Don’t get me wrong, I love Cambodia to pieces and I consider it now my second home. But there are times I think of things I miss and am on the diet for just because of living here. Sure, coffee here is delish and there’s close to a gazillion coffee shops around, but I miss Starbucks sometimes. I also miss Manila’s humongous malls, I miss Divisoria. I miss those craft shops in Quiapo. And many other things..
Another thing I miss are fashion magazines! I’m not a fashionista, nor do I obsess with brands. But I like knowing what’s in and what’s going on with the world of fashion etc. When I was in Manila I used to stock up on fashion mags and I specially loved Preview. And we don’t didn’t have that here in Phnom Penh. Really, in my desperation to keep myself abreast with the trends I turned into obsessive online surf shopping and even managed to create two blogs for my finds! See Lui-Bloggera and Feminine Reveries.
So, I was pleasantly surprised, no really I was ecstatic to see a fashion magazine one time I was doing my groceries. And it was in English!! Finally, a mag I could read! It’s called the FMagazine, and I was also intrigued with their tagline – ‘The First Fashion Forward Magazine in Cambodia.” I grabbed myself a copy and was surprised! It was actually good. I love the styling, I seriously didn’t recognize the Khmer singer on the cover coz she looked so ‘sushyal ba’ haha, the layout was great. All in all, it was pretty impressive for a magazine just on its 5th issue. I wish to see more articles but the ones they had were good too. It features a lot of fashion trends from abroad intermixed with local fashion finds, places to be and I think its amazing to see local Khmer celebrities styled and looking really fashionable for a change.
I’m making the mag now a monthly treat for myself. And oh, I realized that yeah, this thing is bound to get some comments like, ‘sus, Cambodia is a poor country, so a fashion forward magazine is not really needed now or going high-class is too much for a country where most people earn less than $2 a day..” Some conservatives consider fashion as trivial and too frivolous but guess what, if a community wants to progress and move on, it has to embrace and learn about culture too. Fashion is inevitably part of that. And if you really think about it, fashion encompasses a big industry, one that Cambodians have a serious chance to play a role at.
And besides, having trendy mags like this would slowly open the locals eyes to new things, new trends, to explore more. A little fashion education wouldn’t hurt a bit, right? I think FMagazine’s efforts to introduce new things to locals is highly commendable and here’s to hoping for good things for them.