Thursday, 15 September 2011

Vintage Rag Mag Review

Woop, a FREE magazine review!

OK, I admit it but you already know it; I picked it up, at first, because it was gratis. What can I say? I’m tight. Nowadays, I rarely actually buy glossy magazines as I find them terribly expensive for what they are and full of information and imagery I can access online. This goes for both fashion and food ... and in particular lifestyle. As soon as something is ‘vintage’ or ‘craft’, the cost-to-quality ratio seems to veer completely off centre.  Prior to picking up the Vintage Rag Mag I was in a sour mood with Vintage periodicals ...the culprit was not this magazine, and furthermore not free at all. It was handbag sized, not that glossy and at almost £4, full of typos and badly framed photos of makeovers that looked like they’d been taken on a mobile phone. I shall let it remain nameless; if you wasted your cash on it, you’ll know which one I mean.

In contrast, the Vintage Rag Mag is one to look out for in shops and venues; I picked it up from Love Alexandra’s vintage stand in Ruislip’s Duck Pond Market.  It’s handily sized and contains a fine range of articles. Alongside the obvious fashion items, there are homewares, recipes and – something I found a great strength, being the lesser vintagehead in my household – content aimed at men.
The last two issues have started out with a focus on a twentieth century decade with some simple styling tips, tutorials and some nice glam photos of models posing in that languid way they did in the 60s and 70s. The first ‘chunky’ article is a gentle guide around the decade and key items for the look. Their advice might well be too simple if you are already clued up about fashion history – most of us know to ‘look out for’ knee high boots when shopping for a Mod style. Nevertheless, the images and tutorials are inspiring and well selected, and when I skimmed the article I was glad to find some tips on finding a particularly good Youtube tutorial.
Although some articles are purely tutorial or inspirational, it is clear immediately that – being free- various suppliers, shops and salons are supporting the magazine with advertisements and editorials. I didn’t find this a problem at all, in fact, quite the opposite. I’ve discovered that I use the magazine almost as a directory, keeping it to hand when indulging in some cheeky online shopping. And let’s face it, how many times have we had a product pushed in Cosmo or Marie Claire? At least with vintage suppliers, I won’t be getting the exact same item I see in the magazine, just an idea of what they stock. Quite a few of the articles are introductions to companies (Peekaboo Vintage, for example) or reviews of fairs and events in the Rag Mag Visited section. I personally find this part great fun but I do live in London and drive; those further afield may find the focus on the capital frustrating. However I am sure that as the magazine grows, so will the range of events covered.
Wherever you live, touches such as granny’s recipes and cute paparazzi photos (of everyday gals) whilst out and about make the magazine worth a flick through – or a click through, as it’s available online. I don’t think I shall be returning to more expensive rivals; the quality of copy, layout and photography in this free publication were, to my mind, pretty high and the fact I can access it on paper, online or on Facebook makes it a really convenient choice.

17 comments:

  1. Very interesting, I'll be having a click online! I agree so many 'vintage' or 'craft' type magazines are SUCH poor quality. I'm trying to buy a particular one right now, can't find it, emailed them to say I have clients who may advertise but I want to see it & I haven't even received a response to my email, rubbish!

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  2. Rather interesting. I like free stuff, free magazines have a habit of being a bit of a disappointment usually, so am glad in this instance that isn't the case.

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  3. Totally appreciate this honest, forward review... I am one of the contributers both for copy and photography, as well as the owner of one of the frequently mentioned vintage companys :) This feedback is great and valued. Check out www.aroominmyhouse.co.uk and if you're London based perhaps you would like to drop by our 1st Birthday open-studio and see the full range.... 8th October 10-7pm East Finchley - more info on the website :) I'll keep a goodie bag aside for you!

