We hate to see any magazines fold, but Condé Nast’s announcement that the company is shuttering Gourmet, Cookie, Modern Bride and Elegant Bride leaves us saddest about Gourmet, and not only because the Ruth Reichl-edited mag is so much classier than its surviving sister, Bon Appétit. We can’t remember clipping a single recipe from Gourmet’s pages and never even opened the 69-year-old title on some busy months, but it’s remained on our ever-shortening subscription list for one reason alone: those ethereal covers.
So crisp, so eerily timeless, so reminiscent of an era when magazines mattered, when a wasp-waisted gal might curl up on the avocado tweed couch with a Tab and a Winston and plan a lamb dinner with little paper crowns for her middle-manager husband’s boss, because back then middle management might lead somewhere. While the inside pages didn’t always have the same visual verve, you’d look at each cover and say, see, this is the reason why magazines might not die—because people want to be transported by their beauty, to be fed dreams along with their blueberry cheesecake bars. But maybe that’s a quaint idea these days. So it’s off to the ever-expanding Museum of Dead Magazines for Gourmet, and Creamsicle sammies for the rest of us. Too bad.