As regular readers will know, I'm an avid supporter of the use of models on the cover of fashion magazines. The current obssession for celebrities has taken on a whole new dimension making it rare to the big titles champion models on their covers, especially at a time where many are struggling to secure those big ad pages and circulation figures. Harper's Bazaar UK, on the other hand, have done the opposite with their October issue.
Rather than opting for a celebrity the magazine offers two cover options; one starring Laetitia Casta and another fronted by Joan Smalls and to accompany it, both women have a full-on features too. In the respective interviews Casta talks about her experiences working with Yves Saint Laurent and her thoughts on the future of the house; while Derek Blasberg spoke to Smalls about being rejected by casting agents before getting snapped up by Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy.
Aside from the fact that both covers are beautiful, the casting also works because of their ages. Smalls very much represents today's new breed of supermodels so it was nice to balance that with Casta who, while still young in the grand scheme of things, at 34 year-old represents an older generation of supermodels.
So we are shooting on this balcony in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris and I was so f*****g scared that Choupette would step back and fall off and that Karl would hate me forever because I killed his cat.
While she does look pretty scared in several of the Karl Lagerfeld-lensed shots, I still love it all the same and according to Casta, Choupette was the perfect co-star. 'She is an unusually beautiful cat, and it was a lovely experience,' she told the title.
Laetitia Casta certainly holds her her in a photo but in the upcoming issue of V magazine, the model won't be alone. Choupette Lagerfeld, of iPad and Twitter fame, will pose alongside Casta in what will be her modelling debut.
And thing's aren't going too badly for the cat. Earlier on this week Cathy Horyn fuelled rumours that Lagerfeld has created a Chanel bag in her honour and now, what with being a big model and all, she'll have the fame to justify her extravagant lifestyle.
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?
Roberto Cavalli went all out for his Spring/Summer 11 show in Milan on Monday. As well as securinh the 19th-century marble Arco Della Pace for the show's venue he also bagged Natalia Vodianova to open the show and Laetitia Casta to close it - and it didn't come cheap. Cavalli allegedly spent 50,000 - 70,000 euros ($67,000 - 94,000) to ensure that Vodianova walked in the show and attends his anniversary celebrations in Paris next month.
Last season we sawMark Fast use plus-size models to showcase his SS10 collection, thus attracting a flurry of media attention and even allegedly causing his stylist to walk out. Whilst this kind of positive runway publicity surrounding the size debate is obviously a positive one in the way of a healthier lineup on the catwalk, there's been an absence of acknowledgement from the big names in fashion, particularly with the likes of Karl Lagerfeld being so pro-size zero. After mixing up the model lineup by using street casting and members of his staff for his AW10 Marc Jacobs show, the influential American designer chose to take his stance on the use of 'real women' one step further, by casting a range of ages, shapes and ethnic backgrounds for the Fall Louis Vuitton show at Paris Fashion Week.
Amongst the range of models were Laetitia Casta, Elle Macpherson, Lara Stone, Coco Rochaand Noémie Lenoir, though in keeping with fairness to all sizes and shapes, Victoria's Secret Angels Alessandro Ambrosio and Adriana Lima also walked - with this being Lima's return to the runway prior to giving birth. "Designers are always talking about how they design for women, and then you look at our runways and there no girls over 20," Jacobs told The Guardianbackstage at the show. "This time, I set out to cast a variety of sexy women - younger, older, thin, voluptuous, from every ethnic background." They might have been from different walks of life, but each Louis Vuitton model was undoubtedly beautiful in her own right, and Jacobs succeeded in doing a fantastic job of showing the industry that differentiation on the runway doesn't mean sacrificing a stunning show.