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.
With only a few months to go before CarineRoitfeld launches her new magazine, CR Fashion Book, the industry is abuzz with excitment but if recent reports from Page Six are anything to go by, you can cross the powers that be from Condé Nast off that list.
According to the column, Condé’s chairman Jonathan Newhouse 'sent word to photographers including Mario Testino, Craig McDean, David Sims and the Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott team 'remininding' them of their exclusivity with Condé Nast to shoot for its titles including Vogue, W, Glamour, Vanity Fair and Allure.' Even those without exclusivity contracts have reportedly been discouraged from working with Roitfeld on the new venture.
I think that Vogue is always on the lookout for good-looking first ladies because they’re a combination of power and beauty and elegance…That’s what Vogue is about. And here was this woman who had never given an interview, who was extremely thin and very well-dressed and therefore, qualified to be in Vogue. And they had – Vogue had been trying to get her for quite a long time.
Recently all of the international editions of Vogue agreed to dedicate their June issues to health and aside from Vogue Germany, the results have been really good. Now all of the issues are out, one of the most interesting things that instantly stands out is the choice of models. Rather than opting for the ultra thin girls that are dominating at the moment, Vogue Paris chose Gisele for the cover and big editorial, Vogue Spain shot Hilary Rhoda and Vogue China booked Doutzen Kroes. While the girls are far from being representative of the average woman, their bodies are undoubtedly healthy and a better option from the types of girls these magazines typically shoot. Ironically, Kroes' editorial was aptly named, 'A Big Splash' too.
The majority of the editorials showcase summer swimwear, which instantly makes you think. Was the choice of models simply the result of trying to showcase the pieces in the best light or should we see it as a step in the right direction as far as the representation of a healthier body image goes. Even if is a positive step, there will be many that will argue that the commitment to health in the June issue is a one-off, rather than reflecting what we can expect to see in future. Since the July issues haven't all dropped on newsstands, I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
Vogue recently made the headlines but for all of the right reasons. All of the international editions of the magazine agreed to dedicate their June issues to health and so far so good. British Vogue showed Kate Moss as an Olympian, American Vogue put three athletes on the cover and Vogue Paris showed off Gisele's body in all of it's glory. Vogue Germany, on the other hand, are under fire for not completely following through.
The magazine features an editorial shot by Peter Lindbergh called 'The Naked Truth', which sees 'powerful women' like Nina Hoss, Donata Wenders and Nadja Auermann without make-up or retouching. The black-and-white shoot is undeniably strong and feels like a breath of fresh air from the overzealous retouching we've sadly become accustomed to. The source of the controversy comes from the shot of Nina Hoss who appears smoking a cigarette.
So far the opinions on the issue are split. Some say that the magazine should be applauded for taking such a strong stride in the right direction with the lack of retouching and underweight models. Others haven't been so sympathetic and have slammed them for including one of the unhealthiest practices, which counteracts any positive steps they had taken.
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.
Unlike the current penchant for celebrities to do that now cliche naked pregnancy shot, Julia's is actually really good and she has her mother Carine Roitfeld to thank. Rather than going nude, the former Vogue Paris editor styled her in a sheer Alexander McQueen and olive coloured bra. 'Pregnancy's a moment in a woman's life when it's really important to feel seductive,' she told the magazine. 'I loved that my mum dressed me sexy like that.'
As far as her style is concerned, being pregnant hasn't changed anything. 'I still dress how I used to dress and sometimes people look at me weird on the street, as if because I’m pregnant I stop being a woman,' she continued. 'That’s really something I want to make a point of: that I’m going to be a mother but I’m still a woman, I still want to feel good about myself and feel pretty.'
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?
French Vogue's website got a sexy make-over back in February and just as they said when the news of the relaunch was announced, that's not the only thing they have in store.
On Friday the magazine took to their Twitter account to reveal that the website will follow in the footsteps of Vogue Italia by being made available in English. 'France gave the US the Statue of Liberty, now we are taking Vogue.fr to the wider world... get ready for #VogueParisinEnglish,' they tweeted. By next week Monday the site will have a British flag at the top of the page allowing readers to read the English version of the site.