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UAL Research Online

Over to You: Writing Readers in the French Vogue

Rocamora, Agnès (2006) Over to You: Writing Readers in the French Vogue. The Journal of Dress, Body and Culture, Volume (Issue). pp. 153-174. ISSN 1362-704X

Type of Research: Article
Creators: Rocamora, Agnès

Although there is now a significant body of work devoted to the study of women’s magazines, comparatively little attention has been paid to the sub-genre of fashion magazines. This paper is devoted to the latter, more specifically Vogue Paris. Moreover, while readers’ pages have for a long time been a regular feature of the written media, their significance in the press remains unaccounted for. Through the selecting, editing, or even, some would argue, manufacturing of readers' letters, a publication chooses to represent a certain voice of a certain reader, in a certain way, in the process also representing itself to its readership. This paper is the first to offer an in-depth analysis of the way readers’ letters are built into a media text to define and to produce it.

Through a textual analysis of Vogue Paris’s readers’ letters page between March 1996 and December 2001, during which the section lasted, the paper interrogates the way the reader's voice is melded into that of the magazine and appropriated by the French title to represent itself. It looks at some of the different functions the section performs, commenting on both its organisational structure and the way the letters' values represent Vogue and its readership. It appropriates Habermas's notion of the public sphere to interrogate the presence, in a consumer magazine such as Vogue, of a readers’ page. Drawing on the work of Bourdieu, it comments on the way the page participates in the production of the belief in fashion as a high art and the construction of Vogue as a magazine devoted to the field of high culture. Elaborating on the values and ideas that both inform and are conveyed in the letters, it discusses how Vogue can be defined, and defines itself, as French, and more precisely, Parisian.

Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > London College of Fashion
Date: 1 March 2006
Digital Object Identifier: 10.2752/136270406778051030
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2009 23:03
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2012 15:12
Item ID: 1706
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1706

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