Good morning, and welcome to the seventh annual September Vogue liveblog! I’ve been derelict as a blogger this year, but I hope subjecting myself to 902 pages of Vogue in one sitting counts as atonement. Have mercy on me, blogging deities!
First, the rules: I have not opened this issue. I have not read any of its contents online. I didn’t click a single one of the approximately 465 links to the Marissa Mayer article that showed up in my Twitter timeline. I am seeing everything except the cover for the first time live! Refresh to see updates, or if your life for some totally invalid reason involves activities other than reloading this page for the next nine hours, I’ll be tweeting, too, with the hashtag #vogueliveblog.
Take it away, Wintour!
So, the cover: Katniss looks fab, and the styling is surprisingly neutral, considering last year’s Lady Gaga monstrosity. I was going to be excited about “The Wedding of the Year,” but then I realized it was probably some European heiress with six last names and not, you know, anyone I’d actually heard of. Can’t wait to snark on that/frantically Google.
Now opening the issue.
First up: a fold-out ad for Ralph Lauren Romance. If your idea of romance is overgrown fields, horses, and a long-haired dude playing guitar, Ralph has got you covered.
More ads, of course. Four pages of Prada, who’s boldly paired an ostrich-skin bag with fresh-out-of-the-shower hair. (I had no idea I was so stylish when I’ve been running late to work and don’t have time to blowdry!) Dior, with a model whose face is painted in a strangely waxy way. Reminds me of that line from Daria, where Quinn asks Daria what’s wrong with her face, because it’s all the same color. (Note to self: hunt down that YouTube clip later!) More Ralph Lauren. Apparently standing on a dock with a steamer trunk is super hot for fall.
Sorry, just realized my bit.ly link I’ve been sharing all over creation isn’t working. Hang on while I sort that out.
Well, at least you know this is live, right? *shakes fist at bit.ly* Okay, so back to it. A whole bunch of the usual suspects here: Estee Lauder, Louis Vuitton, Lancome with winged turquoise eyeliner.
Gucci ad, with a very sleek suit made out of some kind of glossy animal skin (that sounds way grosser than “leather,” doesn’t it?), Dolce & Gabbana fragrance, and a Fendi rooftop shoot. Speaking of animals: the Fendi models are wearing fur and, in one case, some sort of fluffy shoe-boot hybrid. I refuse to call it a “shootie,” fashion industry.
Chanel in space! All those quilted bags are floating around in zero gravity!
Clinique ad. Even the 32 ounces of coffee I drank this morning aren’t enough to interest me in this. Like, I get that it’s pure and dermatologist-approved and all that, but is that any excuse for boring ads? Just because I have sensitive skin doesn’t mean I have no aesthetic sensibilities.
Six pages of Burberry getting sexy. Dolce & Gabbana models in shapeless red lace dresses in some kind of underground grotto? Totes relatable. Want everything in the Bottega Veneta ad. Four pages of a despondent-looking waif in the Saint Laurent ad. Don’t jump out the window into the ocean, honey. How bad can it be when you’re clad in Saint Laurent?
Miu Miu ad with models on an obviously fake boat deck of some kind, because there’s no way they could have spent the money to photograph live human beings on a real live boat. Oh wait.
Digging the Miu Miu striped stockings, though.
Julia Roberts for Lancome’s perfume, La Vie est Belle. For the French-speaking optimist in every woman! On a positive note, they only Photoshopped away some of the wrinkles around her eyes. Props, Lancome.
Donna Karan model wearing a fur stole, and her odd perched-with-legs-apart pose must be Photoshop-assisted, because I’m pretty sure hips don’t work that way. Maybe models’ hips are double-jointed? (Insert joke here about the barely visible bare-chested man reclining on a couch in the background.)
Four pages of Michael Kors, looking like every Michael Kors ad ever. Blake Lively in an ad for Gucci. Can someone please explain to me the fashion world’s Blake Lively fascination? I read every profile of her in a desperate attempt to make sense of it, but pretty much all I get is that she texts Christian Louboutin and supposedly styles herself. How hard is it to style yourself when you’re on a text-message basis with designers? Like they’re not sending over complete ensembles for her?
Four pages of black-and-white David Yurman ads, then a Clinique ad with the logo “Beige and beyond.” No, it’s pretty much just beige. And really? That’s the color you choose to feature in an ad?
More stuff to buy: Armani Code, a Marc Jacobs ad featuring those hideous diaper-shorts things Kerry Washington wore on the cover of Elle a few months back. They don’t look good on the model either. A DVF ad that’s exactly how you’d expect a DVF ad to look (not an insult). Michael Kors fragrance, tagline: “She’s sporty. She’s sexy. She’s glam.” OMG, women contain multitudes!
Tom Ford Beauty: +1 for no Tom Ford in this ad, -1 for the pointy nails.
Nicole Kidman looking strangely ordinary for Jimmy Choo, and a MAC ad with amazing, artistic makeup. BUT. The picture shows a woman declining a plate of cookies, while the text says “Indulge in shades that dare you to resist.” Because, you know, women should be all into makeup and not, you know, food.
La Mer, then this horrifying image:
Thanks for that, Alexander McQueen. But at least it’s not boring, which might be the most egregious sin a fashion brand can commit.
Katie Holmes for Bobbi Brown (did someone say “boring”?) and Diesel with its cast of models plucked from Tumblr. Great concept, great ad, still not gonna buy any of the clothes.
I’m more than 1,000 words in and still talking about ads. So: Gisele for Chanel beauty, Clarins with a whole bunch of pseudo-technical science speak (come on, “potent high-tech molecules” is utterly meaningless), Coco Noir, and four pages of Tiffany jewelry. Meh.
Mark it: page 108, first page of the table of contents.
Going back in time a few minutes: @ThatSarahKlem on Twitter opined that Nicole Kidman’s legs were the victim of some Photoshop butchery in that Jimmy Choo ad, and on second look, I agree. Looks to me like she has one giant thigh sprouting two lower legs, which I guess is not ordinary at all.
