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