Brand New Retro: Miss Magazine


Posted 10 months ago in More

Miss magazine was a bright and bubbly monthly aimed at Irish teenagers and young women which was published by the Creation Group in 1965 and 1966. 

At a time when the Irish magazine market was dominated by British titles, Donegal born Hugh McLaughlin established a number of successful Irish titles. In the 1950s he published Kavanagh’s Weekly (featuring poet Patrick Kavanagh) and Creation (an upmarket fashion & social magazine for women, edited by his wife Nuala).

In the early 1960’s he added The Farmers Journal, Woman’s Way and Business & Finance to a growing list of titles and by 1965, buoyed by the expanding Irish economy, he created the Creation Group to control all his publishing interests.

With its headquarters in Grafton Street, the Creation Group became the key player in the Irish publishing industry. 

Miss was one of the first new magazines produced by the new group. Irish teenagers, single and with money to spend craved change and freshness and Miss was there to help. The magazine championed emerging young Irish designers like Richard Lewis, Kay O’Brien and David Kenna and fashion photographer Tony Higgins. Photoshoots, usually taken in and around Dublin, appeared each month showing the latest gear from the stores and the new boutiques like Le Snob in South William St.

Also at this time, the Beat scene was blossoming in Dublin and Miss provided regular coverage. Inspired by the Merseybeat scene and as an alternative to the Showband scene, these clubs were small, alcohol free and typically located in converted dark basements with room for no more than 300 members. City centre clubs included Club a GoGo in Sackville Place, The Scene in Parnell Square and the 5 Club at the bottom of Harcourt St.

BP Fallon was the Miss music columnist and he interviewed the Who and the Hollies. Terry Keane hosted a monthly Fashion Forum offering advice on readers fashion problems. 

Fashion photoshoot on O’Connell Bridge with the models wearing gear to be seen in at the Beat club.

Thelma Mansfield was another regular and in one of her columns she tracked down a selection of Ireland’s eligible males who shared their tips to help “Irish girls when they go husband-hunting’.

A careers page looked at a different job each month. March 1966 had “How to be an Air Hostess” with advice that “it’s not merely about looking glamourous in a smart green uniform”. The following month had an interview with “top coiffeur Mr. Mark from Peter Mark” entitled “hairdressing can be hard work”.

In 1966 Creation teamed up with John Coughlan’s successful music monthly, New Spotlight and this signalled the end for Miss magazine.  New Spotlight became a weekly and extended its scope to cover fashion, beauty, agony aunt and other items of teenage interest hitherto covered by Miss. 

The feature cover from January 1966 features Miss Ireland Gladys Waller, sitting on a new Austin Seven car at Bull Island Bridge, Dublin. 

The Creation Group expanded and published further new titles such as Young Woman and Irish Householder and later in 1973, Mc Laughlin co founded the Sunday World. However, fortunes changed for the group, and in 1977 it went into liquidation.

More at brandnewretro.ie 

Words: Brian McMahon 

Feature Image: Roches Stores opened a boutique called “She Gear” and in association with Miss magazine ran a Miss Mod 1966 glamour competition in a search to find ‘the Irish girl who most personifies the bright mod world of today”. 

Brand New Retro is a new series in the magazine. It examines vintage Irish pop culture and lifestyle. You can discover more and make suggestions for future profiles at brandnewretro.ie

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