Back to the TOC. Jeez, I’m 112 pages from an ad for Vogue.com, and 168 from the editor’s letter. Also in this issue: “philanthropic powerhouse Emma Bloomberg,” some other society person on the board of the New York Public Library, Susan Rice, and something called “culotte chic,” which I’m pretty sure a disgruntled editorial assistant snuck in, because “culotte chic” cannot be a thing. It CANNOT.
More ads. Louis Vuitton, the so-overexposed-I’m-already-sick-of-her Cara Delevingne for DKNY, and speaking of overexposed, a series of washed out photos for Celine that appear to have been shot in the lobby of someone’s apartment building. Also, a quick Google reveals that Daria Werbowy is in the Celine ads, which was surprising to me, because the model here looks…not good. Gaunt, even for a model. Maybe it’s the lighting?
Ad for Belstaff, which is apparently a brand of leather goods. Jennifer Garner in beige for Max Mara. Voguepedia.com and then 12 or so pages on heavy stock for Nordstrom. New York, you need a Nordstrom. Also, I need those Chanel heeled loafers.
Hugo Boss, with one of the first (if not the first) non-white faces I’ve seen. Kate Bosworth in a faux-editorial ad for SK-II, so it’s good to see she’s still, er, relevant. Totally over-the-top everything for Oscar de la Renta, but it’s somehow wonderful. These models have giant eyebrows, dark red lips, tendrils of hair dangling in their faces, giant bejeweled earrings and necklaces and hair clips, and quilted floral-print jackets, and somehow, it looks AMAZING. If that’s OdlR’s superpower, I covet it.
Gap ad says “Back to Blue.” Great! Because, you know, they stopped making denim for so many years. Oh wait.
Dooney and Bourke with an orange tote. Here’s the thing, though–they actually listed the price of the bag in the ad. So $388 is way too much for a bag, but truth in advertising is awesome.
Banana Republic. I’ll take one of each. Yes, I am criticizing designer fashion while coveting Banana Republic! But it’s not like you could wear that Alexander McQueen chain mail mask to work.
Piperlime ad containing the “word” “splurgeworthy,” which is only bested by “party-ready” in the ongoing Fashion Magazine War Against the English Language.
More ads for things that are actually affordable, like Olia hair color and Old Navy’s “coated skinnies.” Well, I said affordable, not desirable.
Can I dwell on “coated skinnies” for a second? They appear to be denim treated with some kind of polyester shine-enhancing substance, which is probably not the best if you like clothes that don’t trap sweat, but then to name them “coated skinnies”? How many toxic chemicals are they coated with? And how many people sitting in a conference room signed off on that name?
Off the top of my head, I’d call them “colorsheen skinnies,” a much better totally made-up word. Call me, Old Navy! I can do this all day!
Ad for Marc Jacobs beauty. Does wearing six purple and blue shades of eyeshadow look artful or like a black eye? You decide! Then another page of the table of contents. In the coming hours, I’m going to learn about both a “model and philanthropist” AND an “environmentalist and supermodel.” Models, you guys. Where would the rest of us be without them?
Black and white Calvin Klein ads. Not on board with the wide-legged cropped pants. Apparently fashion isn’t made for 5’2″ thirtysomethings with, you know, THIGHS?
There’s that Vogue.com ad the TOC promised. Whew.
Chloe ad: love it, want it all. Brian Atwood ad: so edgy with two women almost maybe looking like they’re sort of almost about to kiss. Faux-lesbianism is so in, and by “in,” I mean gross and appropriative and completely indicative of a lack of creativity.
Okay, I wanted creativity, and the Mulberry ad has it. There are three owls in this ad. I don’t understand it, but I’ll take one of everything, including the lug-soled high-heeled loafers, and not just because I had a very similar pair back in 1993.
Presented without comment. An ad for vogueinsiders.com asks you to “Join the new generation of thought leaders.”
Four pages to inform the world that Dillard’s sells Vince Camuto accessories. A fold-out for Brahmin bags. Then Escada, which is simultaneously making me wish I had bangs and an orange corduroy sofa. Fashion does strange things to my brain.
The world’s tallest woman is shilling for Longchamp! Bags not to scale.
Ugh, more ads. Some kind of scarf from Bergdorf’s. Nine West with the slogan “we do shoe” in case you thought they were in, like, agribusiness or pharmaceuticals. A giant foldout for Macy’s, where the clothes look far cuter than they ever will in Macy’s, because Macy’s is the world’s most depressing place to shop. J Brand, then another page of TOC. That’s three if you’re keeping track at home. (I sure am.)
There’s a picture on the TOC page of the “wedding of the year,” and there appear to be five flower girls. FIVE. Also coming up: Elizabeth Olsen because duh, something at tennis because duh Anna Wintour, and features about Adam Driver and Benedict Cumberbatch, because apparently some women have very strong feelings for those men?
Still more ads. Valentino is into braids, portrait collars, and lace cuffs. The Vogue archive, so you can read every single page from 1892 on, which might actually be interesting. (Should I liveblog those, too?) Net-a-Porter, with an apartment building awning saying “1132 Fifth Avenue,” which doesn’t actually exist according to Google Maps. (The address, not the building.) H&M, if you’re into turtlenecks or sequined dresses that run $69.95, because they’re both featured in this ad.
Another TOC page. There’s a photo of Benedict Cumberbatch here and, yep, someone needs to explain to me why he’s hot. Also: Marissa Mayer, Wendy Davis (yay for people named Wendy!), and “the coolest girls around the world.” We’ll see about that, Vogue.
Surprise! More ads. Vogue.com again. The Tommy Hilfiger one where everyone’s wearing mortarboards. But for real, that dress with the bookshelf print needs to be mine. A book about Vogue, because a 902-page issue isn’t enough. Yet another Vogue.com promo. Etro, which really wants you to use bronzer to sculpt your cheekbones. J. Mendel with a fur bag, a leather coat, and a fully clothed model, like they’re trying to piss off PETA. Multiple pages for The Bellevue Collection, “the Pacific Northwest’s shopping resort destination.” Can we not make “shopping resorts” a thing that exists?
