Media Medium
11 October 2000


Happy birthday Harpers & Queen

Harpers and Queen celebrates its thirtieth birthday next month,
so what does the future hold for the high society glossy.

Style bible Harpers & Queen celebrates its 30th birthday with its November issue. Born with the merger of Harper's Bazaar and Queen in 1970, its new editor Lucy Yeomans arrives on October 25. So what does astrology show for this high society fashion glossy?

Success for any magazine comes from tuning it in to an archetypal core and if we take the cover date of the Harpers & Queen launch (November 1 1970), the dominant theme is Scorpio. Six out of ten of its planets are in this sign of power and sexuality, with the Moon moving from Scorpio into racy Sagittarius on its day of birth. The Scorpio planets divide into two distinct groups, bringing out two sides of the sign. One is the Scorpio eagle, shown by intellectual Mercury conjunct imaginative Jupiter, reflected in a literary tradition of eminent writers at Harper's Bazaar, including Simone de Beauvoir, Kinglsey Amis, Robert Graves and Virginia Woolf. Here is wit and intelligence, the power to stir and intrigue. The other side of Scorpio is symbolised by the snake, shown by Moon, Venus and Neptune grouped together. The magazine has been famous for its innovative and glamourous female imagery, with eminent photographers from Munkacsi to Snowdon.

The Scorpio planets key in to Saturn in Taurus, a symbol of old money, rich daddies, high society and ambition. But Saturn's opposition creates a huge unconscious shadow, the dimension of poverty and the meanness of ordinary life which doesn't exist for the Harpers & Queen reader. Who are the women who will buy the L6,750 crocodile skirt, featured in the October issue? Presumably, the cosmocrats featured in the same issue who know that you've got to 'buy Prada in Tokyo, rather than Milan'.

NatMags tells us that the readers are "fashionable, affluent, intelligent, sophisticated and well-educated - or they aspire to be". And perhaps they are. With its Venus changing direction now, we can expect a significant evolution in its presentation of the feminine. Duncan Edwards at NatMags sees the importance of content in multi-media platforms, and the task of the new editor, arriving on the day that Mercury triggers the Harpers & Queen Jupiter, must surely be to recapture the Scorpio eagle with its substance, depth and transcending power.

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