Covers & Content: August 2017

How diverse were the August 2017 issues of Canada’s top fashion magazines? We report on this every month, taking into consideration the cover star as well as the representation in the fashion editorials. Read on to find out how this month’s issues fared.

Editor’s Note: Our top Canadian fashion magazines’ publishing calendars have been all over the map this year. FASHION’s “Summer” issue covered June and July, while Elle Canada’s “Summer” issue seemed to cover July and August (see below).

The Magazine: FASHION

The Cover Star: Gigi Gorgeous

Perceived Appearance of Cover Star: White. Note that this issue of FASHION is a record-breaker–this is the first Canadian fashion magazine in the history of this column (which we’ve been doing for about 4 years now) to feature a trans* cover star. While it’s been way too long in the making (hello, Laverne Cox, Janet Mock, Andreja Pejic, Jenna Talackova) who would also make excellent candidates for cover stars hint hint), still, FASHION leads the way!

Does the magazine appear to feature any models of colour in the editorials?: Yes. This issue had two fashion editorials, the first starring one thin, black model. The second editorial starred folks of all backgrounds and genders.

Does the magazine appear to feature any plus-size models in the editorials?: No.


Note: this information is the same as what was reported last month

The Magazine: Elle Canada

The Cover Star: Michaela Kocianova

Perceived Appearance of Cover Star: White

Does the magazine appear to feature any models of colour in the editorials?: No! They had an opportunity to have some diversity and totally didn’t choose to; there was one fashion  editorial in this month’s issue and it starred two thin, white models. As such, this is a Whiteout Issue.

Does the magazine appear to feature any plus-size models in the editorials?: No.

Canada’s Top Fashion Magazines on Dressing Beyond the Binary

Two out of three of Canada’s top fashion magazines– Fashion, and Flare–had articles in their September issues about the current style “trend” that blurs the gender boundaries. While people of all genders have been queering their wardrobes for centuries, its good to see mainstream press embracing non-binary ideas of style and manners of dress. Here are the best quotes from each magazine’s take.


Above: From FASHION Magazine’s September editorial “Team Spirit,” image found here.

Take [Andreja] Pejić–who was on the cover of FASHION Magazine‘s February 2012 issue well before Caitlyn Jenner arrived. She first made her mark in fashion in 2010 a womenswear model in French Vogue while identifying as an androgynous male (her Australian passport allowed her to have an “X” rather than an “F” or “M” in the gender box) but then transition to female in 2014. She has since appeared in Vogue and just landed a major contract (alongside actress Jamie Ching) with professional cosmetics line Make Up For Ever […] Pejić’s ascent reflects a new embrace of gender fluidity in the fashion world–an industry that plays a significant role in how gender is defined and displayed.

– from “Gender Revolution” by Rachel Giese in FASHION Magazine September 2015


Above: from the Baja East Resort 2016 lookbook, image found here.

Forward-thinking labels like New York-based Baja East, which launched in 2013 as an “ambisexual” line, are part of the shift away from these stark contrasts. For instance, at its first runway show, designers John Targon and Scott Studenberg had male and female models switch clothing mid-presentation to illustrate their fluid philosophy. The label’s latest lookbook for resort ’16 shows two sexually ambiguous models side by side wearing the same trousers, tunic, and crop top. “‘Genderless’ is another label,” says Targon. “Our whole idea was to get away from labels.” Although the designers admit that not all men will feel comfortable in a backless jumpsuit, it comes down to letting the customer choose without creating any restrictions or preconceptions. “For us, it’s about how a person interacts with clothing, and the attitude a garment takes on when someone, anyone, wears it,” says Studenberg. “‘Androgynous’ is more of a sexless word–I don’t want to feel sexless, but I want to wear whatever I want to wear.”

– from “Blurred Vision” by Malwina Gudowska in Flare September 2015




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