Via Spiga really humanizing models by only showing them from the knee down. Everyone’s dirty and windblown in the True Religion ad, because what else would you wear expensive denim for but strolling through a sandstorm?
Many, many more pages of H&M, complete with fashion-industry verbal masturbation about how the real style begins when models step off the runway, models are the “ultimate inspiration for everyone in the fashion world and beyond,” etc. Spare me.
Also: some of these clothes are kinda pricey–$149 for a jacket, $179 for a vest. Is that what H&M’s doing now?
So. Many. More. Ads. I’m as sick of ads as I am of sentences written with a period after every word.
Helena Christensen for Not Your Daughter’s Jeans, which is calling itself NYDJ now because branding. Born Crown shoes. Jane Iredale makeup, apparently favored by woodland nymphs everywhere! Max Studio. Topshop.
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR. ACTUAL CONTENT.
Anna Wintour says Jennifer Lawrence has a “delightfully goofy persona,” which almost seems like it would be an insult coming from La Wintour. I mean, I don’t feel like she’s a person with a great appreciation for humor or jokes or, like, smiling?
Anyway, the page ends mid-anecdote, something about Jennifer Lawrence taking food from poor, slender Marion Cotillard. Can’t wait to see how this wraps up…12 pages of ads from now.
Well, someone’s doing well! Estee Lauder must have dropped a fortune for four pages of super-heavy glossy stock to promote “the inspiring new fragrance.” Inspiring? Pretty much the only thing perfumes inspire me to do is have a migraine, but YMMV, I guess.
Another Vogue book, this one just the covers, which seems like a good way to avoid the madness I’m currently descending into. Givenchy, so pouty. Stella McCartney, +1 for an Asian model, -76 points for making her stand in a pool wearing a plaid wool coat.
Here’s a Kenzo ad that I’m going to let speak for itself, because I can’t figure it out well enough to speak for it:
This would normally be the point where, concentration starting to flag, I might show you a picture of my cat. But she’s been hiding all morning. Perhaps she finds 902 pages of Vogue intimidating, too.
Okay, so the Jennifer Lawrence story was not that hilarious. She swapped plates with Marion Cotillard while Cotillard was away! What was Cotillard to do when she returned? Uproarious!!!!!
A few paragraphs of dubious segues later, there’s another page break. ANNA. THIS IS NOT HOW TO TELL A STORY.
Whoa, all-caps yelling at Anna Wintour feels good. So good there will be more later.
More ads before the sure-to-be-thrilling conclusion of Wintour’s missive. A Giorgio Armani lipstick called “Rouge Ecstasy,” which, if I were a grad student writing about the sexualization of women’s fashion, I would totally write about. (See also: sexualization of food.) More ads for Vogue.com. Is this 1998? No one would ever assume a leading fashion magazine had an accompanying website! Tods, which has a turquoise bag I covet so badly I’m considering just publishing my address and credit card number right here so they can send it to me. Rag & Bone, perfect for sitting on a New York City curb. And finally, on page 300, the end of the editor’s letter.
September is our biggest issue of the year, and that means sometimes you need a moment to dream [???????--ed], to be transported somewhere magical and truly fabulous. One way is to read Plum Sykes’s amusing and charming evocation of Caroline Sieber’s wedding in Austria…
The only place Plum Sykes transports me is to a dark and bitter place. But I’m totally looking forward to this, because why not send your most obnoxiously privileged writer to cover a “veritable fairy tale” wedding? What could be bad about that?
Shock! More ads. I hope no brand does something truly extraordinary back here, because I’m losing the will to catalog all of this. *slugs more caffeine*
Anyway: Salvatore Ferragamo, ANOTHER VOGUE BOOK BECAUSE HOW MANY MORE WAYS CAN THIS MAGAZINE ENCOURAGE YOU TO SPEND MONEY, shirtless models for 7 for all Mankind because I guess they don’t make shirts? Beyonce for Feria, a whole sideways L’oreal section that I am sure is totally paradigm-destroying because it makes the reader tilt her head, Amazon.com, Ann Taylor, Paige.
The masthead. I’m reading it closely so I know who’s responsible for my misery.
One nice thing I’ll say–at least Vogue doesn’t do that asinine thing every other magazine in the world does where they ask staffers questions like, “What one beauty product can’t you live without?” as if the entire magazine isn’t already the editors’ chance to showcase their likes and dislikes.
Maybelline. Eva Mendes for New York & Company–who knew? Porsche Design, because women are just like cars!
Are you sitting down? There’s another Vogue book. This one about weddings, so it’s good they published it, because is there anywhere else to read about wildly expensive celebrity nuptials? (Other than in the fictional magazine founded by Andy Sachs and Emily Charlton in the horrific Devil Wears Prada sequel Revenge Wears Prada. It is the worst book ever, and you should not read it unless you want to discuss with me how awful it is. Like, NO ONE EVEN WEARS PRADA IN IT.)
Ads again. Bebe. Pantene Expert (so don’t get confused and buy Pantene Beginner). Cointreau, where the fun models are! And…Letters from Readers.
Vogue readers have FEELINGS about the June Kate Upton cover. One reader claims that Vogue’s coverage of Upton’s curves “as a sign of good health fuels the misconception that being thin equals being malnourished.” Yes, by all means, Vogue sure is guilty of promoting the message that thinness is the same as malnourishment! Vogue never puts thin women on its covers or in its pages! And, um, Kate Upton is still thin.
This is a really complex issue that I don’t have time to dissect in the sensitive, nuanced manner it deserves, obviously. But if you can be thin and healthy, can’t you be curvy and healthy, too?
An 86-page ad for every consumer product Vera Wang has licensed her name to. Hudson, Vionnet, another Tom Ford for Women ad without Tom Ford in it but with eyeshadow worn out to the hairline, which I’m guessing isn’t going to catch on.
Having trouble with the anatomy in this Balmain ad. Someone help?
