The rules: I bought this magazine yesterday. I have not opened it. I have not read anything about the contents of this issue, except for one Yahoo! news story about this being the largest issue ever. Entries will appear in chronological order–just refresh to see the new posts.
If for some reason you have a job or a family or other obligations that prevent you from obsessively reloading this page all day, no worries! Check @glossedover on Twitter for occasional updates. I’ll be using the hashtag #vogueliveblog, and I’d love for you to use it too. You know. If you want. No pressure. Your hair looks great.
All right, enough preamble. Shall we?
The biggest issue ever! And this is the cover. First question: did Lady Gaga actually pose for this? Because the hair is a fright and everything going on below the neck looks like terrible Photoshop. Or, I mean, the deliberate reshaping of a woman’s body to make an artistic statement.
But I am excited to THINK AGAIN about Lady Gaga. Also to learn how hair is the new makeup, which maybe Lady Gaga is demonstrating here on the cover, if by “makeup” they mean blonde cotton ball.
Okay, the foldout cover is awesome–Vogue covers from 1949 (Irving Penn!) and 1892. Though I’m glad they haven’t reused the 1949 cover line “Fashions for a Man’s Eye.” Blech.
Here we go with the ads: Ralph Lauren Romance, Prada (hats and everything embellished with glittery beads and patterned pants), Dior. Six pages of Ralph Lauren, whose clothes are lovely but probably intended for people whose families came over on the Mayflower–they’re so old-money tweedy. Estee Lauder Vivid Shine, breaking the rule about choosing lips or eyes. Maybe because hair is the new makeup?
Gucci, looking autumnal. Louis Vuitton going slightly steampunk–models on a train in huge hats, goggles, sepia tones. Better than it sounds, though no one except maybe the late Isabella Blow could pull off those hats. Lancome, four pagse of Fendi (including a color-blocked pair of low boots that I might trade a kidney for), the snoozefest of an Estee Lauder fragrance ad.
Chanel. Are these models supposed to be terrifying? Well, then. success! I mean:
Still more ads, of course. Clinique, amazing black-and-white Burberry that I would wear if I were an international spy. Can someone please, finally, tutor me in the pronunciation of “Prorsum”?
Dolce & Gabbana that would be suitable for visiting my relatives in Sicily. In 1957. (Okay, except for the sheer black lace dress.) Bottega Veneta. Tom Ford Beauty. Who’s going to be the brave soul to tell Tom he doesn’t actually need to appear in ads for his beauty products? Isn’t the stuff being named after him enough?
Chloe Sevigny for Miu Miu, sporting blue eyeshadow and neckties, and in one pic, four shiny metallic squares of some kind. Necklace? Breastplate? I can’t tell. Honestly, I’m not even sure Sevigny pulls this off.
Weird fuzzy hats from Marc Jacobs, typical golden glamour from Michael Kors, menswear-inspired pinstripes from Donna Karan. Also a hat. I feel confident telling you hats are a thing for fall! Lovely Oscar de la Renta, Gisele on a horse for David Yurman (because diamonds go best with equines?), Donna Karan fragrance, DVF.
Chanel Rouge Allure. Perfect red lip. It’s like my dream. (The ad shows only the model’s mouth, so I don’t have to think about how my face would go with those lips.)
Watch ad, Clarins, and, on page 76–the Table of Contents begins!
Among other things, this issue promises an essay about a dead dog (I’m gonna cry), the “remarkable guests at Jean Stein’s New York apartment in the ’80s,” and something celebrating Vogue‘s “boundary-pushing fashion editors.”
More ads: Vuitton, DKNY (I wish I looked that smooth hailing a cab), Bally puts two models on lounge chairs in the snow. Isabella Rossellini for Bulgari. A brand called Belstaff I’ve never heard of, but Ewan McGregor is in the ad, so how bad can it be?
The ubiquitous Gap ad wherein they proclaim they’re doing some staple differently this year. Snore.
Piperlime now has a store, Philosophy has a new cream, 7 for All Mankind has a short film directed by James Franco. Oh good! I was wondering where he’d disappeared to!
