QUEEN AND TOWN WE SALUTE YOU
British titles Queen and Town rank in the top ten best fashion magazines in our archive. They sit so happily together too - His 'n' Hers! We think of them as the 1960s equivalent of The Gentlewoman and Fantastic Man - top-notch photography, fashion and editorial content. Not to mention intricately designed and beautifully produced. We can chart their development from the 1950s through to the 1960s and 70s. From format, typeface and cover line tweaks through to photography styles and shifts in editorial content. Each issue is a fascinating time capsule of British style.
Both Queen and Town are getting scarcer and scarcer as time goes on - it's not hard to see why. We've cherry picked a few that we think are extra special. Have a look, see what you think...
The Queen July 10th 1956
Queen started out as The Queen and was published by Samual Orchart Beeton who was married to Isabella, editor of 'Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management' launched the very same year as The Queen; 1861. By the late 1950s, the title was sold to Jocelyn Stevens (the Delevingne sister's grandfather) who re-crowned it Queen and made it more 'hip' with the help of Beatrix Miller who went on to edit Vogue.
Ten years later, Stevens sold the title which subsequently became Harper's & Queen. Soon after, the 'Queen' was dropped altogether and it became what we know today as Harper's Bazaar. What a journey!
Queen April 3rd 1962
With Beatrix Miller as editor, by 1962, Queen was catering to a younger, fashion savvy readership. The design of the cover was freshened up with a cut off Q in the corner around the title. And...non other than Jean Shrimpton, of course! The coolest cat of London's Swinging Sixties making a babushka look VERY stylish. Only the Shrimp...
Celia Hammond photographed by Sandra Lousada, one of the very few female fashion photographers working in the 1960s. Editorials were starting to have a more relaxed feel about them around this time - just before Swinging London well and truly kicked in...
Queen Late July 1970
Ten years later - notice the logotype has pride of place and would stand out on any newsstand! How snuggly does that title fit on the page? It's pretty special. The red type and scarf detail perfectly balanced alongside the rest. And those cover lines look super sophisticated perched on the opposite side of the bench as the model. A thoughtful piece of design shortly before the change of name to Harper's & Queen. A hard act to follow we'd say!
Here's a selection of our all time favourites...
Before it became Town, Spring 1953
British journalist John Taylor founded Man About Town: "a magazine concerned with appearances" in 1952 while he was still editing trade journal; The Tailor & Cutter. This is an early issue from 1953. It was a pocket size magazine at this stage. An interesting piece of design to look at now - great hints of fluro, a detail always much appreciated! But what's just great about this title is that it gets stronger in content and visuals over time.
Very much like Queen Magazine, Town went through countless revamps and name changes over the years. In 1960, Cornmarket Press (now known as Haymarket Media Group) bought the mag and by 1962 it had transitioned from Man About Townto About Town and finally just Town. What a mouthful!
Early issues were heavily influenced by Taylor's history editing a trade journal - fabric swatches here there and everywhere! Swatches accompanied by lots of cigar smoking, champagne ads and strict 'how to dress' style features, have a look...
At Your Throat! "Any man about town worthy of the name would prefer to make his own bow." This is great, love the step by step numbering.
Town January 1965 - Pattie Boyd and Len Deighton
By the mid 1960s, Town was run by media stalwarts Clive Labovitch and Michael Heseltine. In full 'swing' with London, they published fantastic covers like this one of Pattie Boyd with Len Deighton photographed by James Mortimer. Other iconic photographers who produced imagery in this edition include David Hamilton, Terence Donovan and David Bailey (also associate editor). Such a great issue!
'Details of presents you might hope for' - The 'gift girl' is photographed here by Terence Donovan surrounded by everything a guy could possibly want in the year 1965; Giesler Champagne, a portable radio, cigars, Parker fountain pens and more. That's all great but we can't help but admire those beautiful Spanish wool rugs as backdrops from Casa Pupo (great brand name). Amazing!
Mei Li photographed by David Hamilton. Looking through sixties issues is like a treasure trove. We always find something special that we hadn't noticed before!
The content shifted from Man About Town's cigars and champagne to include more topical developments mirroring the context of the time. The images in this feature are really quite moving. This is the photographer Michael Cooper who famously shot the cover of the Beatles's Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover. Here he is interviewed about being a single father to his son Adam after parting with his wife. Grace Coddington and Eric Swayne (Adam's Godparents) are also featured. Sweet!
Our favourite Town covers, feast your eyes!
Would you like to add any of the above Queens or Towns to your collection? Or start a collection? Some are available to buy from our website: www.elegantlypapered.com
We have over 35,000 vintage magazines in our archive - our online shop is only a very small part of what we have available. If there's anything you need, don't be afraid to get in touch, you'd be amazed at some of the things we can unearth!
More to come from Team Elegantly Papered soon
Ta-ra for now!
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