Moncler ad with fur coats and husky. Ralph Rucci ad, more fur, and also some kind of blunt instrument. Sonia Rykiel, with sky blue sock garters and no socks. I’m no fashion expert, but I feel comfortable declaring that NO ONE SHOULD WEAR THIS. Something jewelry, Proenza (two pages this far back–that’s it? did Jack and Lazaro have a falling out with Nuclear Wintour?), something leather mini and fishnets, Helmut Lang, blurry pink coat (sure, that’s the brand name), and Zadig & Voltaire. If you can pull off these leather overalls with no shirt underneath, more power to you.
Fossil, Express, Zoya nail polish. Shiny! More letters from readers, with one “complaint” that there’s no smell to the fragrance ads in Vogue‘s iPad version. Ha?
More ads: Neutrogena, Mercedes-Benz, and Loft, from which a disturbingly large proportion of my wardrobe hails. What? I need business casual for work! Also: nonstop sales. And I’ll take the tomato red coat in the Kate Spade ad, please. Bloomingdale’s, where jewelry goes in a frying pan!
And now, Adam Driver on the Contributors page. I don’t watch Girls, so I’m going to have so much fun with this!
Adam Driver doesn’t know what day it is because he’s working so much. Another Lancome ad–I’m not counting, but that’s like the 33rd one I’ve seen today. More contributors: Lily Collins (who has an essay in this month’s Seventeen called something like “How to Get Your Dream Life Now,” in which she instructs young readers to just start publishing things in newspapers and getting acting jobs–just like she did!–without ever acknowledging that having a wealthy and famous father may have helped in some way). There’s Thomas Beller, who reveals he thinks of New Orleans as the sixth borough of New York City, presumably because he spends a lot of time there and not because of, you know, geography or population trends. Ads for Alberta Ferretti, Moschino (want those glasses!), Hue, and Levis.
Wait, what is this? It’s a page with a whole lot of text on it. It looks suspiciously like an actual article! So this seems like a good place for me to take a break/eat lunch/maybe go outside for a minute. I’ll be back in an hour or so. In the meantime, here’s a Q&A I did with Michael Jones from Shine So Brightly yesterday, in case all these words aren’t enough!
I’m back and ready for more. If you’re following along, I’m picking up again on page 436.
So the first story here is in the “Up Front” section, which is a strange thing to call a section appearing on page 436.
Anyway. It’s the story of a journalist held captive in Somalia for fifteen months and another journalist she worked with to write a book about the experience. And it’s an intense, moving story, which is why it’s really weird that it’s intersected with ads for a Marc Jacobs perfume and Lucky Brand jeans. I’ve written before about the jarring tone shifts in Vogue, and this is another example. Sure, I can be interested in world affairs and fashion, but maybe not at the exact same moment.
The second page of the story is page 444. It continues on 450. But! There’s only one page, an ad for Sorel boots, between 444 and 450. 902 pages is a lie! This issue is only 897 pages!
Almost four years after her ordeal, Lindhout looks the picture of health, with long beauty-queen hair, superwhite teeth, and carefully plucked eyebrows…
I don’t mean to snark on the formerly imprisoned journalist’s health, but equating “healthy” with “beauty-queen hair, superwhite teeth, and carefully plucked eyebrows”? Maybe my doctor should check me for all of those at my next physical!
I do not have beauty-queen hair.
Robert Cavalli ad, then “Undercover Angel,” wherein the “philanthropic powerhouse Emma Bloomberg” tries desperately to stay out of the spotlight. Which explains why she granted an interview to Vogue.
So, “Undercover Angel”: basically, the wealthy and influential daughter of someone even more wealthy and influential uses her wealth and influence to help people who are not wealthy or influential.
I have no doubt that Emma Bloomberg (the mayor’s daughter, if you hadn’t guessed) is doing good things. But this article!
- Louis C.K. “unleashes his astringent and disarming blue-collar schtick”
- Bloomberg wears a sleveless dress to “show her impressively Crossfit-toned arms”
- Of a group of students who’ve all been accepted to college, “some [accepted] to schools like Dartmouth and Vanderbilt and Brown,” like a) those are the only colleges with value and b) it should be surprising that students from disadvantaged backgrounds were admitted to top schools
- Bloomberg “still reads Chaucer for diversionary amusement” after foregoing graduate study in medieval literature to work on her father’s first campaign
- And notes that growing up on the Upper East Side and living in Tribeca, she says, “it’s easy” to be comfortable with the more affluent side of New York. You think?
Also, every ad interspersed with this article is for Bulgari. Isn’t it lovely to be wealthy?
Another profile of another wealthy white lady! “Parks and Recreation” is about Catie Marron, who recently finished seven years on the board of the New York Public Library. With a title like that, there’d better be a Leslie Knope reference.
Just spent way too long selecting a Leslie Knope GIF. But they’re all so good! Okay, back to Catie.
No Leslie, though there was a fleeting mention of both Zuccotti Park (home of the Occupy Wall Street movement) and Istanbul’s Gezi Park. Also, more Bulgari ads.
Next article is “The Lady Upstairs,” about J.D. Salinger’s sister, her work in fashion, and how that may or may not have influenced Salinger’s work. This would probably have been more interesting if it were allotted a bit more space, but still, any break from the travails of the fabulously wealthy is a good one.
Getting into ads for less well-known brands now: Casadei, Isabel Marant, a baffling photo of elderly people reading to young children with the caption “Our fathers have told us.” Okay. Also, Jimmy Choo has a new fragrance. Of course he does. Everyone has a fragrance!
“The Comeback Queen,” about Susan Rice and “her surprising return to Washington.” Let’s find out!
Susan Rice hosted a party at her apartment in honor of LGBT Pride Month. The author namedrops several famous people who attended like Mia Farrow, and then, “and prominent members of the gay community.” None of whom he bothers to name in an paragraph describing a party to honor them. Priorities!
Paragraph three: a description of Rice’s ensemble.
When I press her to articulate her personal positions, her eyes, lined in her trademark aqua blue, settle into a glare.