DeBeers, Furla, and a Nordstrom ad featuring a model wearing a black Lanvin with a white ruffle down the front that looks suspiciously like the dress I wore to a formal dance my sophomore year of high school. Indisputable proof: The 90s really are back, and I am old.
Lanvin ad featuring shoes with glittery soles. They’re ridiculous. I love them.
The model in the Hugo Boss ad can’t go inside, apparently. All three pictures show her standing outside a glass door. What’s the idea here? Voyeurism? Ambivalence? Someone thought it would be cool to take pictures through glass?
Longchamp’s ad also touts a short film. I guess this is what we’re doing now.
Escada red pantsuit? No.
Dillard’s ad is full of Vince Camuto. Flats? In a magazine ad? Mind blown. True Religion. OPI, whose pun-based names are really grating on me lately. And behold: more contents!
In a move that will surprise no one, Anna Wintour has seen fit to include an article about tennis players. Of course.
Calvin Klein ad with Lara Stone. If you like models who can simultaneously look dead and sexually aroused, this ad is for you!
Fashion’s Night Out ad with Taylor Swift. Taylor Swift? Really? Try harder, Vogue. You’re not convincing me.
Jimmy Choo ad is set in the back of a limo–surprising bit of realism there. I mean, it’s not like you could drive or walk wearing those shoes.
Rose gold from Van Cleef and Arpels. The model in the Alexander McQueen ad is clearly planning on doing some welding, because she’s wearing protective eye gear. And I had to admonish my cat three times to stop scratching the couch.
Did you know Laura Mercier’s tinted moisturizer is the number 1 selling tinted moisturizer? Now you do. Who says print advertising is useless?
More contents. An article about nail expert Jin Soon is called “Jin Blossoms.” What was I saying about the 90s?
Six-page Valentino ad. Gorgeous gowns in a gloomy, gothic setting, models staring into the distance. The whole mood is very Miss Havisham, if Miss Havisham had an awesome wardrobe.
Another Fashion’s Night Out ad, this time with Justin Bieber wearing an “FNO” belt buckle. Still not convinced!
More ads: Chloe, Burberry Body, Jones New York with the tagline “Keeping up with the Jones’.” That apostrophe is killing me. It’s “Joneses,” not “Jones,’” unless they’re referring to something belonging to the Joneses, and… no one’s reading this anymore. Just know that I get very, very worked up about this sort of thing. Imagine what a joy I am 24 hours a day!
Nothing goes with Stuart Weitzman boots like panties and a floppy hat! Who are they trying to sell to?
MORE CONTENTS. (That’s page 3, if you’re keeping track.) Chelsea Clinton! Plum Sykes! “Hamish Bowles is transported”! Unless he’s being transported to another galaxy, that is not an article I will enjoy.
Off topic, but if you’re not watching Access Hollywood Live right now, you’re missing a scintillating discussion about whether the correct terminology for the gymnastics move is “splits” or “split.” Really quality programming.
Diving for the remote.
And back to the ads. Rolex. Tiffany, with a couple kissing in the rain. Because nothing says romance like getting drenched! Carolina Herrera, whose gowns I covet if only because I would like to have somewhere fancy to wear them to. Net-a-Porter, with Amanda de Cadenet, whose body looks refreshingly normal compared to the models in the other ads. A six-page heavyweight insert for Tommy Hilfiger, who once again tries but fails to out-tweed Ralph Lauren. Points for the basset hound, though.
Well, I guess I’m not turning the page just yet.
Luna (the cat) has moved on, and so have I. To the Fashion’s Night Out ad, this time with Kristen Wiig. Wiig is smart and funny and pretty much everything I could hope for in a female celebrity, but she’s not exactly who I think of when I think “fashion.” But Vogue‘s getting warmer, or at least progressively less annoying, with the celebrities in these ads.
An ad for vogue.com. Among the treasures awaiting us there: Vogue‘s Pinterest account, still more Lady Gaga photos (because not nearly enough of those exist on the internet), and a retrospective of September Vogue covers, including the ones that had models on them. Is that one of those things that’ll end up on that list about college students’ cultural references? “Students entering college in 2012 have never known a world with models on magazine covers.”
