By last week we'd all seen just about all of the major September issue covers but Vogue Paris was notably missing. That all changed today, though, as the glossy finally revealed their all-important issue and it's an interesting one.
As always, the cover was all about models with Vogue Paris favourites Kate Moss, Lara Stone and Daria Werbowy bagging their own separate covers. All three models appear sporting the same hair and make-up and black Dolce & Gabbana dress in line with the issue's black theme and that's where the similarities end. The issue also sees the magazine undergo a major revamp. 'The magazine features a calendar, airier design, with remodeled typography and the use of a craft-paper-like brown background - both of which hark back to its look in the Sixties and Seventies,' WWD reports.
Emmanuelle Alt has been under a lot of criticism since taking the reigns at the magazine and the September issue seems like a conscious step on her part to finalise the changes she's been making to put her stamp on things.
When Emmanuelle Alt last booked Gisele to cover the magazine for their April issue last year, she looked feminine and demure sporting that white lace Dolce & Gabbana dress that dominated the covers last spring. For their June 'body issue' though, the Brazilian looks far from demure sporting nothing more than tiny black bikini shorts.
The cover looks fresh and is definitely one of the best summer covers out right now and the timing couldn't be better. Alt hasn't had the easiest time since being appointed editor-in-chief last year, especially with the new direction that she's pushing the publication in but based on the comments on The Fashion Spot, the cover is going down really well.
To say that Vogue Paris' new direction under Emmanuelle Alt has been controversial would be an understatement. When she was announced as the magazine's new editor-in-chief she had no qualms in saying that the magazine will move towards a softer feeling and that sentiment has ran true ever since. It's this softer feeling that was the subject of much discussion recently when the magazine dropped their May cover starring Laetitia Casta.
Compared to the Roitfeld-styled Casta cover from the December/January 2009 issue, the latest version couldn't be any further apart. The latter was a lot less provocative and directional than you would expect from Vogue Paris and as a result, I was amongst the critics unhappy with the cover. Now that the whole cover editorial is out, though, I'm not as hostile as I thought I would be. The shoot is actually really romantic but in an interesting way especially with that black swan Giles headpiece. Am I convinced that this is the direction that Vogue Paris should go, well no, but hopefully as time goes on Alt will find a better balance to the magazine of old that w all know and loved and one more in tune with the reality that she's searching for.
Earlier on this week Vogue Paris dropped their May cover starring Laetitia Casta shot by Mario Testino and while the model looks beautiful, the cover hasn't been met with a good response.
The comments in the forum of The Fashion Spot, where the image was released, confirm what we've all been thinking for a while. The magazine underEmmanuelle Alt's direction is a far cry from it's aesthetic under Carine Roitfeld. All you need to do is look at the Roitfeld-styled Casta cover from the December/January 2009 issue to see that. The question is whether the change works? I'm not convinced that it does. Far from being directional, the covers seem to be moving in a commercial way, which isn't a term that you would have associated with the magazine under Roitfeld's reign.
Am I surprised by the change - well no. With her first cover as editor-in-chief, featuring a soft and romantic looking Gisele Budchen shot by Inez & Vinoodh, Alt made it clear that things were going to be different under her editorship. 'I always want a relationship with reality: nothing too sexy, or provocative, or fashion victim. We are French — we can show smoking, nudity. We have no boundaries, and it can be good to have them,' she said at the time. I wouldn't be surprised if the circulation was up as a result of the changes but is that really what Vogue Paris is about?
Since Emmanuelle Alt became editor-in-chief of French Vogue, many have criticised her for being cold and inaccessible but in a recent chat with Grazia she seemed surprised that people now perceive her in that way.
“Well, it’s my way of being! I didn’t [have to] force myself! I love to dance, I love to sing. I don’t think that I’m inaccessible?” she said when asked about that video she did to celebrate the relaunch of Vogue.fr. “‘I think we shouldn’t take this [fashion] too seriously. In the end, it’s just clothes and we’re in a very privileged world.” She continued: “I didn’t really [have to] think about it too much, because you know, I love Wham and George Michael!’ she said. She chose that particular song because it was easy: “the set is just white, with white clothes…and it’s easy [to sing] for French people.”
Last month we were all left wondering what French Vogue would do after they announced that they are relaunching their website. Their website has arguably not been as strong as their international counterparts but that's all a thing of the past as Emmanuelle Alt proved that they are force to be reckoned with as she unveiled the new design today.
To celebrate the relaunch Anja Rubik, Karmen Pedaru, Kendra Spears, Jasmine Tookes and French TV personality Mademoiselle Agnès, joined Alt to perform Wham's 'Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go'. All the models serve as back up singers for Alt, with Agnes playing the guitarist.
Since taking the role as editor last many have criticised Alt as coming across as unapproachable and frosty so this video will undoubtedly serve to dispel such allegations and besides, can you honestly imagine any other editor (besides Anna Dello Russo, of course) letting go and releasing something like this?
French Vogue's website hasn't quite stood up to the standard of its international counterparts over the years but that is set to be a thing of the past. This morning Condé Nast confirmed that the site is getting a major make-over that will be unveiled on February 6, ahead of fashion week.
'Content wise, the new Vogue.fr blends the digital and print editions, feeding off each other under the watchful eye of Emmanuelle Alt, and aims to be the digital extension of the magazine, adapted to the time frame and use of the media,' the press release reads. So expect backstage access to shoots and video interviews with fashion curators and key feedback from the shows.
Daria Werbowy is a Vogue Paris favourite so with that said, it comes at no surprise that the magazine has dedicated the whole of the February issue to her. The model, who also had the magazine's August 2009 issue dedicated to her, was shot by Inez & Vinoodh in a Prada swimsuit.
The decision to use Werbowy for the issue makes sense, as Emmanuelle Alt stressed that she intends to continue working with the model after taking the reigns at the magazine. When asked about what models we can expect to see in the magazine under her editorship she confirmed that Werbowy "is the girl I work with the most. She has a natural, strong beauty. You can put her in a white tee and she will make it look fantastic."