Really glad the author–a man, natch!–worked in that detail. Quick, let’s get some balance. Someone call the nearest male senator and ask him who made his suit.
3: 15 p.m.
Okay, the rest of the article wasn’t bad at all, if not exactly hard-hitting political journalism. I’m curious to see how this holds up against the Wendy Davis article still to come, but there seems to be an obsession in the media with revealing the “private” side of female politicians. I’m not so well-read to say that there isn’t a similar obsession with male politicians, but what does it matter? Am I supposed to agree or disagree or understand Susan Rice’s positions because a reporter relays what happened at a party she threw?
Ads for Adriano Goldschmied and Cadillac, and then an “It Girl,” Jelena Ristic, described as “world’s number-one tennis girlfriend.” Yeah, profiling the “tawny, tiny, and strawberry-blonde magnet for paparazzi lenses” seems like a good way to follow up a profile of a national security advisor. *headdesk*
So Ristic actually runs Novak Djokovic’s foundation, which is fine. But why didn’t they lead with that instead of the girlfriend part? Also, I don’t think anyone cares about tennis as much as Anna Wintour does.
Remember those velour Juicy Couture tracksuits everyone used to wear? Now they come in leopard print. Oh joy.
Page 523, there’s a QR code for a video of where “Wintour introduces you to the September issue.” ON PAGE 523. Let’s watch!
Wintour says one of the fashion spreads is the “latest in indie rock chic.” HAHAHAHAHA. Vogue, you can’t be everything to everyone.
She goes on to say she wants readers to feel enchantment, so what better way to do that than by showing ball gowns photographed in a Venice palazzo? Oh, I want a life where that’s what enchants me.
In the “Flash” section now. Ads for Reid Krakoff and Carolina Herrera, people are wearing feathers for some reason, and there’s a huge ad insert for Target’s 3.1. Phillip Lim collection. How early do I need to line up at Target to get one of those gold satchels?
More “Flash” with Elisabeth Thurn und Taxis, who I guess has a ot of friends and goes to a lot of parties? That’s what I’m getting from her column. And she throws a surprise party for her brother with the theme of, and I’m quoting here, “lederhosen/Versace/Howard Carpendale/sweat pants.” #LOLrichpeople
Been waiting all day to deploy that hashtag. It was worth it. What does that theme even mean?
More “Flash,” more parties, people are wearing clothes styled like pajamas and negligees. Natalie Portman in an ad for Miss Dior. Diana Vreeland’s grandson “recalls lunch–and life” with his grandmother. Sounds like she had a pretty good setup: a maid would wake her in the morning, she would take calls in the bathroom–but wait, she had a bath large enough for a chair by the window!–and never arrived at the office before noon. A picture of Miley Cyrus in a jumpsuit. More totally unnoteworthy ads. Someone’s inviting jewelry designers to Suriname, there’s a short piece about Bernard Maisner, described as “calligrapher to the social set,” three pages of ads for Clarks. I’ll take the leopard print kitten heels, please.
Still more of this “Flash” business. Someone’s launched a website!
Page I don’t even know, the folios have disappeared, but it’s that “culotte chic” business. Your verdict? I’m going with no, no, hell no.
Hey, another rich white lady has created an app that somehow magically converts photos of food into meals that feed starving children in South Africa. That’s laudable and all, but do we really need to encourage people taking pictures of their meals?
“The Hamish Files.” He has his own section now. Apparently Anna Wintour threw him a party at her Long Island estate to commemorate his 21 years at the magazine, along with, he says, “another, unmentionable anniversary.” Um, maybe don’t bring it up then? Haven’t seen magazine staffers using the magazine itself to make inside jokes to each other since the Jane Pratt days of Jane.
Did I mention the party was Gatsby-themed? It was.
So Vogue employs at least two people whose job seems to consist entirely of going to wealthy people’s parties and then writing about them. Must be nice to a) have that job and b) think anyone but the people who go to those parties actually reads your articles.
The folios have returned! I’m on page 594, and Sarah Mower is on a trip to Italy to explore Valentino or something. Let’s find out.
This Valentino article is losing me. Something something “emotional renaissance” something “peach organza.” I am enjoying the ad for merino wool featuring Alexander Wang and a sheep standing in front of a graffiti-covered building, though.
A million pages of Emma Stone for Revlon. Emma Stone was once behind me in line for coffee at The Bean, therefore I’ve had coffee with Emma Stone. Namedrop! I learned from all these years of reading Vogue!
My Party Down “are we having fun yet?” GIF isn’t displaying correctly, which I’m using as an excuse to skip the rest of the Valentino article. On to “Go West,” about the “people, styles, and ideas” converging in L.A. right now. I adore reading about my hometown, because it’s awesome when people get it right, and it’s incredibly amusing/rage-inducing when they get it wrong. Let’s find out!
1. That story really wasn’t about L.A. at all; it was about Amber Valletta’s fashion line, and she lives in L.A.
2. Amber Valletta frequents the Brentwood Country Mart, which is where I would tell you to go in L.A. if you wanted to a) be really bored and b) see celebrities.
3. AMBER VALLETTA AND HER HUSBAND TOOK THE SUBWAY TO A HOCKEY GAME. This is not so shocking, except that the writer deemed it worthy of mention in an otherwise brief article. Stereotype about the lack of public transport in L.A. + famous person on the subway = something that Vogue readers just love, I guess.
Oh wait, this “Go West” business is apparently a section. Sigh.
Vogue refers to a 600 square foot apartment as “insanely cramped.” I refer Vogue to count the square feet in my NYC apartment! (The good thing about living in New York is that I will never again think anywhere I live is small.) Good thing the subject of this article found himself a 1920s Spanish-style house in a canyon to escape to.
“The new L.A. just happened in the last six or seven years”–Shut up, Vogue. How did I not notice this article was written by Lynn Yaeger?