Tod’s ad. I’m sure their products are lovely, but their ads are a bore. Paige denim, Andrew Marc, something called the Bellevue Collection. Insert insensitive joke here about Bellevue Hospital, fashion, etc. Several pages for Express with B-list TV stars. If you ever wanted to see Puck from Glee in aubergine pants, you’re in luck.
Four pages for Via Spiga: eight feet, three hands, no faces or bodies. Disembodied limbs really sell!
Isabel Marant with a very rockabilly shirt. Not Your Daughter’s Jeans continues the regrettable disembodied limbs trend. Julia Roberts for Lancome. THERE ARE A LOT OF ADS. So many ads I’m actually looking forward to getting to the content.
There it is! Page 264, “Letter from the Editor.”
There are twenty pages of ads between the first and second pages of Wintour’s letter, and another twenty pages of ads between the second and third pages. Good call, Vogue. It’s really easy to read a dozen paragraphs when you spread them over forty pages.
Anyway, in Part 1 of The Great September Manifesto, Wintour complains that writing her letter this month, for Vogue‘s 120th anniversary, felt a little too self-congratulatory. Because that’s a problem for the magazine that claimed Fashion’s Night Out was saving the economy and reuniting the country?
More ads. The model in the Ferragamo ad has an awesome wrap-around braid and a dress that matches the wallpaper. Another Fashion’s Night Out ad, this time with Usher, and I hereby retract my comment about the less-annoying trajectory of these ads. Celine, with a model who appears to be wearing no makeup. Givenchy, with a model who appears really, really hungry. (I know. Cheap shot.) Sporty Stella McCartney, glowy Theysken’s Theory, a Brian Atwood ad that matches Tom Ford for pure sleaze factor. I guess Brian Atwood shoes are superior gear for poorly lit orgies.
Back to Wintour. Three things of note:
1. After despairing about the self-aggrandizing implications of writing Vogue’s own birthday card, she goes on to promote a book called Vogue: The Editor’s Eye. Makes sense.
2. When Grace Coddington wanted to make sure Marc Jacobs and his team met a deadline, Coddington sent cakes from Momofuku Milk Bar to Jacobs’ studio, hoping the sugar rush would ensure the team finished on time. And they wonder why people look askance at the fashion industry? That’s not how deadlines work in the real world, Anna.
3. “Edwardiana” is a trend. And this issue features Natalia Vodianova in an homage to Edith Wharton. What? I cannot wait to see that.
Yves Saint Laurent ad: “Gloss? Stain? Lipstick? Stop compromising and have it all!” Finally a solution to the conundrum of “having it all”! I don’t want to juggle a career and a family, I just want a lipstick that’s shiny and stays on for hours! Ugggggh.
Don’t get me wrong. I definitely do want that in a lipstick. I just don’t want brands co-opting the language of a very serious debate to sell me cosmetics.
Still more ads. Can you believe I’m actually looking forward to getting to the next part of the editor’s letter? J. Mendel, Alberta Ferretti, and Kenzo are here, if you’re interested. Four pages of Nicole Richie for Macy’s, which seems like a collaboration that’s on-point but should have happened three years ago.
There’s a fashion spread called “Punk’d” coming up. Because Wintour et al are certainly the experts on that look.
An endless ad for Vera Wang, who has apparently sold her soul name to a million different companies.
Giving Tom Ford a real run for his money, Terry Richardson appears in an ad for David Webb jewelry. Never has a photographer been so undeservedly successful at appearing in front of the camera.
A spate of mostly unremarkable ads: Jil Sander ($290 paper bag not pictured), Balmain, Tom Ford (not starring Tom Ford, amazingly enough), Tibi, Moncler, etc. Vivienne Westwood in her own ad; why is this happening, designers? A whole lot of words in the Jane Iredale ad. Uniqlo, Hue, etc. And finally, on page 342, the masthead.
18 pages of ads for The Shops at Target, a massive high-low collaboration. After the Missoni dust-up, I think the lesson is this: be prepared to camp out at Target overnight if you intend to get your hands on any of this.
