After all the hype made about the cover it feels like such a relief to actually get past it and read the April issue of Vogue.
While the article that goes with the cover story is entertaining, the jewel of this issue is undoubtedly “Follow Me” by Jonathan Van Meter, photographed by Mario Testino. It features an editorial with Kate Upton and the article starts out by profiling her career and use of social media but moves into an examination of the use of social media by models and ultimately whether social media hits are currently being translated into actual sales. I loved the twists in this article and the fact that Vogue has taken an interest in letting its readers know about the business side of fashion at least a little bit. The Business of Fashion has clearly shown that there is a market for this information and Vogue is nothing if not adaptive to the needs of the market.
While the length of a few of the profiles was wanting (Mindy Kalling, Skylar Diggins, Audrey Gelman and Virginie Courtin Clarins) the size of the photograph for each article as well as the almost uniform layout created a sensation of deliberateness that is noticeable and appreciated. Stunning!
The editorial “Kicking Back” photographed by Karim Sadli for the now ubiquitous “What to Wear Where” section is surprising. Model Daria Werbowy is usually typecast as either the nonchalant cool girl in Isabel Marant type clothes or else put in extremely minimalist masculine cuts. The series of photographs inarguably has a lot of the latter however this is balanced out by the volume of a few knits as well as two beautiful dresses that have minimalist leanings but extravagant embellishment. The effect of the editorial as a whole is of an entirely more nuanced and complicated femininity than one often sees depicted in one model, one look editorials.
The other editorial is “Ray of Light” photographed by Mikael Jansson featuring Karlie Kloss. It’s very airy and cold-water-beachy in feeling and is quite beautiful.
I was surprised to find that two of the front of book articles were my favorite. The Up Front article “Late Or Never?” by Adam Greem brought me on a journey that I already know too well but presented solutions that I hope to try…maybe… one day… And “Headlines and Hemlines” by Janine di Giovanni seemed to be at the intersection of so many of a modern woman’s concerns, how to dress, where to live, creating an identity and getting on with it, already to live one’s life. The looking back at an inspirational woman and how a modern woman relates to her makes me feel as though the article tells a story that is universally relevant.
Now to the Kimye article. “Keeping Up With Kimye” by Hamish Bowles, photographed by Annie Leibovitz is entertaining and keeps enough of the Kimye ego in the article to be believable. The choice to put Kim in white wedding dresses for the totality of the editorial is brilliant because it is difficult to make a wedding dress look cheap. Vogue had a difficult task in writing about a woman whose life is already exposed. Her legion of fans already know it all and her detractors don’t and won’t waste any energy on getting to know her. What the article does right is focus on the things that haven’t gotten coverage ad-nauseum: North West, Kanye, the wedding, the future. The fact that Kimye have successfully displaced the conversation from reality-tv L.A to fashion capital Paris has helped legitimize their claim to being en Vogue. This has been the conversation put forth for a while: the Lagerfled/Tisci/Kardashian editorial for CR Fashion Book, the makeover, the Tisci dress for the Met Ball, the jaunts to Paris and now the Vogue editorial. This reinvention has only been allowed because of the fashion world’s respect for Ricardo Tisci who has been there for every step of the fashion media overhaul (he’s featured in the Vogue article too). I hope that Tisci is paid for his tireless work promoting Kimye or at the very least that this is a very real and reciprocal friendship from which he equally benefits. Clearly Wintour is the smartest of them all as the April issue is set to break records.
So how would I rate the April issue of Vogue magazine? I don’t think this issue is going to be a collectible issue if only because everybody already has their hands on it. But Vogue does not push the envelope in any of its content, rather it presents a magazine of faultless construction that profiles different women to varying degrees of success: the profiles for the shape issue are great, good, good-ish, boring and too short in turn (though not necessarily in that order). There are two pretty good editorials and the “Index” pages are short but effective and extremely shopable. As I’ve said before the reasons to buy this issue are the social media/Kate Upton article and the Nostalgia and Up Front pieces. I particularly liked the content of the Flash section but did not connect to the Last Look or its write-up. I give this magazine a very solid 3.9 stars/5. Depending on your degree of love for Kimye or undying support for Vogue buy it while supplies last !?! Or, you know, just pop over to the website for the free content.