Favorite Things 2021: Day 1

Favorite Things is back, baby! One day, one thing. The theme this year is “I hate everything but maybe some of these things are ok.”

For my first Thing, I am talking about Vanity Fair—a magazine combining serious journalism with perfume samples. I honestly think I subscribed to VF when some child in my life was selling magazine subscriptions for a school fundraiser. Perusing the titles available, I suddenly had flashbacks to standing in front of the magazine racks of Marc’s circa 1997 Cleveland, Ohio. I wanted whatever life Vanity Fair had to offer then, and thought I may as well see if the idea still applied.

Having the physical magazine has been so great. Sometimes I tire of looking at both good screen AND bad screen and need the heavily saturated pages of a glossy. The covers, once a predictable Leibovitz-controlled aesthetic, have opened to a wider range of photographers e.g. Dario Calmese with Viola Davis, Adrienne Raquel with Issa Rae, and Quil Lemons with Billie Eilish. I also subscribe to print versions of The Atlantic, Washingtonian, and the Washington Post, but only VF is the perfect magazine for long flights, a lazy Saturday on the couch, AND when you need to make a collage.

I am a little torn here because I wish I was favoriting a magazine with a journalism union/guild. I’m inspired by some of the other Condé Nast unions (especially by The New Yorker and their excellent organizing graphics) and look forward to supporting the VF writers if they choose to take that route.

Elizabeth in Manchester is getting a physical and digital subscription to Vanity Fair UK.