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  4. Great review, clear, to the point and honest. I am featured this month in the mag, and the people that make the mag possible are all so lovely. Another thing to note, is that they are quick to respond to queries, unlike some mags that ignore your interaction completely! Yay for the Vintage Rag Mag!
    http://www.franticaboutfrances.co.uk

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  5. The magazine it ok but it seems to be mostly a rather large ad for 2 companies (dont think i need to mention any names!)

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  6. Looks great. I will definitely check this out. I rarely buy fashion magazines either as they are so full of ads and so low on content.

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  7. Yes it's two 'rather large' (actually very small little vintage companies) that make this mag possible.... When a magazine is free - people that work for it don't get paid.... !!! so honestly give them a break - contributors need something for the hard work that goes towards creating this magazine.... We are all on the same side here.... A free publication to give help, advice, features, adverts etc to benefit consumer and small businesses.... Enjoy the free mag, and relax!

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  8. I had a flick through that "other" vintage magazine and it really wasn't my kind of thing at all, all victory rolls, cupcakes and burlesque.
    This one sounds a bit more interesting, shame about the London focus though! x

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  9. I love Vintage Rag Mag!! I can never find the 'other' magazine and when I heard about the price of it (more than I pay for the wedding magazines I'm addicted to!) I figured it wasn't worth the effort!

    I've met Lucy, the editor, at a number of fairs and she's just so lovely. Of course the magazine features adverts for her company, she funds the bloomin mag to get it produced and available for free - I don't blame her! I've also met some of the other companies featured and they're all so lovely so give 'em a break!

    We'll be placing ads for Rockabetty in future issues (so I'm glad to hear it's been well received by you guys!!)

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  10. I shall be a clickety clicking on through laters.

    Ha ha ha - i did literally laugh out loud at your "photos on a mobile phone" comment. Too true.

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  11. Hi my dear-I will definitely be taking a look at it online, a great review post and it does seem worth a read! hope you're well and have a great weekend too xxx

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  12. This looks fab! Great review. Agree with some commenters that people should lay off those working for a free mag. I produced a vintage/craft/fashion magazine as my final year project at uni and had to charge for it to cover my printing costs as I did most of it myself- not easy work I'll tell you that! xxx

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  13. Excellent, I shall have a click through later. I don't usually buy vintage mags as they are too focussed on the 40s and 50s, and seem to be more about reproduction than actual history! This one sounds much more enjoyable xx

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  14. This sounds far better than the magazine that must not be named but may possibly rhyme with strife. I have given it a bloody good go - I was given a subscription - but I am beyond bored with it. None of the 'articles' have had so much as a brush with a proof-reader, there is no house style (articles submitted from Americans keep all their terms/measurements/weights etc), I have no interest in wartime style music performed by interchangeable women in red lipstick and have only the vaguest passing interest in photos of girls in their underwear. Victory rolls would look shit on me. Also, all the articles are in fact adverts and are written by the subjects in question. I have no idea why it is so popular. I was originally supposed to do a giveaway with them for a digital subscription, but am quite glad I didn't. I guess I shan't be writing for them in the near future now!

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  15. ooh I been looking for more Vintage magazines, this one seems right up my alley. thanks for honest, funny quirky review.

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  16. Very interesting! I'll check this out now. Very true comments about most other vintage mags, I find most of them unbearable!x

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  17. As a contributor to both Vintage Rag Mag and Vintage Life it makes me a little bit sad that we cant praise one publication without rubishing another, I actually think the magazines are positoned quite differently and that there is room for both and this makes me really excited about the vintage scene. I know I enjoy both. Its fabulous that The Vintage Rag Mag is free but I for one dont begrudge spending £4 on a magazine after all a coffee at Starbucks would probably not be much less.
    Anyone getting involved in publishing in the current climate deserves a medal so I say long live The Vintage Ragmag, Vintage Life and all the other publications which strive to offer us an alternative from the mediocrity that is most mainstream magazines.
    Betty Bee
    www.Talesfrombettybeetowers.blogspot.com

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