Tag Archives: Vogue

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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Emmanuelle: A Retrospective

I’m a terrible self-publicist.

Thrown into the bear pit of a job interview, I will generate more anxiety, sweat and tears than compelling reasons for my employment. The comprehensive school kid in me – with her disdain for the pomp and pretence of those more boastful – would struggle to be any other way.

Recently, I wrote a guest piece for ‘I Want to be an Alt’. A retrospective of Emmanuelle Alt’s editorial career with Vogue Paris, it is impossible to say whether it makes for a good read or otherwise; in the very least, Alt’s pictures are f-cking amazing.

Might you take a look and tell me what you think?

http://www.iwanttobeanalt.com/journal/2011/7/15/emmanuelle-alt-a-retrospective.html

Right, that’s quite enough blowing of my own trumpet.

|Fashionising|

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California Girl

|The Fashion Spot|

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First, Last

A blogger of workshy persuasion, I will ordinarily commence a new post with a confetti of apologies for my radio silence.

This one will begin differently.

It begins with a thank you to each and all of those who have taken the time to write such beautifully kind and thoughtful messages since Napoleon’s accident. I’ve been quite the emotional wreck these past weeks and – much like receiving a little hug – your words have proven in turns cheering, fortifying and hugely touching.  

Napoleon is beginning to do much better. 

In the tradition of all bloody annoying male stalwarts – think of Shakespeare’s ‘Ay, ay, a scratch, a scratch’ Mercutio – he’s taken to complaining about my “fussing” him.  Where such defiant ingratitude might otherwise cause my displeasure, I interpret it as a sign that things really must be on the mend… and then fuss the poor bugger some more.

Wicked, me?

This first post coincides with a last. 

Madame Roitfeld’s final issue of Paris Vogue went on sale last week.  As though projected through a television screen, the cover editorial Coeur a Corps Perdu features a swanlike – albeit for a broken neck and overplucked eyebrows – Saskia de Brauw.  It gives witty ode to Roitfeld’s successor, “Emmanuelle”, with its erotic 1970s aesthetic. 

I’ve yet to fully consult Google translate read my copy but, already, my favourite part is Carine’s Edito

Handwritten and without marshmallow mawkishness, the closing observation – ‘It’s because everything must end that everything is so beautiful’ – brings a poetic poignancy to this, her farewell edition.

À bientôt, Carine.

|The Fashion Spot – Vogue Paris|

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Enfant Terrible

Yesterday started unremarkably enough.

And then it happened.

News came.

Emmanuelle Alt – a Balmain-clad rock star amongst fashion stylists – was named the shiny new and box fresh Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Paris.

The decision to elevate her – in the aftermath of Carine ‘My Middle Name Is Controversy’ Roitfeld’s tenure – intimates that the magazine is not set for a radical change of course.

Vogue Paris is doing very well and I wanted to entrust the editorship to someone who can provide continuity while bringing new life,” Xavier Ramotet, the president of Condé Nast France, commented yesterday.

It is this reference to continuity that reassures.

Alt takes the helm after a decade of service under Roitfeld and symbolises, in every way, the progeny – the literal enfant terrible – of Carine’s cradle. 

It is impossible to disassociate Madame Roitfeld from Paris Vogue, but – under Alt’s new direction – we can be certain that her legacy and sensual aesthetic will not be sharp-shouldered entirely aside. 

The appointment – and all that it auspiciously represents for the magazine’s continued relevance – might best be summed by Emmanuelle herself in the closing words of this video

Joy everywhere,” indeed.

|Jak & Jil|

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Carine

She’d dropped enough hints.

Interviewed by The Guardian in 2009, Carine Roitfeld – libertine, provocateur and editor-in-chief of Paris Vogue – mused, prophetically, on the future of her career:

“I love to change.  I have been here eight years; I think maybe 10 years is good. But for now, I am very happy in my little Paris.”

Nonetheless, when official confirmation came last week that Roitfeld is to step down – after ten years of service with the Condé Nast publication – the fashion world shook with a collective Oh My F*cking Dieu.

And how.

“Listening to Carine Roitfeld talk is like having Chanel No 5 eau de parfum dripped, very slowly, into your ear.  If it were possible to bottle that accent, it would surely be found to contain the very DNA of sexy-French womanliness.” 

This quote – the most evocative I have ever read of Roitfeld – can aptly extend to her editorial influence. 

Without censure, Roitfeld tattooed the pages of Paris Vogue with the most urgent elements of her DNA.  Uncompromising.  Visceral.  Luxurious.  Tribal.  Anti-establishment.  Sexual.  The magazine was remade in her icon.

Unlike her glacial counterpart across the Atlantic, Anna Wintour – who helms a corporate, nipple-free, celebrity-centric Vogue – Roitfeld has found a constant bedfellow in controversy.  

She sits, unapologetically, at the limit. 

We have to fight to keep this un-politically correct attitude of French Vogue.  But it’s more and more difficult… you cannot smoke, you cannot show arms, you cannot show little girls.  Everything we do now is like walking in high heels on the ice, but we keep trying to do it.”

It is for this – her commitment to a creative vision and fearlessness in the defence of it – that Roitfeld epitomised, more than any other, an editrix of extraordinary daring. 

In a world where dollar is king and commercial interests rule sovereign, she stood one of very few to implode taboos and reimagine our boundaries of morality and fashion.  

There will, of course, be other visionaries to fill her spike heels.  A new editrix – Emmanuelle Alt or Virginie Mouzat, anyone? – to take the magazine onward. 

But for this reader, Carine Roitfeld will always remain.

Irreplaceable.

|Stockholm Streetstyle, Quotes: The Guardian, The New York Times|

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Mistakes

When it comes to making mistakes, I’m something of an expert.

My therapist might argue that to err is human and presents valuable opportunity for learning.

I agree and that is why, to date, my rulebook for life contains such sage gems as: Never Cut One’s Own Hair (Lesson Learned: No. 24), Never Eat More Than You Can Carry (Lesson Learned: No. 755), Never Touch An Electrical Socket With Wet Hands (Lesson Learned: No. 1096).

Seriously, on that latter point. Ouch!

I try, as the twilight years of my thirties approach, to celebrate those imperfect and ever increasing facets of my character.  It is a task made difficult by the knowledge that, walking amongst us, are those who seem never to tread erroneously.

The infallible, faultless ones.

Genetic and maternal advantage aside, these images of a beautiful Julia Restoin-Roitfeld – attending the Vogue Paris 90th Anniversary Masquerade Ball and gilted by Pucci lace – suggest that she is comfortably one of their number.

Even if her boobies threaten to take their own step out of line…

|The Fashion Spot|

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