GUESTPOST: maggie’s fave aussie mags

Our friend Maggie returns to her native Australia today (bon voyage!x), but before she dashed off to catch her plane she told us all about why Aussie women’s mags are better than British ones and made us a little bit jealous that soon she’s going to be able to buy them for $2 or whatever whereas we can but hope for imports priced about £10 in Magma. Miss you Maggs…

Hailing from the sunshine state, Queensland that is (you know the Australian one that was flooded), Maggie has just enjoyed two great years in London working in Local Government and enjoying jaunts to Europe as well as nights at the Pamflet salon. She is now heading back to see what the land down under has to offer this time round. Her interests include food, fiction, fashion, feminism and fun. (Non-fiction also gets a mention as well as politics and travel but that would have ruined the alliteration theme and plus those three easily slot into fun.)

As I prepare to head back to the land down under I’ve been thinking about my favourite things from the sunburned country to ease the pain of leaving London after two great years here. A definite plus is the thought of being able to buy some of my favourite mags which are only available in Australia.

The first and definite fave is the lovely Frankie. If she were a friend, she’d be my very best. Bold, beautiful and above all interesting! This bi-monthly production, which has been around since 2004, is a celeb-free zone. I remember a backlash from readers when they used Juliette Lewis as their cover girl instead of the usual unknown ingénue. Instead Frankie’s pages are filled with interesting anecdotes from the kind of people you’d love to sit down and share a cup of tea with. The latest issue features a look back on the past 12 months from fashion designer Karen Walker, Radio DJ Myf Warhurst and songstress Sally Seltmann (all Aussies: oi, oi!). There’s also a feature on Berliners, bits on Lomo cameras as well as some DIY necklaces for crafty types. All of this is topped off with a lovely pixie haired cover girl, a beautifully refreshing image for a short-hair devotee like myself.

The next is Russh, probably best likened to the coolest girl at school, mixed with a dash of the latest Aussie music and an impressive yet unpretentious interest in art: it’s a Sydney it girl’s bible! Again it’s a bi-monthly that doesn’t devote itself to celebs, but fashion is definitely the main order of the day. Inside you’ll find loads of beautiful fashion spreads showcasing the latest and greatest Australian designers as well as international names like Alexander Wang, Vivienne Westwood and Celine. There are also profiles on tres chic bands like one of my Aussie favourites, Midnight Juggernauts, as well as the Hungry Kids of Hungary and Kanye. It’s definitely beautiful, yet its vibe is still refreshing in that it’s more about appreciating the beauty of fashion, music and art rather than saying you need to be/look/act a certain way.

Oyster is another independent bi-monthly focussing mainly on fashion as well as art and music. The latest edition features two covers, both fronted by Australian model and former wag Lara Bingle who rose to fame via a slightly controversial tv ad for Toursim Australia. I’m not an avid reader of this one, but I’d say its editorial is probably more interesting and funny than Russh – from the website I can recommend the article about running out of IP addresses, an ode to James Franco as well as a rundown of their top five animated films. Confession: I wasn’t going to include Oyster in my list of favs as I’ve never really read that much of it, but after a bit of internet research for this post, I may start buying it when I return down under!

Dolly fits into the little sister category of Aussie glossies. It’s not independent like Frankie, Russh and Oyster (it’s owned by media mogul James Packer’s company Fairfax) but it’s been a bible for Australian girls since it started in the 70’s. I have many fond memories of leafing through it with my friends in early high school years. One of the best sections was Dolly Doctor where readers could send in questions (usually about sex) that they were too embarrassed to ask their folks. While on the surface it seemed like it was there purely for entertainment, I’m sure it was responsible for the sex education of a lot of Aussie teens. #interestingdollyfact model/wife of Orlando Bloom, Miranda Kerr, was discovered through the Dolly modelling competition in the same year actress Abbie Cornish was a finalist.

So there you have it, a rundown of my favourite magazines that I’d recommend to anyone heading to/living in Aus. I’ve seen Oyster at some newsagents here in London and apparently you’ll be able to buy Frankie here soon as well – so keep your eyes peeled for that one. Alternatively you could jump on a plane to buy one in Aus and drop in to see me at the same time…


further reading: prolific aussie blogger girl with a satchel critiques every mag as soon as it hits the stands. check her out here.

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"Vogue loves...Indie mags: Hogarthian graphics and modern feminism from Pamflet"

"It makes me feel less despair to know that somewhere deep inside the Jordanization of modern Britain there are still a few angry feminists out there." Zadie Smith

"Pamflet is the photocopy-quality soapbox for two young, sarky post-feminists from London who want women’s rights and the right to wear pretty things, and want it, like, yesterday." Sunday Times Style

"They’re funny and honest and write about fashion with feminism so I’m obviously all over it." Tavi