Posh People: Inside Tatler

Saturday, 29 November 2014

This week I managed to catch the first episode of the BBC documentary 'Posh People: Inside Tatler', which takes a look behind the doors of the world's oldest magazine which documents and dictates the social calendar of Britain's elite. 

Within the first episode we were introduced to Tatler's editor, Kate Reardon, as well as numerous other members of the Tatler family. The episode saw the team put together the June 2012 issue, which allowed a fly-on-the-wall look at photo shoots with individuals such as Lord Glasgow and his 13th century castle in Scotland, as well style editor Sophie Goodwin taking a trip to Poundland (yes, really) and the creation a Kate Middleton dress-up doll for the issue with the agonising decision of what underwear to put her in - they eventually went for a modest Marks & Spencer silk teddy incase you were wondering. 

It is revealed that editor Reardon gives each member of staff a copy of 'Debrett's Guide to Etiquette and Modern Manners' on their first day. Upon first watching the documentary, you have the compelling urge to hate these people as the high brow they create and the worlds they live in are extremely unavailable to most people like me and you, but I still found it oddly fascinating.

Tatler relies on the coverage of high society parties, essentially providing a who's who of the Sloane elite - a reason why it has never particularly interested me as a magazine to read as I only own one issue of Tatler within my vast collection of fashion magazines. However, what I did find particularly amusing is the fact that Tatler are aware of just how posh they are and actually mock this within their content such as the 'Town/Country matrix', which asked readers, "Are you new town or new country? Old town or old country?" The magazine recognises its niche position and readership, creating a magazine with content that will appeal to them and surely thats what all good magazines should do? 

However, whilst watching the documentary, I couldn't help but to think that the individuals that work at Tatler are there purely based on who they are, what school they went to and where they were brought up, rather than their talent or creative ability. It is noted in the documentary that Reardon was made fashion director at Tatler aged just 21, the youngest ever. The way she spoke about it all felt a little blasé, as though it was handed to her on a plate and, combined with the failings of newest contributing editor Matthew Bell to successfully obtain any content for the magazine, I couldn't help but to get the impression that being posh will get you a job at Tatler. 

Overall, the documentary was certainly a compelling watch and I would definitely recommend it to any avid fashion magazine lover - I shall definitely be watching the rest of the episodes within the series. 

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