1. First clue: it's called The Gentlewoman.
New York Magazine's Cut blog has panned the name, which they find patronizing, but I strongly disagree. Yes, the word is ironically archaic, but it's one that we should bring back into circulation: it's not girlish, it's not prissy, it's not demeaning. Rather, it denotes maturity, respect, and more sense of personal identity that "lady." Plus, this is the title of a defunct American ladymag that featured poetry and demure fashion spreads, and I dig a nod to our printed past.
2. It has solid credentials. This is the long-awaited women's counterpart to Fantastic Man, the tongue-in-cheek cult British style journal which combines an edgy aesthetic with a subsersive anti-fashion sensibility. The tone is often that of an old-school men's journal, but it's not satire-tiresome. And plenty of semi-ironic early-80s-style photography that still somehow manages to genuinely celebrate the moustache or tweeds or whatever new band they're promoting. I don't dig just anything retro - The Chap was always too arch by half for my tastes, and we've all got Mad Men fatigue - but for now, they've got the balance down.
3. If we can go by the tantalizing glimpses - as seen on the blog Mag Culture - it'll actually be worth reading, consciously taking on ladymag puff with humor and style. Says founder Gert Jonkers, (who also founded gay-alt rag Butt) to BlackBook, "It's a magazine about and for amazing woman. It will be inspiring, it'll have great journalism, I hope it'll be super good fun too. Of course it'll look at personal style, and business, power, art ..."Here's one scrap of available text:
Maureen Paley is a legendary London gallerist of open mind and precise thought. A New Yorker who found herself in London's East End long before it was fashionable, Maureen champions artists like Wolfgang Tillmans, Gillian Wearing and Banks Violette, all of whom fit with her independent, subversive spirit. Maureen is devilishly good company, and an art event cannot be said to be truly happening until her beehive enters the room.
Oh, and did we mention the first issue has a story - and a spread - on the power of naps?
4. And, oh yeah - the fashion.
5. We want something to love. I'm trying not to get inflated expectations - we've been burned before. But there's a real gap in the market for more smart style, and I'm eager for it. If it follows its bro's formula, it'll be hard to track down and pricey when you do, but also Christmas List-worthy and available on Amazon. Fingers crossed, gentlewomen.
Meet The Gentlewoman [MagCulture]
Fantastic Man [Official Site]
From The Founder Of Fantastic Man Comes Gentlewoman [BlackBook]
Fantastic Man to Spawn Gentlewoman [New York]