Sunday, September 11, 2011

Glenda Bailey OBE: Erstwhile queen of the Marie Claire cocks supplement

Glenda Bailey
New York's other British fashion queen, Glenda Bailey, is keeping docile feature writers busy, I see. The 52 year-old editor of Harper's Bazaar has a book to flog, Harper's Bazaar Greatest Hits (a mere £28.99 from Amazon; or if you prefer, £35.99 from Telegraph Books), and a V&A talk to publicise - September 18. Not to mention 'Harper's Bazaar: A Decade of Style' which runs until 8 January 2012 at the International Centre of Photography in New York. Book return flights now!

In the Observer today, a grazing fawner avers, 'While running the American version of Marie Claire, [Bailey's] penchant for risk-taking was legendary.' I'm sure it was. But nothing compared to her pioneering antics on British Marie Claire - I wouldn't expect any of the newspaper indentured tots to know anything about that time (the 80s-90s, darling); or even to imagine that sentience was alive and kicking even before their own natal birth.

Who can forget (if one knew to start with) Glenda's notorious penises supplement? When I tell people who doze through Glamour now, they think I'm making it up. But Glenda Bailey OBE, and friend of Karl Lagerfeld, actually persuaded the dull Old Spice scrotes of IPC that what the world needed was the gift of a penises supplement. And there they were, dozens and dozens of different disembodied dicks, a bonanza of Bobbitt-like chopped, cropped choppers, all close-shot - and this before pajazzling. An Argos catalogue of sausages, winkles, cigars, buttons (?) all manner of types; some cut, some not; though all flaccid. This exhibition of cock caused a fuss at the time and sales rocketed.

Glenda's genius was simply this: no mainstream women's glossy editor had ever thought or dared to do this before. Like Warhol and his art. She was copied briefly of course; and then the novelty was done. And later, Glenda got her OBE.

Deservedly so, I'm sure.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I do not believe a word of it. You are incorrigible.

grooming guru said...

I worked at IPC for 10 years, some of it while Glenda was there and you're right - there were a lot of old Spice scrotes there, which truly makes her achievements all the more impressive.
I remember that supplement well - I would have been in it had she asked - not to mention the furore it caused (nobody would bat an eyelid now of course). She was a superb editor and Marie Claire was in it's 'imperial' phase under her guidance. To think that the magazine would one day be helmed by Liz Jones...

Madame Arcati said...

Thank you for confirming. So many people accuse me of making this story up. Heather Love wore Old Spice I'm sure; not to mention Colin Rives-Gauche - dreadful cunt.

Grooming Guru said...

In fairness, when I was an editor there (for I was, briefly, in the Southbank Group) Heather was nothing but supportive. Some right dullards worked there though it must be said....

Dreary said...

What a frightful bitchy piece. Loved the Observer interview.

Anonymous said...

Glenda is by far the nicest of mag editors though no pushover. But she's succeeded without trampling over others or bullying, unlike the OTHER one.

Ex-NME editor said...

I still have the yellowing cocks supp from Marie Claire. It's shocking even today. I wonder why interviewers never bring it up. Perhaps Madame could investigate.

The late Diana Vreeland said...

What's interesting about Glenda is that she's a fashion futurologist whereas Anna Wintour, by her own admission, hasn't a clue about the upcoming zeitgeist - she relies on old Grace for that. Why Glenda's not editing US Vogue I have no idea, but she's the one to beat these days.

Loved your post by the way. What a lovely soul you are.

Anonymous said...

Fuck! U crazy!

dick said...

the fashion world runs on dick anyway.

everything that is true and beloved about the esthetic of fashion derives from the sensibilities of men in pursuit of other men's dicks.

it's a dickfest, a dick carousel, a dickapalooza. dick dick dick dick dick, some drugs, and back for more dick.