More on L.A.: a musician, a “concept store,” and something called “The L.A.-Z” filled with, like, restaurants that serve “hand-rolled pistachio fusilli,” and a musican referred to as an “art-school Angeleno.” Ugh. Also, Ugg decided a Bourbon Street photo shoot would be the best way to showcase its boots. Not feeling any of this.
Vogue, I would like you about 10% more if you would use folios consistently.
So, page 630-ish? Inside the Swedish home of the designer behind Acne Jeans, which they wanted to be like “a spa for the soul.” Well, uh, good luck with that! Nice house, though. Offsets the hideousness that is this ad for something called Camille Flawless:
This has got to be the least Vogue thing I’ve ever seen in Vogue.
Page 640: “Rock-chick style is in heavy rotation…” Oh, they made a pun!
Hmm, maybe this is the least Vogue thing to appear in Vogue. Sorry, Kmart. I’m totally on board with the slogan, though.
The singer Grimes on page 646:
“My lips turned blue because I didn’t bring a jacket,” she says, laughing. “Everyone kept saying, ‘I love your lipstick!’”
Hypothermia is so punk.
“Coat Check,” which is exactly what it sounds like. That leather-sleeve coat is incredible if you can pull it off. (Alas, I cannot.)
Taylor Swift for Diet Coke, then something called “Style Ethics,” which apparently include selling t-shirts for $525 and pants for $895. But the designer pledges money to a children’s hospital in her hometown, so it’s cool.
Vogue contributing editor Marina Rust has real style challenges, because, she says, she lives on three islands: “Manhattan, one off the coast of Maine, and Key West.” Wow. Vogue must pay very well.
This caught my attention:
Aveeno ad, and then something called “She’s So Violet” about “the woman behind Violet Grey.” I have no idea who/what that is, so let’s find out!
So, Violet Grey is an upcoming e-commerce site, founded by Cassandra Huysentruyt Grey, that sells makeup. But that is the least interesting part of the article. This was the most interesting part:
Informed by the era of social media, Grey sees an opportunity to connect image-conscious consumers with Hollywood insiders. It’s something she’s uniquely positioned to do; as she delicately puts it, “I have a front-row seat within Hollywood culture.” To be less delicate: As the wife of Paramount CEO Brad Greey, she has the A-list on speed dial.
More like that, please, Vogue. You are a million times more interesting deconstructing the way the fashion industry works than reinforcing it.
Also, this entire article is buffeted by ads for cosmetic brands. SUBTLE.
The founders of Dannijo jewelry use Olay cosmetics, or at least that’s what this five-page Olay ad would like you to believe.
“What’s New, What’s Next” in beauty. To save you the trouble of reading it: 1) matte, 2) Jo Malone, 3) something Vogue calls “the foolproofers,” which are gadgets to make grooming yourself easier, and 4) “runway red,” as in lipstick. There. You’re all set for fall.
Skechers ad, something about model Vanessa Axente (newsflash: models travel a lot!), something called “calming tonics” that are the opposite of Red Bull. Uh, isn’t that what wine is for?
Ugh, here’s a loathsome Cover Girl ad with the headline “Go topless!” See, Sofia Vergara appears to not be wearing a shirt, but they’re advertising a nail polish that doesn’t require a topcoat! Ha! I love when cosmetics brands objectify women in order to sell to women.
No, I hate it. It’s one of the most insidious advertising practices around, and it needs to stop right now.
More Beyonce for L’oreal. Then a brief bit about Jason Wu’s new collection for Lancome, which includes “one extremely chic navy mascara”; new spas are opening at ski resorts in Switzerland (news you can use!); and See by Chloe has a fragrance in gel form that you can paint on your skin with a brush. That’s a good idea.
(BTW, while you’re here and we’re talking color mascara? I bought two colors of the Maybelline Great Lash and neither color shows up on my dark eyelashes at all. Do I need to layer it over black mascara?)
Nexxus has a two-page ad to help you “combat 8 signs of aging hair,” in case you weren’t fully occupied combating aging skin, muscles, teeth, and everything else the cosmetics industry tells you is getting old and decrepit.
Page 688, story about makeup artist/”cyberspace’s reigning beauty queen” Michelle Phan. Are we still saying “cyberspace”?
So, Michelle Phan seems pretty cool. But can we talk about this:
The real standout, though, is the Makeup Mood Enhancer, a highlighting cream…that can be used alone or mixed into foundation. The effects on bare skin are “like Instagram filters,” she says. “What if we changed how light hit your face? We could change your mood.”
I don’t know about the mood-changing effects, but this whole IRL-face-as-Instagram-canvas was in Lucky‘s September issue as well. Now, can someone make Spanx that make me look as slender as when I turn sideways to the camera and put my hand on my hip?
Page 696. Time to read about the FuelBand, a device worn on the wrist that will apparently alert users when they’ve burned enough calories for the day. I hate it already.
My takeaways from this mercifully short article:
1) There are a variety of expensive gadgets to monitor your calorie burn in real time, all day long. Apparently this is a good way to foster rivalries with your co-workers over who’s doing the most to stay fashion-editor slim. Seems healthy.
2) The author of the article mentions her fighting with her mother to walk the dog, and my first thought was, “A Vogue writer lives at home?” But then I looked at the byline, and saw it was Chloe Malle, and decided that if my mother were Candice Bergen I’d probably drop that into every article I could, too.
Vogue investigates the seven-minute workout craze. I hope they address how it affects your FuelBand/Fitbit/BodyMedia Link device!
I should also note we’re into the part of the book where prescription drugs start advertising. So far: Nuvaring and Nexplanon. What birth-control device is next? *holds breath*
“oxymoronic yoga burpee”
The verdict: some exercise is better than none, but more exercise is better than a little.
Three-page Olay ad called “Block by Block Beauty,” wherein they attempt to tie their products to NYC neighborhoods. Apparently Meatpacking is for “professionals with modern minimalist style,” Williamsburg is “lined with artisan boutiques,” and the Upper East Side is “a remarkable backdrop for well-heeled women.” I…yes…I guess? I don’t know. It all rings false. But points for using “artisan,” would have given more for “artisanal.”
