Women's Health, of course!).
  • Editor of the Year: Alexandra Shulman @ UK Vogue
While editors are often shrouded by an aura of mystery, Shulman put her journalistic skills to paper several times this year to share her thoughts on everything from ageing and cosmetic surgery, to beauty's changing faces and Victoria Beckham. Enlightening. And UK Vogue continues to be one of my preferred glossy purchases.
  • Glossy Writer of the Year: Sarah Wilson for Madison
Freelance writer and former Cosmopolitan editor Sarah Wilson's feature stories are always remarkably intimate, well-researched and articulated, and tap into the female zeitgeist. Her piece on the "thrisis" for Madison was fantastic, as was "The Big Secret".

In the same vein, I am always impressed by Vogue Australia's first-person pieces (example: Jessica Rowe's recent story on post-natal depression). Thoughtfully and expertly written, with a level of depth unsurpassed by other glossies, they offer a poignant glimpse into the lives and minds of other women in a non-trivialised/commercialised/overly simplifed way.
  • Magazine Makeover of the Year: Marie Claire Australia; UK ELLE
UK ELLE had some work done: is now sleek, streamlined, simplified and visually appealing, with a definite focus on fashion and rock-star edge. Editor Lorraine Candy often makes risky cover choices (Courtney Love?!), steering away from the more mainstream celebrity faces we're accustomed to seeing. Jumping on the recession bandwagon, columns like the Credit Crunch Shopper show ELLE knows its reader... an is unashamed to say she's a shopaholic (and is only too happy to encourage her superficial pursuits).
  • Beauty Editor of the Year: Eugenie Kelly @ Harper's Bazaar
I am always entertained by Kelly's writing: she makes the business (pleasure and pain) of beauty extremely palatable.
  • Design Award: UK ELLE; UK Glamour
These magazines are, as Derek Zoolander might say, ridiculously good looking. Fantastic page layouts (see ELLE, right), still-life photography, fashion and celebrity shoots.

This is GWAS signing off. I will be posting sporadically from now until around January 5, so check in if you are near a computer.

Thank you so much for visiting in 2008! Merry Christmas!

Yours truly,
Girl With a Satchel


julialow said...

Great post, Erica! It was tres fun to read. Have a blessed Christmas! It was a good 2008 with GWAS!

julia x

Anonymous said...

Hello, Robyn Foyster? New ed-in-chief for AWW? Prince Harry publishing scandal at New Idea?

Reckon those are worth a mention.

frangipani princess said...

That was awesome, Erica!! It must of taken you a while to put together!
Have an amazing Christmas/New Year and I can't wait to read gwas in 2009 :)

gg xx

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for a wonderful year of magazine musings Erica; your blog never fails to entertain. I look forward to new posts in 2009!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for a great wrap-up Erica. Looking forward to lots more in '09 (especially Boy with a Bag-brilliant!). Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

And thank YOU for another year of brilliant blogging. No morning at work would be complete without stopping by GWAS, and it continues to be a much-loved part of my routine.

Enjoy your well-deserved break and time with the family. Hope Santa spoils you. :-)


meetmeatmikes said...

Thanks for the constant updates, excellent writing, fabulous images and unbeatable work ethic! See you next year! You are super great!

Jack Daniel said...

Jeeeez, what a HUUUGE post.

Your blog looks professional. ;)

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm a bit confused over here. If CosmoGirl has been discontinued then why I still see it on the shelves (with taylor swift on the cover)?

Erica Bartle (nee Holburn) said...

Aw, bless you all! Thank you for your sweet messages.

And thanks for the New Idea reminder, Anonymous!


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for a wonderful year of magazine musings Erica;
You are super great!
Happy New Year