This academic article analyses the discourse of modern glossy fashion magazine in context of globalization processes. Globalization processes change the main aspects and subjects of a contemporary glossy magazine. Now on a pages of magazines we can find topics related to politics, economics, social issues. In a consumption area there are currently a new trends that are forming and evolving. They are affect the content of a glossy magazines publications. First - the mass character of the consumption, which mainly touched the luxury sphere, second - the awareness and responsibility of consumption. The aim of the study is to establish differences between the discourse of a Russian and a foreign versions of glossy magazines (by the example of Vogue magazines) under the influence of globalization processes. For this research we used the method of a content analysis of a Russian and foreign English-language Vogue magazines. The sample included all issues of the journal for 2018. Investigated editorial and promotional materials, covers, photoshoots and other illustrations. As a result of the research, it has been established, that the advertorials of the Russian version can be characterized as more conservative, despite the globalization changes that are currently taking place in society. A certain similarity has been revealed: in the conditions of globalization metamorphosis, media consumers are actively involved in coexistence not only with local trends, but also with what is happening in the world.
Keywords: Glossy magazinemedia discourseglobalizationcontent
Globalization covers almost all aspects of the social life of modern man, and of course, one of the first it touched the sphere of mass communications. That is why it is now so important to pay special attention to shaping the look of a modern glossy fashion publication.
This publication should reflect current trends, not to lose its novelty and authenticity after certain time periods, to differ in quality, delicacy and artistic elegance.
According to Vartanova (2009), since the late 1990s, “globalization in Russia, as elsewhere in the world, began to be characterized by the inclusion of non-national elements of popular culture in the national context,” which confirms the similarity of the processes taking place in Russian and foreign media. Because of the globalization influence the foreign media standards started to penetrate into Russian journalism. This problem was raised in the works of Kiuru (Kiuru, 2016, Kiuru & Krivonosov, 2018) and Maevskaya (2015).
The discourse of fashion magazines was explored in the works of Konkov (2014), Kositskaya (2014), Moeran (2013), Sezonov (2015), Gurova (2015), Mäntymäki and Soronen (2016), Yermolenkina and Kostyashina (2015), Baker Jones (2015).
Researchers of the development of glossy publications in the modern world are faced with a serious question: if globalization almost always implies unification of processes, mimicking, then how to make these processes synergistic?
New issues on the pages of glossy magazines
First of all, globalization processes affect individual regions, which are isolated by their unique culture.
Initially, the gloss described the events of today - what to wear, what to watch, where to go to relax. This is a mirror image of current trends. Politics, economics, topics about social issues - tabooed (Al’perina, 2003).
However, in the modern world, glossy magazines break this stereotype and more often write on a political issues, shoot first ladies on its covers and befriending political leaders. For example, Vogue US shoots for its covers the first ladies of America. As usual, these issues are bought up faster than usual. In many ways, this is done not so much to raise the image of the publication, but for the sake of increasing circulation and quick purchase of publications. So, Vogue shot Michelle Obama on his covers three times. Vogue more and more often photographs on the cover of the first ladies. Modern Vogue is not afraid and does not hesitate to write about politics and introduce political slogans in their shooting. This is a new vector of development of communications.
Also, the Teen Vogue article about politics caused the wide public response. The chief editor of Russian Vogue, Masha Fedorova, also did not believe that there should be a tacit ban on some “inconvenient” topics: “I have never denied myself any social themes. When you realize that you can bring something important to people, then you use every opportunity. You can, of course, write about cool clothes and great jars. If there is an opportunity to talk about something important: life, tolerance, the BDSM community, as far as the law on the press allows, then you need to do it”. Many regular readers oppose the introduction of political topics in fashion magazines, however, it is these articles / issues that attract the most attention and provide the magazine with the survival and construction of new communications with other types of media.
Consumption trends and their effect on glossy magazines
The most popular glossy fashion magazine Vogue was published December 17, 1892. It was originally printed not as a fashion magazine, but as a weekly newspaper. Its publisher and ideological inspirer, Arthur Turnure, was a graduate of Princeton and co-founder of the gentleman’s club Grolier. The first issues of the newspaper usually included 50/50 recent events about fashion and the high life of the cream of New York society. Arthur Turnure himself described the magazine as follows: a worthy authentic magazine about social life, fashion and the ceremonial side of society. On the cover of the first issue there was a black and white image of a debutante - an extra argument in the piggy bank of secular edition. Initially, Vogue was in many ways similar to the modern Tatler - another popular edition of Conde Nast about secular society life, diluted with fashion and lifestyle pages.
