I’m not much of a RUSSH fan; I find it a bit too pretentious for it’s own good. Vogue, however, can afford to be pretentious because it backs itself up with flawless fashion and high quality essays. However, I don’t usually find it to be so.
But this month I swallowed my pride and purchased RUSSH, primarily because of its review on Girl with a Satchel, but also because a small-time Australian magazine landed one of fashion’s (okay, lingerie modelling’s) hottest commodities, Alessandra Ambrosio, for its cover, and because of the “Come Back Kerouac” feature on books and reading.
While nothing beats Alice Cavanagh’s musings on the survival of novels “in the age of the small screen” (worth the $9.95 cover price if only for that), other Vogue-esque long-form essays include “Bohemian Like You” on the gypsy jet-set—the gypset; in an ode to “The Art Issue”, Danielle Top illustrates “The Artist’s Way”, “a practical guide to making your mark” which I don’t necessarily think works for me, but some acquaintances have had success with in the past; a profile on RUSSH’s favourite artists, including Anaïs Nin, Allen Ginsberg and Robert Mapplethorpe in “We Want You To Love Them Like We Do”, as well as “the most ground-breaking and… sought-after artist of our generation”, Ryan McGinley; and finally, in very Vogue-like fashion, Jess Blanch deals with burning the candle at both ends in—what else?—“Both Ends Burning”.
In terms of fashion, there is a small accessories feature in the front of the book, followed by Alessandra Ambrosio’s shoot, which merges “street chic with a ballet-esque fragility”, but it’s got nothing on Vogue in this respect. Cover star Catherine McNeil is rife throughout Vogue, channelling a ’50s sex kitten in Louis Vuitton, Prada and Dolce & Gabbana’s figure-hugging frocks in “A Fine Romance”, and a punk rockabilly meets West Side Story meets Grease charm in “Pretty Baby”.
And article-wise, Vogue takes the cake yet again, with “Is Fashion Art?” (an inadvertent dig at RUSSH, perhaps?), the pros and cons of having close male friends and if it can ever just be platonic, in “The Opposite of Sex” and, my favourite (as I always love a beauty debate), “The Beauty Bubble”, in which beautiful women like Nicole Trunfio and Noa Tishby discuss the perils of being beautiful. Seriously, though, it is a though-provoking essay, and Trunfio comes up with some surprisingly deep insights on being a model: “I do think models get away with a lot, but it’s not necessarily the important things in life… But not for long, because outer beauty does not last…”
And how’s this for a coincidence? Both RUSSH and Vogue feature the same patterned green Louis Vuitton skirt this month. I have to say, I prefer RUSSH‘s take on the garment (left), but the Bible’s version is quintessentially quirky Vogue (right).
The overall winner is, hands down, Vogue, for its flawlessly executed fashion, impeccable features and it’s ability to “feed”, as Carrie Bradshaw would say, but I was surprisingly impressed by RUSSH’s take on art, fashion and knowledge.