GREEN LIPS to raise awareness for the Laura Mercier Ovarian Cancer Fund. Consider my awareness raised. And maybe yours, too!
A giant insert for L’oreal called “Flashback Forward,” featuring four decades of beauty looks. If this means I can still rock the burgundy lipstick I wore in 1993, I’m in.
A few more ads, and I’ve arrived at “Talking Back,” letters from readers.
Actual quote from a reader letter: “As a leader of the cultural Zeitgeist, Vogue wields great power, and it’s heartening to see it used so responsibly.”
Picture, 1,000 words, etc. What is going on here?
Back to reader letters. Turns out old, rich people are really grateful to Vogue for reflecting their experiences! More ads, including a pink fur coat worn with berry-colored leather pants in the Marciano spread. Perfect outfit for pissing off animal-rights activists! Thanks, Vogue, you really are helpful for every occasion.
Another Fashion’s Night Out ad, this time starring Olivia Wilde. My system of evaluating these ads is completely borked. Back to the final page of reader letters. (And again, Vogue, breaking up short features with a million ads really ups the readability factor.)
Approximately one million letters fawning over Vogue (they can’t be real, can they?), followed by a Cover Girl ad with Janelle Monae, Queen Latifah, Taylor Swift, and Sofia Vergara. Nice to see women on color in these ads, even if Vergara looks lighter than Swift in these pictures.
Page 428, Contributors. Could also be called Humblebrags.
You guessed it! More ads breaking up the Contributors listings! Lancome has an eye serum “inspired by gene science,” which is surely ad-speak for “science-y jargon that sounds sophisticated, means nothing, and yet somehow convinces women to open their wallets.”
More Contributors–this time about that whole Edith Wharton spread. Vogue recruited Jeffrey Eugenides and Elijah Wood (among others) to appear in this shoot. I…don’t know how to feel about this.
Jesus. Vogue let Hamish Bowles write his own profile for this section. Here are the three lines I managed to read before nausea set in:
Even by my dizzying standards, the travel odyssey that I embarked on to research and produce the stories in this issue was positively Homeric: Beijing, Hong Kong, Milan, Paris (thrice), and Taormina. So why not add Lima to the heady mix?
Yes, why not? Apparently all that smarminess travels well!
Juicy Couture ad. Lest you be tempted by shiny gold jeans and super-short plaid skirts, allow me to point you to this bit of branded garbage: “9 Reasons Why Women Can Have It All.” There. Problem solved.
Fashion’s Night Out. Solange Knowles. I don’t know what to think anymore.
What’s that? Is that a chorus of angels singing? No, it’s just that I have finally–FINALLY–arrived at this issue’s first real article. Naturally it’s the article about the dead dog. Hang on, I need to grab some tissue.
Like you’d make it through an essay billed as “Ann Patchett eulogizes the constant, ever-devoted Rose” without a sniffle? Right.
No snark about dead animals from these quarters. I will, however, snark again about the excessive number of ads breaking up the story. I know it’s supposed to propel the reader forward through the magazine, but mostly it’s just annoying.
The J. Crew ad says, “We know you’re out there.” Pretty threatening for a company trying to sell me handbags.
Still more ads, including one for Maje featuring a woman with a birdcage on a subway. And I thought men who sit with their knees 18 inches apart were bad.
Good news! Have you been looking for a full-body see-through black lace jumpsuit? Cesare Paciotti makes one. Your search is over!
Moschino ad has a bare-legged model in the snow. You know, because she’s so cool she cares more about fashion than she does about comfort. Or weather. Or frostbite. Edgy.
The next article is about Jeremy Irons, somehow, so this seems like a good time to take a break for lunch. I’ll be back to liveblogging in 40 minutes or so.
I’m back! And ready to read “Cinema Paradiso” on page 468. Here’s the subhed, which doesn’t make this article sound pretentious or annoying at all:
Interrupting David Hare’s languid St-Tropez vacation, director Louis Malle coaxed him into writing an impossible screenplay.
Is there any other way to vacation in St-Tropez?
