Jul 16, 2014

Jill: Legendary 1980s French Fashion Magazine

Back in the early 1980s, I was living and working in pre-grunge Seattle. The only one place to find cool magazines from around the world was the Read All About It newsstand at the Pike Place Market. I would wander over there (I lived just a few blocks away) several times a week to pick up the latest copy of The Village Voice and scan hip magazines from Europe and the U.K. It was there that I grabbed some issues of Jill, an incredibly stylish and forward-looking French fashion magazine. The pages of Jill were a revelation; they were packed with elegant black and white photos beautifully and imaginatively styled (and also much sexier than anything you would see in other fashion magazines of the time). The design was sleek and understated, with hints of New Wave typography (check out the cover logo!).

Only 11 issues were published between 1983-85. Under the direction of fashion editor Babeth Dijan, the Paris-centric magazine is now legendary among fashion designers, stylists, and photographers, and copies trade for relatively large amounts, if you can find them. Dijan later went on to become the editor-in-chief of Numero magazine.

These covers are all courtesy of Idea Books, where you can also view very chic inside spreads and photographs.

(Above): Jill, issue #4

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Jill, issue #7

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Jill, issue #9

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Jill, issue #8

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Jill, issue #11

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Jill, issue #5

Further reading:

Babeth’s Feast: An interview with French fashion editor Babeth Dijan, via The New York Times T magazine