GLOSS: AN EXPERT’S VIEW - Gloss may be glamorous but it’s a case of too little, too late, Steve Clark writes

It seems everyone is suddenly interested in how to turn a small, two-bedroom terraced house into a cool, urban, Feng Shui-friendly dream home.

It seems everyone is suddenly interested in how to turn a small,

two-bedroom terraced house into a cool, urban, Feng Shui-friendly dream

home.



The Independent on Sunday realised this last year when it planned Gloss,

and last week saw the first of two editions to be launched in 1999.



The 36-page supplement covers everything that’s cool and hip in the

world of lifestyle interiors. As you would expect, the layout is clean

and bright but the minimalistic editorial approach left me somewhat

disappointed.



From the outset, it’s apparent that Gloss caters for the opulent reader

for whom money is no object. Stylish living doesn’t come cheap, it

seems, with embroidered pouffes costing pounds 225, velvet dressing

gowns at pounds 780, and a Faberge egg for which you must shell out

pounds 1,935.



While I’m interested in design, the feature on Misha and Michael and

their post-modern Yo-Yo range of furniture - described as ’metro chic

with downtown attitude’ - left me amused rather than inspired.



There’s a fine line between cool design and pretentious twaddle, and

this strayed dangerously close to the latter.



The magazine almost redeems itself with an interesting feature on

restoring a 1950s house to its former glory, coupled with short articles

on Glasgow’s design exhibitions and how to make the most of a small

garden.



However, I can’t help thinking that Gloss, which must be expensive to

produce, will add little to circulation or readership.



The supplement is published too infrequently to build loyalty and is too

lightweight editorially to drive one-off sales. It leaves me thinking

the money might be better spent on improving The Independent on Sunday

elsewhere.



Steve Clark is a founding director of Motive Communications.



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