As fashion director of IMAGE Magazine, the September issue is the one you wait for, the one you are most excited about, the one you enjoy working on more than any other, and the one you beat yourself up about most if everything doesn't go perfectly to plan. The aim is simple: to create the most beautiful and engaging fashion pages possible and to provide readers with a wealth of shopping and styling ideas, as well as inspiring role models and considered ideas about how they can use fashion as a tool for self-improvement and confidence building.
Marie Kelly, fashion director at IMAGE Publications
For IMAGE Magazine, the fashion editorial, which also provides the cover shot, is the anchor of the issue, and a lot of hopes and dreams are ploughed into it; mine and the team's here in the office, and of course those of the contributing stylist and photographer commissioned with the task of creating a fashion editorial that will stand up alongside those in any international magazine, from Vogue to Elle. For this September issue, Sinead Keenan (stylist), Alex Hutchinson (photographer), Zoe Clark (make-up) and Michael Leong (hair) gave me the fashion shoot and cover that September issue dreams are made of. A huge thank you to them.
Although there are 45 fashion pages in the current September issue, all of which are devised, researched, written, edited or commissioned by me, it never seems like enough when I open up the magazine for the first time. I always wonder what else I could have provided our readers with, what might be missing, what could have made the fashion pages even stronger? The September issue is a double-edged sword. You work so hard to achieve the most incredible pages you can, but then you're so hard on yourself afterwards. Could I have done better? It's the curse of being a creative, and we all suffer from it at IMAGE Publications.
But this month, the fashion pages of IMAGE Magazine have extra sparkle by virtue of some old and loved, as well as brand new, voices on our pages. IMAGE.ie content writer Erin Lindsay made her first contribution to the magazine with her beautiful piece "Mending Our Ways", which looks at a more sustainable way of approaching our wardrobes. It was a pleasure to edit and is a joy to read. Long-time IMAGE contributor Suzie Coen gave us an incredible AW18 edit in "Want Need Love", while journalist and author Annmarie O'Connor's interview with Jonathan Saunders is fresh and insightful.
The highlight of this September issue for me was meeting the five women who featured in "Ageless Style". From Deirdre McQuillan and Grainne Wynne to Aoibheann McNamara, Orla Sheridan and Judith Crawford, each one of them excited me with their style and inspired me with their thoughts on fashion and how the right clothes can contribute to every woman feeling like her best self. And this is what we try to do here at IMAGE Publications, through my fashion pages, our events and digital platforms; we support and celebrate women, helping them (and each other here in the office) to be our best selves.
It's not a bad job to have, is it?