Interestingly, there’s a multi-page ad for Arise magazine–must be the first time I’ve seen an ad for a non-Conde Nast publication in Vogue.
Mulberry: for those days you expect to be pursued through the woods by a massive furry creature.
Something something under the heading “Nostalgia,” which I’ve had quite enough of already. On to the Hermes ad featuring a model lying on the ground, arm thrown over her eyes, because apparently the strain of owning an expensive leather bag is just too much. Alas!
Next article is under the heading “Social History,” which I’m going to guess could also be “Nostalgia,” and both of which could probably be summed us as “Stuff Old Rich People Used to Do.”
The actual article is about Jean Stein. Will the article actually explain who she is to unwashed heathens like me, or am I just supposed to know? Let’s find out!
Things I learned from this article: it used to be possible for writer/editors to afford apartments on Central Park West. The author calls Richard Avedon “Dick.” And it’s acceptable–in Vogue, at least–to use “oxygenated” to mean “attended a party.”
Ads: unnecessary nudity, strange hairstyles, men as literal supports for women to lean on. You know, the usual.
Next article: an excerpt from Vogue‘s book, The Editor’s Eye. Written by my buddy Hamish! Ooh, excitement.
And [fashion editor Tonne Goodman has] played a part in redefining the image of nearly every celebrity the magazine has deemed worthy of celebration in an era when fashion is made not by elegant, socially ascendant women of a certain age but by cultural icons, from Lady Gaga to First Lady Michelle Obama.
Interesting emphasis on who makes things fashionable here, especially considering Vogue‘s seemingly nonstop nostalgia for the past. Also, love the idea of the magazine deeming celebs worthy of coverage. How do they do this? A focus group? A quiz? A physical challenge? (I’m guessing a one-on-one meeting with Anna Wintour constitutes at least two of the three.)
A stunning portfolio of images from Vogue’s history follows–from a surreal 1963 photo shoot to Rihanna in a swimsuit from last year. There was also this quote about Helmut Newton that’s stunning in a whole different way:
“You had to turn Helmut on, or you wouldn’t get what you wanted.”
And wasn’t I just talking about how skeevy Terry Richardson was?
Congratulations, Jessica Pare! You’ve been deemed worthy. Well, worthy enough to appear on page 550. (How am I only on page 550?) Also, yet another Fashion’s Night Out ad, this one featuring Marc Jacobs. Really? Really? Marc Jacobs this far back, but Taylor Swift is at the front? Guess someone’s been deemed more worthy than someone else!
Okay, I’ll stop with the deeming worthy business. Three paragraphs on Pare, and then on to a column by someone referred to only as “TNT.” A quick Google indicates that TNT is, in fact, Elizabeth von Thurn und Taxis. TNT is celebrating the four-season anniversary of her column–or what the rest of us would refer to as one year. Ads for Diesel and the Limited, and I’m skipping ahead to “Love is All Around,” chronicling “five chic brides.”
Turns out you can have a pretty stupendous wedding when your parents are wealthy and/or famous. Good to know!
What I’ve learned from the last few pages: Vogue is not above puns (“Otherworldly: stars are gravitating to space-age silhouettes”), Anna Wintour is interested in tennis players not named Roger Federer, Jennifer Hudson has a fashion line on QVC. Knowledge!
Time for that page where Vogue recommends all the stuff to buy on Fashion’s Night Out. Oh say can you see, consumerism is patriotic! If you need a $2K pair of shoes, they recommend an embroidered pair of Louboutins. America! (To be fair: this year’s description of FNO is light on the shopping-saves-the-economy hyperbole. I just have a long memory.)
After a one-page bit about a model selling umbrellas to benefit Kenya, it’s time for “Life with Andre.” Oh wow.
Intriguing quote from Tom Ford of all people in Andre Leon Talley’s column.
“The image [of model Lisa Taylor, by the aforementioned Helmut Newton] liberates women and focuses on Lisa Taylor gazing at a man’s shirtless body and fantasizing in a way that, until that point, we would only have seen men look at women. This story and the specific image indicate how Vogue has embodied female empowerment and beauty throughout the years.”
