Lovely Bones

Cheryl Cole. 

Her face, child-like but for the maquillage of a woman.  Her eyes, doe-like but for lashes so fake they became tarantula.  Framed by the bubbliest of bubblegum pink, she stared out from the magazine rack.

A cover girl.

The face to launch a thousand gossip magazines, you might presume, wrapped in the cheap jewellery of salacious neon headlines. 

Not so.

For this cover, this magazine, was the October edition of Vogue.

The cover coincides, curiously, with another Vogue release – ‘Vogue Model: The Faces of Fashion’, a beautiful coffee-table tome celebrating ninety years of the magazine’s history and the many women – the models – to have adorned its velveteen pages.

In an age of content – and curiosity – fashion magazines have increasingly looked for endorsements from celebrities.  They fill the vacuum when it is not enough to simply recognise the face on the cover.  We must also know the minutiae of her diet, sex life and medical history.  All the better if she is embroiled in scandal.

But is this right?

I will purchase Vogue, faithfully as a lover, each month.  This October – though I prevaricated, biting my lip and lingering beside the magazine rack longer than is reasonably proper for even a shoplifter – I walked away.

It was a Homeric struggle not experienced the edition before when Kate Moss straddled the cover in a brass-buttoned Burberry peacoat with the kohled eyes of a rock star.

Recognisable – yet, paradoxically, little known – my favourite models (some of whom are pictured here) allow the clothes to speak without the baggage and brouhaha of celebrity.  Fashion without fameClothes not the clotheshorse.  Or, as Stefano Pilati has roundly summed: ‘To me, fashion photography is with a model; otherwise, it’s a portrait.’ 

So let me know. 

Is the marriage of fashion magazine and celebrity a wise one?  Does it homogenise – and potentially damage – a high fashion magazine to have their cover girl simultaneously emblazoned across those of gossip magazines? 

Or could it be… am I simply a cantankerous snob unable to progress with the times?

{P.S: For those who love (envy, stick pins into voodoo dolls, yearn to look like) models as much as me, you should skip over to my Tumblr page… right about here.}

|Fashion Gone Rogue, Fashionising|
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6 Comments

Filed under Style Souk

6 responses to “Lovely Bones

  1. You know what I think I agree with this post, I thought Cheryl looked pretty on the cover but when you put it into the context of whether she should be on the cover of a fashion mag just because she is a celeb the quote from Pilati explains it well. But I think Vogue has to give up a little of its fashion exclusivity to survive alongside those lower end gossip rags that seem to do so annoyingly well.

  2. Simone

    I agree. Cheryl looked great but the Lara Stone cover out now is so much better. Fashion magazines should be about precisely that: Fashion.

    S xox

  3. SNAPPLE

    Totally hitting nails on the head — models ARE fashion. Not celebs from music and Hollywood. My favourite model of the moment is Freja Beha Erichsen.

    Stunning pictures!

  4. Red

    I’m with you on this one, mainly because I loathe the Cole and I loathed the cover. I understand that the magazines have to appeal to a wider audience by featuring well-known and much-loved celebrities alongside the catalogue of faces only known if you’re familiar with the industry, and Vogue is a pioneer when it comes to giving celebrities magazine covers, but this one was weird. Mainly because of the styling, like they were trying to make Cheryl look like a model, artfully posing with some potpourri.
    And I agree wih Snapple: it’s a disgrace that they took so long to give Freja a cover, and that it was so cutesy.

  5. You bring up a good point, one that I’ve been sitting on for a bit now… I don’t believe it’s right, this marriage of celebrity and fashion. Daphne Guiness said something to that affect, too. It somehow waters the mystique of the industry down to something homogenized and lackluster, and renders it stripped of its power (though fashion is an animal that can NEVER fade). I, for one, will do my very best to be aware of this trend and not contribute to the insanity ; )

  6. PS. My name is “Sharply Clad” and my blog is the same, in case you’d like to take a peak. Cartoonmamma was my old domaine name and they won’t let me change my handle.

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