I didn’t get a book list to my mum in time, but asked her to bring me as copies of the Indian edition of Vogue and Cosmo. My dad ended up buying me Vogue, Cosmo, Elle (“I know she likes this one” my dad told my mum) and Femina (“tell her she should read Indian titles as well”). I’ve been pigging out on them and marveling at how much value for money they are in comparison to their foreign counterparts.

Here’s a short comparison:
Elle: I started out with this one and was a bit disappointed with the content. Basically, pages and pages of layouts with clothes on a theme. I like clothes but I like there to be some editorial too. I went back to it later and discovered there were some nice articles but basically the layout is poor. The articles were only text which made me skip right past them. Weird that I’m fine with only-text in books but not magazines.
Femina: Pretty good with at least a decent number of articles to read. Don’t know why they had the interesting people stories at the back. Both Elle and Femina had so many ads and sometimes it was hard to tell which was an ad and which was fashion editorial.
Vogue: This was the anniversary edition, as heavy as a Bible. But so beautiful with every page worth stopping on. The fashion layouts were as good as some of the international editions I’ve seen. The theme was cinema and the articles were decent; not as well written as the British and American Vogues but good overall. It came with a trend report that surprised me in being inspirational. I’m going to hang on to that one for a long time. Vogue had a decent number of ads too but somehow they weren’t as intrusive as in Elle and Femina. Maybe because they got a lot of two-page ads and where there were one-page ads, they were so different from the adjacent editorial it was easy to distinguish.
Cosmo: Started off liking the list format they’ve got going (5 Top …) but it started to get tiring after a while, especially such pieces as 50 Things to Revisit or some such. However, I really enjoyed their beauty sections because beauty tips in point form work for me. As usual there was the ‘how-to-improve-your-sex-life’ piece which I didn’t even bother reading. Not much substance here but good time-pass.
Verdict: Definitely getting Vogue and Femina next time, Cosmo is a maybe, and Elle a definite no.
Any other mags published in India you’d recommend?
Overall, these magazines , especially the Vogue trend booklet, really inspired me and made me want to put together my look more carefully. This will have to wait until I can actually fit into clothes that do not look like a sack.
I am also reading The Beautiful Fall, about the parallel careers of Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Largerfeld (gifted to me by Curly) and feeling similarly inspired to be beautiful instead of blah.