Okay. The image is just as Ford describes it, and though I’m not certain that picture is, in fact, liberating, I can see how it’s part of a change in the media’s depiction of women. Fair enough. But Vogue as the embodiment of female empowerment?
Has Tom Ford ever read Vogue? Hell, has he seen his own ads? Can he please tell me how a magazine upholding traditional standards of female beauty is in any way empowering? Perhaps he can mansplain explain to me how fashion is creating equality, because I do not see it. At all.
Neiman Marcus ad. One of each, please. Even that inexplicable Burberry tee with the owl on it.
If they have to break up articles with a gazillion pages of advertisements, can they at least not break mid-sentence? This time it’s an article about seeing clothes from the front and the back. Maybe I’ve been reading this too long, but I don’t quite get the point of this piece.
Another FNO ad. Tory Burch.
“New Sensations” aims to “knock the stuffiness out of fur.” Next.
Next is an article about a designer “shedding fur’s dowdy elitism.” Shedding fur? Har har.
A Benetton ad featuring just one model. I miss the united colors. Another ad for a bag design called “Magic Circus,” which seems like the polar opposite of high fashion.
A nice short article on the costumes for The Great Gatsby, where “nice” means “something I am interested in.”
Attention span waning. I’ve restarted this short fiction by Emma Straub three times. Focus!
Okay, Emma Straub, designer skateboards, and this quote from Olivier Rousteing, the designer of Balmain:
“I love making clothes, but a bag–you have to be a woman to understand it. A bag is kind of a secret.”
No, it’s not, dude. That’s why there’s more than one style of bag in existence.
Also? Hard to read a giant magazine and type with a cat in your lap.
In summary: Laetitia Casta is getting more acting roles. The jewelry designer Ippolita is always looking for the perfect bag. Maybe she should talk to Rousteing. “In Osanna Visconti’s Milanese apartment, Kerry Olsen discovers a world of surprises.”
Okay, I’m curious. I mean, what could you have in an apartment that’d be considered a “world of surprises”? A painted snake and a “she-wolf” on the ceiling, apparently. Fair enough.
A one-page article about the singer Grimes is rife with references to Lady Miss Kier from Deee-Lite. The 90s strike again!
“It Takes a Village” is about “the emperor of knitwear” in Perugia. Something something flowery language about the Italian countryside, cashmere, overwrought description of a sweater. Ta-da! An article!
I’m sorry, J. W. Anderson, but “jumbo-quilted paisley t-shirts” sound horrific. Also I’m sorry this article says that “Social media are,” not “social media is.” Just because your subject is British doesn’t mean your grammar should be!
A bit about Derek Lam finding unprocessed shearling pelts to make coats from (what is with all the fur?), and on to the Beauty section! And Blake Lively, who, I’m sure, has many insightful things about whatever brand is paying her to pose in pictures for them.
I wasn’t expecting hard-line journalism about Blake Lively’s perfume contract, but this article is more hagiography than anything else. Lively talks “maternally” to the intern at the press event; she is “most excited” to talk about Gucci Premiere, not her movie in theaters or the final season of Gossip Girl; she extends “her golden leg” for the makeup artist to rub bronzer on. You get the idea. Although I’m guessing tha Lively was in fact excited about talking about Gucci, because this was their event and they were paying her to promote their products. Seems fair.
Quick break. Back in a few.
Now, “Rebel Romance.” Because nothing says rebellious like doing your makeup exactly as described in the L’oreal insert a few hundred pages back! All you need to achieve this look are dark lips, “newly darkened hair,” and “surreally perfect skin.” Hmm, seems achievable.
Nearly seven hours in and I’m still not at the Edith Wharton article?
Just read “The Looking Glass,” page 702, by Francine du Plessix Gray. It falls squarely in the “Stuff Old Rich People Used to Do” category, but I found it strangely charming, except for the part where her husband tells her that false eyelashes make her look like a streetwalker, which I found appalling.