But in the modern world the situation has changed radically: now Vogue rather occupies its own, separate niche, has the right to write on a specific cycle of narrowly focused materials, distinguished by their uniqueness and separateness (Coddington, 2012).
It is important to mention that the magazines of the Conde Nast Intl publications came to our country along with the era of the “entry level” of globalization. The franchise way of publications has been very warm welcomed and has become one of the main players in the print market. There are many disputes and conflicts of whether foreign glossy fashion magazines read and buy specifically the target audience, while in Russia they mostly play the role of aspirational magazines, that is what you need and can strive for, and what with a great desire can be purchased. Of course, there is a grain of truth in this: incomes for part of the population in Russia are distributed very unevenly, this path is dotted with bumps and hummocks, while in the West it is more even and much less bumpy.
Everyone can become a self-made millionaire. However, there is also a tendency to “satiation” with luxury, elite means, and, as a result, condescension to mass character and its active integration and consumption even by the tops of society. This clearly proves that the cult of consumption of the late 90s - early 2000s gradually disappeared. People are fed up with indiscriminate consumption and now striving to make it more conscious. Instead of buying a thirtieth bag or a fiftieth calico dress, a modern woman would prefer to set aside her money for real estate purchases or travel.
The latest candid photographs of royals Meghan Markle during a tour of Australia in Asos and Kate Middleton, who often dress in dresses from Zara and Marks & Spencer clearly confirm this example. Of course, they do this not only because the consumption of things has become more thoughtful and conscious, the suite has ceased to be something distinguishable and sublime. This is largely due to the creation of a positive image of the royal family as close as possible to the common people of England, but these functions perform flawlessly.
We will not disregard and numerous celebrities dressing in more budget options for creating more everyday looks and collaborating with mass-market brands.
In the modern world, elitism gives way to comfort, convenience and moderation in everyday life. For the success of sales of glossy magazines in the new fashion world, it is not enough just to create a dream, capture it and then pass it on to your reader as photo shoots, lookbooks, and editorials that a potential target audience desires. It is necessary to create a reason for consumption, to understand a narrow man and his needs and then adjust the magazine content to the needs of a modern reader (Maevskaya, 2015).
Awareness is a new consumer trend, powerfully gaining momentum over the past couple of years. Reflection becomes the main tool of knowledge of the surrounding world, including the fashion segment. Increasingly, in blogs and media, the main question that is being raised is all about how ethical the fast fashion industry is and how sensible it is to buy new fancy things every season (Skulkin, 2015).
RQ 1. What differences can be distinguished in the discourse of the Russian and English versions of Vogue in the context of globalization?
RQ 2. How are these differences reflected in the genre of the editor's letters?
Purpose of the Study
The aim of the study is to establish differences between the discourse of a Russian and a foreign versions of glossy magazines (by the example of Vogue magazines) under the influence of globalization processes.
For this research we used the method of a content analysis of a Russian and foreign English-language Vogue magazines. The sample included all issues of the journal for 2018. Investigated editorial and promotional materials, covers, photoshoots and other illustrations.
What comes to detailed analysis of the structure and aspects of articles of the magazines should pay special attention to the genre of the editor`s letter.
As a rule, it almost always abounds in artistic and expressive means. In the Russian version it is always written polished, in a refined manner of filigree and verifiedness of each written word. This is confirmed by illustrative examples from the text: “To tell the truth, there are few advantages in February. Mostly cons: -10, -20, -30 or as lucky. One thing is good: of all the months, February is the shortest. And thanks to this, winter (in any case, calendar) is the shortest time of the year”.
However, in its quantitative organization and method of writing, the approach to the letter of the editor (Editor`s letter) varies depending on the geographical location and / or age of the publication. Editors in chief of the American and British versions of the magazines tend to do a more consistent presentation of the text, primarily forming its image and relying on what kind of shooting were done for a particular issue.
