Monday, September 10, 2012


Posted by Bethan Holt, Fashion Junior at Large

Hello! magazine is like a cup of tea, or a hug from your Mum, or putting on a favourite old scarf- it's not edgy, it's not cool but knowing it's there makes everything better. And now I'm worried because Hello! has caused a rumble in the magazine world with a statement aligning itself with ABC's (Audit Bureau Circulations) "Woman and Lifestyle" category, not "Celebrity" where they were previously placed. This might just be a straightforward repositioning but what if it's Hello! as we know it is beginning to morph into something completely unrecognisable, where there's no room for gushing 20 page spreads of newborn celebrity offspring, forensic examination of Duchess Kate's daily routine or pictures of minor European royals which nobody else bothers to publish? I'm worried.

Hello! is the place to go for Kate Middleton mania at its most sincere and gushing 
 My panic might seem exaggerated but this whole episode (I hope that is all it is) feels hugely unnerving to me because my relationship with Hello! magazine goes way back to being a far-too-mature-for-my-age nine year old with an avid interest in reading about the latest gala event attended by Princess Caroline of Monaco. On the day of Diana's death I spent the morning sombrely leafing through my Grandma's huge pile of back issues which all featured some article on the Princess- invariably, a front cover of her visiting a charity, out with Wills and Harry or on a yacht somewhere. Not normal behaviour for a child not yet in double figures, but this is where my love of magazines, and awareness of famous, beautiful women as fashion plates, began. Yes, I moved on and now buy Hello! only rarely when a particularly out of this world cover begs me to delve in again- like the unbelievably surgically enhanced appearance of John Cleese's bride in a recent "World Exclusive". I'd like to know how many others fought for that story.

John Cleese and his new wife play around for the Hello! photographer
If the figures don't add up then Hello! must do something. Sadly, nostalgia and exclamation marks alone cannot keep an editorial office going but oh! how I wish they could when I try to imagine a world without the uniquely hyperbolic house style for which the magazine is acclaimed/ notorious. I've found some gems (Hello!-isms) from recent issues which sum up why Hello! is such a cosy institution,  a million miles from its arch nemesis, the casual, derisory and mean Mail Online. I'm not saying this is brilliant, incisive, opinion making journalism but it is a bright, optimistic and kind-as-can-be approach to the culture of celebrity. A world free from Hello! would be dark, unanchored and mournfully bare of Scandinavian Princesses- it's a reality not worth contemplating, isn't it?

Mo Farah "relaxes at home" with his new twins

"The dressing room's hand painted cabinetry comes alive with a series of oil portraits of dapper dogs wearing their Sunday best" in an interview at home with Chopard Co-President Caroline Scheufele

"Zac appeared on the driveway, smiling broadly, holding the reins of a horse with its mane and tail groomed and plaited in the couple's purple and sage-green wedding colours" t the wedding of Olympic silver medalist Zac Purchase

"Sipping on an iced green tea in the garden of a five-star Beverley Hills hotel, Tamara Ecclestone is in reflective mood" interview with Tamara Ecclestone, daughter of billionaire Bernie

"Reclining on a platform nestled in the branches of a beautiful old olive tree, singer and actress Sarah Harding turns her lightly tanned face to the Tuscan sun and gives a contented sigh" interview with Girl's Aloud memeber Sarah Harding.

"The yellow silk Jenny Packham dress she wore on arrival in Calgary is unlikely to make its way into her suitcase, after  strong gust of wind at the airport  lifted its skirt to reveal the Duchess's long legs, much to the delight of assembled photographers" in an article reporting on how Duchess Kate is getting ready for her next foreign visit.

"Her self-deprecating groom chips in "the something old was me" " at John Cleese's wedding to Jennifer Wade.

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