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LADY IN RED: The British women’s lifestyle magazine Red, a Hearst publication, has been getting some extra attention in advance of its December issue, which hits U.K. newsstands on Wednesday. Gwyneth Paltrow — she of the much-anticipated Vanity Fair takedown — appears on the cover, while the team from her lifestyle Web site Goop has guest edited sections including “Less is More,” about lighter, healthy alternatives to holiday cooking, and “Goodwill to Yourself,” about how to stop being Little Miss Perfection during the festive season.
The magazine’s new editor in chief Sarah Bailey — formerly of U.S. and U.K. Harper’s Bazaar — conducted her interview at the actress’ Hamptons, N.Y., home over the summer, which meant there was no elephant in the room, and the timing of the guest-edited issue was merely a coincidence.
“I interviewed her in July, and I had no idea that Vanity Fair was planning a story,” said Bailey, who said she first floated the idea of a Red feature past Gwyneth earlier this year when she was interviewing the actress for the cover story in the May issue of U.S. Harper’s Bazaar.
The U.K. press has been busily parsing every word of the Red issue, hunting for clues about the upcoming exposé of the actress that has been promised by Vanity Fair editor in chief Graydon Carter. Alas, there isn’t much to grab onto in the magazine story, just cheerful, sassy, uplifting quotes: “It’s part of my philosophy of bringing women together…sharing your truth,” she says of the decision to go public earlier this year about her miscarriage. “Some people don’t want to appear vulnerable; but we’re all weak and vulnerable. And strong.” She also gets down and dirty about motherhood. “I was sitting in the bathroom with Moses [Paltrow’s son and youngest child] and I was like ‘Oh my god, I’m so glad he can wipe his own ass.’ I’m so glad I don’t have to do that anymore. I don’t know if I could go all the way back.”
Bailey, who refers to Paltrow as a grown-up, smart and savvy woman whom she admires, said the December issue was always going to be “very exciting for us, and I hoped it would get special attention,” she said. “Could we have anticipated this much attention? No.”