It is not a secret for anyone that one of the key features of the Russian national character is the love of luxury, sometimes immoderation in consumption, the desire to embrace everything at once
In the American, British and other versions of Vogue magazine, quite often advertisements of titans of the fashion industry can coexist with advertisements of mass-market foundation, lip glosses and shampoos, and are sold very successfully. The Russian audience, on the contrary, responds to such confusion of advertisers (who, despite the mass character of the brand, have huge profits) in a negative way. Still, elitism in this sense should be consistent with the edition, keep the brand.
Even though complaints are received not only from their target audience, but simply from admirers of the magazine who are seeking (or admiring) a glamorous lifestyle.
The advertising market is conservative all over the world. However, in Russia, conservatism has always occupied a special place among the general modernization and digitalization. It is very difficult to imagine how Always advertisement, which feels very comfortable in the British version of Vogue, or the foundation for women 50+ of the well-known mass brand Maybelline, which, although it belongs to L'Oreal, has its own genetic code and recognizable branding, which is difficult to confuse with anything else.
All this characterizes the advertisers and the location of the advertorials of the Russian Vogue as more conservative, despite the globalization changes that are currently taking place in society. So far, such experiments with a decrease in elitism and an emphasis on mass character succeed only in foreign versions of the publication.
In this aspect of the advertising culture, we are committed to the old way of life, which may eventually follow one of the following development paradigms: it will become a distinctive feature of the publication along with the fashionable component (after all, only Russian Vogue can tell something about the real, not calendar winter, in some regions it lasts a little longer than it should be) or, through the prism of globalization, it mimics our Vogue magazine, presents to our amazed and perplexed public to the court, who will either accept these changes or vehemently reject them by writing e-mails to the editors post office .
However, there is a certain similarity - in the conditions of globalization metamorphosis, media consumers are actively involved in coexistence not only with local trends, but also with what is happening in the world as a whole. Who is at the top of the honour, what are wearing, looking and reading abroad, how they dress? All this is symbiotic and leads to a kind of synergy - the development of its own self-identification of a fashionable glossy brand and its transformation into something recognizable.
In the case of brands, a connoisseur will immediately be able to determine the collection of a particular fashion house.
This is non-verbal reading, that the language of the fashion magazine helps to develop its own. It can be both sayings and stable expressions that cannot be translated into another language without losing its full meaning. So, for example, in the Russian-speaking Vogue there are the headings “Then we go to you” - a reference to the famous Tide advertisement, which will be completely unfamiliar to foreigners due to the specifics of the advertising market and its distribution. Also, such games and charades with words and stable expressions are actively used in the “Beauty” category. Here and “Side of a bow”, “Took into circulation”, “Golden words”, “There is something to see”, “Pastel mode”, “Every hunter”.
However, all this is adjacent to allusions to modern cinema, lines from songs, book titles and popular phrases familiar to almost everyone. Such as “In Wonderland”, “Miru Merch”, “American Beauty”, “Treasure Island”, “Star Trek”, “Almost Famous”, “Love Bill”, etc.
These articles showing us that there`s a great symbiotic changes are still happening within the world of glossy fashion magazines, they`re still trying to find a way to combine both russian originality and characteristical manners and modern globalization names and processes. It all shows through a small step towards a new format of changes.
However, we cannot say that globalization changes in a sphere of glossy magazines is either good or bad. They`re can show and reflect onto the russian audience on what`s happening in the world right now, open the curtains and give them a look on the artistic elites, or it can be intimidating, because they`re can belittle the local trends and tendations. So, they`ll appear unintresting and left unreaded.
This clearly shows the modern postmodern world and globalization processes occurring in the society at the moment. However, it will be important to note that despite the active growth of globalization, local franchise publications published in gloss do not lose their uniqueness and originality, and this, of course, is a great merit of editors.
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07 August 2019
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Communication studies, press, journalism, science, technology, society
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Isakova, V., & Kiuru*, K. (2019). Discourse Of A Glossy Fashion Magazine In The Context Of Globalization Changes. In & Z. Marina Viktorovna (Ed.), Journalistic Text in a New Technological Environment: Achievements and Problems, vol 66. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 541-547). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2019.08.02.63