[All images my own - above is a shot of the sub-editing team at work].
Last week I was lucky enough to visit the offices of Grazia Magazine, in Central London, which was basically a dream come true for a self-confessed mag junkie such as myself. Although I've trained as a fashion and lifestyle journalist and that's meant I have met a lot of people within the industry, it doesn't mean I hang out in publishing houses whenever I feel like it - more's the pity. So catching a glimpse of a future issue being put together was like seeing the elves at Santa Claus' workshop, only they were a hell of a lot more stylish.
My opening image shows a sub-editor putting together copy for the shopping pages of the magazine. This position obviously involves being a stickler for accuracy, not just in terms of spelling and grammar, but in getting the prices right. Nobody wants to miss off a crucial digit...
Casually sitting on a rail by the main door was this gorgeous dress from British designer-of-the-moment Mary Katrantzou, who has just taken London Fashion Week by storm with her pillarbox red typewriter print fabric. Above is a snapshot of her Spring/Summer 2012 collection, with its zingy florals that use hyper-real colours. Trying to estimate the cost of this single dress in my head, I didn't dare touch it.
This is - deep breath - the fashion cupboard. The place which is the equivalent of the kitchen at house parties; where everything cool originates from, and where people congregate. As naff as it sounds, this is where the magic happens, kids. I spied some Jonathan Saunders pieces and plenty of neon spring brights. Quite honestly, I could have curled up in the corner and lived here happily ever after.
In order to make the magazine take shape, a visual mock-up is made. Sometimes you just can't see things properly until they're laid out in front of you, especially in terms of repetition, colour contrast and how the images sit against each other. Here you can see an example of a layout being tested, and it will end up full of annotations before the final edition is created.
Here's Grazia's Style Director Paula peeping out from behind her computer. Though we interrupted her, she - like everyone else in the office - was warm and welcoming. Behind her lay hundreds of box files full of important resources for her team, alongside a large whiteboard with a grid structure for the content needed over the course of a few issues.