Magazines, Notebook

Posh People

Notebook: 2 December 2014.  Photo by Jim Naughten

In the 1980s I lived for a couple of years in Fulham, west London. I discovered that mixed in amongst the old working class population were a curious influx of younger people who were branded as ‘Sloane Rangers’. They were the Hooray Henrys, toffs and posh types who had overspilt from Chelsea and Parson’s Green into the then, slightly cheaper district of Fulham. The girls were normally perfectly groomed with upturned collars, strings of pearls and Barbour jackets. The boys looked like they’d just come off the polo field or they might have been sporting a pair of bright corduroys and a cricket sweater. They were all loud and best avoided. Of course, they had their own magazine Tatler, which has been published for well over 100 years. BBC2 have been running a very watchable documentary on Monday evenings called Posh People: Inside Tatler. I’ve enjoyed it less for the antics of this rich, privileged class but more for the insight into how they put their glossy magazine together. Last night’s episode featured, amongst other stories, a piece about old fashioned nannies and an interview and photo shoot with the lovely Nanny Smith with a simple and touching photo by Jim Naughten shown above. Evidently Tatler readers love their animals and one of their best selling issues featured a corgi on the cover. I still have an issue of Tatler from September 1987. I must have bought it for its stunning picture of Madonna on the cover, which was by the fashion and celebrity photographer Herb Ritts. The cover and feature are reproduced here and they still look as fab as they did in 1987. You can see more of Herb Ritts’s photos here. The Design Director and Art Editor of Tatler at that time were Lawrence Morton and William Stoddart.