Ad for a slimming tank top says, “Confidence comes from within.” Which is presumably why they think you should buy their product? I’m so over brands trying to use the language of self-confidence and empowerment to sell products that just reinforce beauty standards.
Page 710! Less than 200 pages to go! It’s “The Body Electric,” which seems serious. Here I go.
Brain’s no longer firing on all cylinders, I’m afraid. This story seems both sad and well-written, so maybe I’ll try again tomorrow?
Ads for Moroccan Oil, Plan B, and a computer! First tech ad I’ve seen, I think.
On to the “People Are Talking About” pop culture section. As if no one would be interested in people weren’t talking about these things already?
What people are talking about: actor Daniel Bruhl, foreign films, and San Francisco’s Tosca Cafe. Next: “a grand tour–without breaking the bank.” I’m just going to assume Vogue‘s bank is not the same as mine.
I stand corrected. Maybe my Euro-to-dollar conversion is shaky, but the quoted prices seem pretty reasonable. How will this magazine surprise me next?
Well, there’s this:
More stuff people are allegedly talking about: Elizabeth Olsen, Matthew Williamson wallpaper, a thousand more Cover Girl ad pages, yet another tennis player. Is this a British thing, or is Anna Wintour just obsessed with the sport?
Oh, well, Vogue says this tennis player is “broodingly handsome” and is into fashion, so there you go. I guess it’s better than a nonstop cavalcade of polo players?
Art dealer opens gallery downtown (yawn), a “devastatingly handsome” Italian ballet dancer is performing in New York, ads for Camel (gross), musician Valerie June, and an Irving Penn exhibition at a gallery here in New York, which I will totally go see and now I’m mildly indebted to Vogue for alerting me. Also gross.
Plowing ahead! Some designers, new TV shows, ads for Balenciaga and Versace, a page about upcoming books–come on, reading about more things to read is the last thing I want to do right now–and finally, finally, finally, the fashion spreads. Ahhhhh.
First up: “Wild Irish Rose,” with Adam Driver and Daria Werbowy, shot by Annie Leibowitz in Ireland. @1972projects on Twitter has informed me that the donkey is imported.
So, what do we all think of using W.B. Yeats to sell $1800 sweaters? Y/N?
Also, this caption: “Daria here is like a schoolgirl who has lost her innocence and isn’t about to turn back.” What? Also, she looks nothing like a schoolgirl.
And this one: “Effortless beauty still takes a little effort.” No it doesn’t. That’s why it’s called “effortless.”
In the twenty-five years of my life I’ve been reading fashion magazines, I am certain I’ve never seen an image like this. Props for originality.
Overall verdict on this spread: everything’s lovely except the text.
Next, “The Final Frontier,” “a beautiful minalism tailored for the brave and the bold.”
Well, the models in this are wearing Google Glass, so I would consider that both brave and bold! You know, for a fashion spread.
Clothes are amazing if you’re into minimalist, tailored styles; the rest of this spread is creepy. Also, on 784-785, it’s the dead model pose, though the caption makes it sound like she’s just landed on Earth after intergalactic travel? It’s entirely possible this is way over my head.
Here we go. “Star Quality” with Jennifer Lawrence. This had better be less boring than Silver Linings Playbook was, though it’s possible I didn’t enjoy that much because I was cringing in anticipation of a character actually saying the words “silver linings playbook.”
“Seven hour bender”: this should be more interesting that most celeb profiles, then.
See my previous comment? I was wrong. Jennifer Lawrence seems lovely, and seems determined to be herself, which is great. But for all the talk in this article about how she’s real and doesn’t play the game, etc., nothing really happens. How is this a “seven-hour bender” when the most exciting thing that happens is Lawrence confronting a restaurant patron not-so-surreptitiously photographing her?
A major portion of the article is comprised of directors she’s worked with talking about how great she is. Yeah, she has an Oscar. She’s in a lot of big movies. She comes across as youthful and spirited. All of which is fine, it’s just not very revealing or interesting.
My theory: Jennifer Lawrence’s so-called refusal to play the game is the game. </armchairpsychologist>
P.S. I LOVE the tweedy clothes they dressed her in for the photo shoot. A+++.
Next fashion spread: “Cinderella Story.” I hate it already.
“today’s princess” NO.
Oh, this is the fancy gowns in a Venetian palazzo thing Anna Wintour was talking about in the video. Still hate it.
Well, I don’t hate this.
Time to learn all about Hedi Slimane in “Cutting Edge,” page 814.
Slimane’s grunge-inspired collection is a “knowing take on plaid shirts, baby-doll dresses, men’s overcoats, fishnets, and slouchy sweaters.” Knowing? I mean, I wore all that in the 90s. Does that mean I have a knowing take on those things? I know so much about fishnets!
Oh wait, I don’t know anything about babydoll dresses that retail for $68,000 as Slimane’s do.
This article is long, and kind of dull, and I’m skimming toward the end. Here’s a quick quiz to help you decide if you should read it. Does the following sentence make your eyes glaze over?
“He tends to gravitate toward milieus that combine a vibrant avant-garde with layers of history.”
Mine sure did.
Now it’s “Perfect Storm,” about Benedict Cumberbatch, wherein I will attempt to understand why the entire internet is in love with him.
What I Learned About Benedict Cumberbatch:
1) Gary Oldman compares him to a Porsche 911.
2) He talks a lot, giving the reporter an answer more than 10 minutes long and speaking right up until he says goodbye.
3) He has a deep voice. (Okay, I knew that. I saw Star Trek No Punctuation Into Darkness.)
This is another one of those weird profiles where most of the quotes seem to come from other people, not the profile subject. Hmmm.
Okay, now something I’m actually interested in: “Hail to the Chief,” about Marissa Mayer . So glad they chose to photograph her lying down. *eyeroll*
We open with a discussion of how Marissa Mayer hates prime numbers and is “an unusually stylish geek.” This is not promising.
