Friday, February 23, 2007

Bug Eyed Wonder


Auckland's iconic Metro magazine has had its ups and downs recently. Some in the bitchy and somewhat inbred publishing industry gleefully prophesised its pending downfall as it passed the 20 year waypoint.

I'm not sure what its circulation figures are or how the advertising revenues are holding up, but I am sure that, like all pulp based media, it is experiencing a great deal more competition from internet advertising; as are newspapers and television. But I will leave that media analysis for another time.

I have just picked up the latest edition. While its cover lacks some of the sass and sex appeal of others it has commisioned recently the content looks brilliant. The design and art direction are far and away the best of any publication in New Zealand. Its generous size and gigantic spreads make it a genuinely luxe experience. It is easy to see why fashion and luxury goods are so attracted to it. They just fit and make other titles look pinched and stingy - even the likes of Fashion Quarterly.
The typography is exceptional and self assured, the layouts sell the stories. It feels like a magazine in the literal sense - a collection of things, rather than a homogenised litany. I enjoy the surprises of turning the pages, though I never feel disoriented. Online they have also risen to the challenge. MetroLive has been useful - I've even used it wen at a loss for an interesting restaurant (try Peter Gordon's Bellota tapas in the Sky City building - in the alley between the casino and the hotel)

You can flip through a sampling of Metro's spreads here.


But, best of all, is Judith Baragwanath's short piece on the apalling fashion crime of Gigantic Sunglasses. Like her I have been bugged by the boggle eyed followers. There is nothing more ridiculous than a dear wee thing with a gargantuan pair of Chanel, Bulgari, Dior ...insert brand here... as they have all jumped on the occhiali brandwagon...especially when barely the tip of their nose prods through the expanse of plexi and plastic. I predict back and neck injury compensation claims in the near future. In years to come photographs will be shown to the grandchildren which will raise the plaintiff question...what were we thinking?...

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