Tag Archives: Celebrity

Too Much

Rattling with Nurofen, I ventured outside this morning – for the first time in a week – to gather oranges, the October issue of Vogue, and a gargantuan bar of Dairy Milk. I have the flu, you see* – not a sudden case of agoraphobia – and these artefacts are vital to my recovery.

Yes, even the chocolate.

Seeing Adele on the cover – a young Sophia Loren, incarnate – I smiled. Witty and gifted with a voice to rouse every and all emotion, it is a percipient celebration for Vogue to make. In this woman, after all, we have a valid female icon to remind that beauty can come in body and song – not simply the bones of a model.

Returned home to the quiet company of my death bed, I looked again. More closely, this time.

The portrait of Adele is beautiful in print, but it is – and let’s not coat this with sugar – predictable, even a little patronising, to be offered another head shot/decapitation in which her body is obliterated from view. A large, curled tendril of incarnadine hair goes further, seemingly positioned to obscure her lower face, and – well, what exactly? – the potential shadow of a double chin?

The strapline ‘Adoring Adele’ should perhaps then, more accurately, read Adoring ‘Some of’ Adele.

It is timely and commercial for Vogue to feature Adele, because – from the music to her laugh, surely the dirtiest this side of a Carry On film – there is, indeed, much to adore. Through her, there was opportunity to do something genuinely democratic – to celebrate and garland a new body silhouette.

So why the cynical effort to dismember and reduce everything that Adele, literally, embodies?

Use the woman. Use all of her, or do not use her at all.

                                                                       —————–

* ‘Tis true. I have the flu. In summer. My immune system is that good.

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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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