It got better? Sort of. There was plenty of Mayer talking about Yahoo’s plans and her own strategy, which is great. But there was also discussion of her favorite colors, what she ate during a team meeting, and a mention that she dismisses confrontation with a laugh. Like a derisive laugh? Or is she afraid of confrontation? Not sure from this.
There’s also a whole section about Mayer saying she doesn’t notice gender, like that she never realized she was the only woman on Google’s engineering teams. The author goes on to point out that Mayer describes herself as naive, but I’m not sure that’s really an explanation for her so-called gender blindness. How does she not notice? Why does she not notice? These questions go unanswered, but I did learn how she met her husband. There’s also little mention of her decision to do away with working from home, and how that played against her ability to bring her newborn son and nanny into the office. This piece is definitely a mixed bag, and while I know I complained other profiles were laden with too many quotes from others, this might have been a circumstance where other people could have provided some real insight.
I’m never going to finish this magazine.
Next article, about architect Ole Scheeren. I like architecture, but I may skim this. Wendy Davis is up next!
Screw it, I’ve been at this since 10 a.m. Reading about Wendy now.
First paragraph: Wendy Davis has naturally curly hair, she has a boyfriend, her daughter wears yoga pants to work. Digging deep, Vogue.
“Her warmth is genuine and profound, if just a hair shy of maternal; supporters adore her, but only twice in my time with her do I see a colleague or constituent rush in for a hug.” Show me where something like this has been written about a male politician. She’s a state senator, not Texas’ big sister.
Someday we will live in a world that praises a female politician without discussing her looks or her clothes. Today is not that day.
Still, after the awful start, the fashion references were relatively unobtrusive. There were some revealing moments about her and her past, and a decent discussion of her potential run for governor. A solid B effort.
Hey, Orlando Bloom is going to be on Broadway! The best way to share that news is to pose shirtless in Vogue, clearly.
OMG it’s the wedding of the year! And no better way to kick it off than with a photo of the bride in a hallway lined with stuffed and mounted antelope heads. Taxidermy is so in for weddings.
Well, you can tell right away that Plum Sykes wrote this. Here’s the opening line: “There was something delicious about arriving in my suite…” Oh, vomit.
Apparently the bride is a “Chanel ambassador,” which I guess is why her wedding merits a story in Vogue? Or maybe it’s because Plum Sykes’ daughters are flower girls. Also, this woman had eleven fittings for her bridal gown. ELEVEN. And “Karl Lagerfeld admires her style,” which we know nothing about except that she likes Chanel, which really distinguishes her. Who wouldn’t like Chanel, given the budget to afford it?
SHE SENT A MOVIE TO THE CHANEL SALON TO INSPIRE THEM IN CREATING HER DRESS.
The really funny part about this article is that it’s written as if all of this–the movie, matching your front door to the color of your favorite Vuitton bag–is normal. But I guess that’s Plum Sykes for you.
Skimming the rest–it’s mostly cute kid anecdotes, fawning over Pippa Middleton, and a few more opportunities for Sykes to pat herself on the back. What is this strange world these people live in?
Page 845, article about the chef David Chang.
Honestly I’m just relieved to find a food article in Vogue not written by Jeffrey Steingarten.
I’m already convinced David Chang is an awesome human being, or maybe I’m just hungry and responding positively to reading about food?
Takeaways from my admittedly quick read: 1) David Chang is friends with Charlie Rose; 2) there was, perhaps not surprisingly, a brief mention of tennis near the end of the article; 3) I definitely need to stop flipping through Chang’s magazine, Lucky Peach, and buy a copy once in a while. I think I like his style.
Page 848, “Cover Me,” a fashion spread of coats. WOW is there a lot of fur and animal skin. I mean, I’m not expecting synthetic down parkas in Vogue or anything, but a snakeskin shirt seems a bit excessive.
Disclaimer: I am in no way a vegetarian. But I gotta draw the line somewhere.
Also, calfskin trench, pony hair skirt. I’m a little afraid to keep reading the fashion credits. Bonus points for casting a woman of color as the model, though.
Page 856, “Steal of the Month”: $299 shirt, $229 shorts, $295 belt, and $129 hat. Once again, I would like to live in this world. Also, do these people have any idea how many clothes $299 would buy during one of Loft’s 50 percent off sales?
Just FYI, Lily Collins considers herself European, even though she sounds American.
Another fashion story: “Ragged Glory,” photographed by Mario Testino. There’s a horse in this one; whether there are horsehair garments, unclear.
Also in this: fur, a $4K Carolina Herrera dress, and a vehicle packed with horses and musical instruments. Is this some kind of quaint bucolic drug trip? Yes. This must be what a quaint bucolic drug trip looks like.
Almost to the end! Not that spending the entire day doing this hasn’t been lovely.
On to “Index,” where the “coolest girls around the world” (as Vogue calls them) or “rich white people” (as I call them) tell us what to buy, as if the entire magazine isn’t already dedicated to that purpose.
Also back here: ads for Lanvin and Blahnik, and a “cool girl” tells us where to buy “avant-garde fur in Stockholm.” Seriously considering vegetarianism after this issue.
Multi-page ad for that women’s NFL gear, much of which is awful, but it’s better than just printing team logos on pink shirts.
Sure, Index, I will definitely pick up a $900 desk the next time I’m in Hong Kong!
A whole bunch of pages I get to skip because they’re just the ends of articles I’ve already read! Yay! And here it is, the “Last Look”: a tweed Marc Jacobs bag for $4,495. Hey, Vogue, telling me that tweed is the go-to fabric of hunters is not really convincing me it’s worth $4K.
Clinique ad inside the back cover, and then…there it is. The end. Phillip Lim 3.1 for Target on the back. This Vogue has been read. Except for the two articles I skipped, but whatever. Close enough.
So, that’s it! I’m done! This has been the seventh annual Vogue liveblog.
Thank you thank you thank you for reading this, and I especially appreciate everyone who tweeted words of support because, let me tell you, there were some dark times this afternoon.
Good night from me and Luna the cat! See, she read Vogue too.