Mag, bad and dangerous to know: life in the golden age of glossies
Their heyday may be over, but that doesn’t make stories surrounding them less beguiling, as Nicholas Coleridge proves
Nicholas Coleridge once worked out that he had eaten at the storied London restaurant Le Caprice 560 times, but had never read to the bottom of the menu. He eats the same thing almost every time — a duck and watercress salad — because he believes the point of lunch is not the food, it is “to buy 70 uninterrupted minutes of my guest’s time”.
Coleridge, the urbane nabob of the Condé Nast empire, has published his deliriously entertaining life story, The Glossy Years: Magazines, Museums and Selective Memoirs (Fig Tree), which chronicles the three golden decades of the industry, from the 1980s until the advent of the digital age.
He led a starred life in a starry world, and though it is hardly a rags-to-riches story — he was Eton- and Cambridge-educated — he was a good journalist first and a Savile Row suit second. He’s also a best-selling novelist and chairperson of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum...