Fifty years after it ceased publication, Flair is still one of the most talked-about and influential magazines ever created. It is remembered for its innovative design and production quality, its superb coverage of the arts, and its intuitive discovery of many artists and writers well before they achieved fame and fortune.
Produced by Fleur Cowles, the magazine covered literature, clothes, art, travel, decor, theatre and entertainment. It also featured many innovative features, such as die-cut covers, foldouts, and self-contained booklets. Cowles said she “…wanted to ensure a sense of surprise instead of the rigid magazine makeup.”
The featured article is entitled “Four BWOC” (‘Big Women on Campus’), and comes from the August 1950 College Review issue. Four students, from Smith College, Northwestern University, Southern Methodist University and U.C.L.A. are featured, with details about their social lives, their activities on campus and their wardrobes.
The extended article notes that, Charlene Weiss “…can be properly dressed at a moment’s notice, careful planning having paid off with one of the most complete wardrobes on campus.”, while Betty Anne Buchanan, “…prefers narrow gabardine skirts worn about thirteen inches off the floor”. Betty Anne joins with her home and college friends every weekend for “…Canasta parties, hayrides, picnics, skating parties or costume balls.”, and is fond of ‘Spudnuts’ (potato flour doughnuts).
Six issues of Flair magazine (1950-1951) and a book entitled “The Best of Flair”, which celebrates the magazine and reproduces many of the original features, are available on request through the LJMU Archivist.