Next up, “Jin Blossoms,” which is four paragraphs about Jin Soon and three paragraphs about the colors in her nail polish collection. The final paragraph begins, “But it’s not just about color,” and that paragraph is about base coat.
Ads for a bunch of Proctor and Gamble products, because how would you know Pantene exists if they didn’t advertise, then Lynn Yaeger’s “The Blind Side,” wherein the author purportedly reveals “why she never remembers a face.”
So Lynn Yaeger has prosopagnosia, or face blindness. These are the people she is unable to recognize: “Editors I have worked with, the doctor I see twice a year, the clerk at the local Marni store…” She also once didn’t recognize Jean-Paul Gaultier even though she’d interviewed him “extensively at least twice” because he wasn’t wearing his signature striped shirt. I don’t want to make light of her condition, but her examples? I mock these examples. I’m not exactly drowning in sympathy, you know? Speaking of drowning, she then goes on to her compare her plight to the Stevie Smith poem “Not Waving But Drowning,” because she might be drowning in uncertainty. Chew on that one, English majors.
“Virtually Fit” explores the challenging world of taking online fitness classes from Paris while covering the fashion shows there. Then it’s on to the “People Are Talking” section, which usually covers things people other than myself must be talking about. A Balenciaga ad–this far back?–and then there’s “The Models,” a special section for Vogue‘s 120th anniversary. Let’s see how impossible beauty standards have changed through the years!
It might seem unlikely, but it may have been the nascent feminist movement, the idea tht “sisters are doing it for themselves,” that emboldened the first models to make the leap from nameless beauties to full-fledged businesswomen.
It seems unlikely, but it may be that Vogue has published a statement it can in no way substantiate just by using hedge words like “might” and “may.”
Odd to hear Lynn Yaeger wax on and on about how the United States’ ethnic diversity is what makes American models so beautiful when Vogue has seen fit to put just one African-American on the cover in 20 years. [Correction: commenter Sarah is right. My factoid is only for the September issues.]
“The girls of glasnost”?
Well, if Vogue says it, it must be true! We are now “post-waif,” even if, as the magazine so helpfully reminds us, “these so-called bigger [models] rarely require anything larger than a size 4.” Vive la révolution!
Yes, of course, no celebration of models would be complete without a page dedicated to those who dated or married rock stars.
For a magazine that rarely features models on the cover anymore, they sure are proud of doing it in the past. Models, come back! (Okay, I’ve tried three times to post a picture here of Vogue‘s compilation of model covers, and Typepad refuses to cooperate. I give up.) Onward!
A real, honest-to-goodness fashion spread! “El Dorado” features Stella Tennant wearing some truly odd gear (by odd I mostly mean pants under skirts and colored Clara Bow wigs on the streets of Peru. If you’ve ever wanted to see a model handling llamas, you’re in luck. (Also, the hosiery in this story is pretty incredible.)
On to “Art and Craft,” showcasing a “modernist approach,” which seems exactly the opposite of the previous story–plain white backdrops, clean lines. Also, this ensemble, reminiscent of a giant tongue:
“Space Odyssey,” with Karen Elson showcasing clothes with “equestrienne” influences. While playacting a creepy alien abduction story. Skip this one if you’re easily frightened. The masks on the guys on page 801 are terrifying.
Page 801? That means only about 100 more pages to go. I can’t even tell you how excited I am about that. Now, page 803: the cover story about Lady Gaga. I am so ready to THINK AGAIN about her, just like the cover ordered me to.
My favorite part of this article so far is how writer Jonathan Van Meter will volunteer an opinion about Lady Gaga’s music or live performance, and she gets all excited and affirms that his instincts are exactly right. Sheesh.
Wait, did I mention the Terry Richardson quote? Because he shows up here, too.
Okay, this was a more-or-less enjoyable article, but I don’t know that it meets the standard for ultra-revealing that was teased on the cover. After reading this, I have the impression that Lady Gaga knows exactly what she’s doing. I mean, she’s deliberately weird. As detailed in the article, she refused to sign the contract to do a fragrance until Coty promised they could make the perfume black. Also, she’s not above screwing with a reporter’s mind, refusing to affirm his suspicion that he had seen her arrive at the hotel in a “tragicomic wheelchair.” Yep. “Tragicomic.” If it wasn’t Gaga in the chair, then I’m sure its rightful owner is delighted to be described in such a way.
Finally, the Edith Wharton thing! Natalia Vodianova plays the novelist, while a variety of actors and writers portray Wharton’s inner circle. Points for the concept.
Back to Jonathan Van Meter, this time as he profiles Chelsea Clinton. Maybe we’ll learn how she sneaks into hotels!
This article is long, but at least I’ve learned there exists a town called Toad Suck, Arkansas. Back to finish it.
Whoa, this Chelsea Clinton article. I’m sure I’d have deeper thoughts on it if I hadn’t been reading this magazine all day, so I’ll just say this: not as smarmy or overly familiar as the Lady Gaga article; many of the events didn’t seem staged, exactly, but perhaps contrived to deliver a certain image of Chelsea; and Vogue is an interesting, clearly calculated choice for her first big media interview.
Now I hope the next thing is something stupid, because my brain is fried.
It’s the “Vogue 120,” a group of people all under the age of 45 (of course) who are “bringing fashion to life right now.”
I totally skimmed that article. I admit it! But it’s mostly a list of all the same people Vogue is always talking about: Jason Wu, Thakoon, Blake Lively, both Fanning sisters. Yep. Both of them. Take that, sibling rivalry.
I’m warning you now that I will almost certainly skim the next article, which is Plum Sykes visiting Lauren Santo Domingo’s Paris duplex. Why? Because it’s Plum Sykes. Because Santo Domingo is referred to as a “Voguette.” And because this article surely contains some egregiously pretentious language about the challenges faced by the obscenely wealthy.
Wait. Maybe that last one is a reason to actually read it.
Found it! Quote:
The apartment was “very bougie” when she first saw it, Lauren says.
Such a problem when one is seeking one’s second home!
Flat out skipping Jeffrey Weingarten, moving right on to Hamish Bowles being “transported” by Dolce & Gabbana’s first couture collection.
Pretty sure Dolce & Gabbana think they’ve, I don’t know, done something really important. (Sorry. Late. Words are failing me.) Sample quote:
“It’s about the concept. It’s not just a dress, it’s a dream–the Dolce dream.”
No, I’m pretty sure it’s just a dress. Is this thing over yet?
“Pin It On” features the bold brooch. More like the boldly placed brooch.
Finally, “Punk’d”! I will at last learn how hair is the new makeup.
Turns out this article is about the burgeoning trend of colorful hair dyeing–women adding blue and pink streaks to their hair. It is also about how the author found her “hairspiration,” which is a word that should probably never appear in print again.
It’s followed, appropriately enough, by “Her Brilliant Career,” wherein Karlie Kloss stalks the streets of Manhattan with teal hair. And pink hair. Purple. Green. Etc. The suits are powerful; the hair is ridiculous. And once again a women’s magazine demonstrates no idea about what people with real jobs can wear to work.
20 pages to go. Exclamation point.
It’s the Index, with designers naming their inspirations for fall. Tory Burch suggests a safari to Kenya or Tanzania; L’Wren Scott, a $350 topiary (really); Chitose Abe likes a $1,150 purse. But who wouldn’t?
The section is punctuated by a multi-page ad for the NFL’s new line of women’s clothing, modeled by (among others) Serena Williams and Condoleezza Rice. I can’t decide if advertising this here is brilliant or completely misses the mark. I mean, does Plum Sykes know what the NFL is? Can someone get Lauren Santo Domingo on the phone from Paris?
The last page!!!!!!!!!!
Sorry. Got carried away.
“Last Look”: an evening bag inspired by a vintage camera case, for the low, low price of $3,995. I’ll take two!
A Clinique ad, and then the back cover–another ad for the Shops at Target. I am done!
I would like to end this with an eloquent remark of some kind, but honestly? I just spent nine hours reading Vogue. So I’ll end with saying a heartfelt thank you. I really appreciate your tweets, posts, comments, and emails throughout the day–they helped.
Good night, and thank you!