Edith Wharton in Vogue

These pictures are a few months old (and therefore ancient in fashion/internet terms) but I still want to share this Annie Leibovitz spread for American Vogue.  Styled by Grace Coddington, Natalia Vodianova is novelist Edith Wharton on her Massachusetts estate, The Mount.  Flanking her is novelist Jeffrey Eugenides as Henry James, Boardwalk Empire actor Jack Huston as her mercurial lover William Morton Fullerton and an interesting cast of supporting characters including Elijah Wood as her chauffeur (!) and James Corden as Teddy Roosevelt (!?!).

The editorial is rather static and dreamy and Old World-ish, and there are cameos from American men of letters like Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Diaz (no women, unfortunately).  It’s also accompanied by a rather lovely piece by Colm Toibin, which you can read here.  I suppose the only bone to pick is that Wharton was supposed to be about 45 at this time, while Vodianova is… not.  Kristen McMenamy might have made a better Wharton or, as one of the original commenters suggested, perhaps a female novelist would have been best.









The Wizard of Oz is In Vogue

Following on from yesterday’s review of Everything Oz, I thought I’d post this photoshoot from the Christmas issue of American Vogue from 2005. The December issues of Vogue are always very special – there’s always a fairytale/pantomime/dreamscape shoot with a cast of unusual suspects. This time it’s Keira Knightley and a roster of American contemporary artists; the puckish Jeff Koons as a winged monkey, Tim Currin as the Tin Man, Chuck Close as Oz, the Great and Powerful, Jasper Johns as the Cowardly Lion and Kara Walker as Glinda, the Good Witch – amongst others.

Shot by Annie Liebovitz, styled by Grace Coddington.




Underwater Love

You could easily be fooled into thinking that photography from a certain decade will always look the same – rough and ready Utility women in the 1940’s, elegant, poised women in the 1950’s. We’ll probably look back on 2010-19 as the Instagram Decade.  Sometimes there will be an exception.

Photos by Loomis Dean for Time Magazine,

I am a Camera

One of the first lines in Alone in Berlin, Christopher Isherwood’s Weimar-era novella, reads;

I am a camera with its shutter open, quite passive, recording, not thinking

With that slightly depressing line in mind, let’s look at British Vogue’s ‘I am a Camera’ shoot for it’s February issue.

This editorial takes the idea of the front row fashion blogger and turn it on its head.  It’s interesting, considering how much inspiration that bloggers get from magazines, that a magazine should draw inspiration from bloggers so late in the game.

Still, bloggers are outsiders in the fashion world.  ‘I am a Camera’ seems to suggest that bloggers are passive observers of fashion – they never mould or guide what fashion is to become.  Maybe I’m reading into it wrong, but that’s what it looks like to me.

It’s utter bollocks, of course.  Bloggers do help to accelerate and even kick-start trends (um, Susie Bubble anyone? Tavi?) I’ve met quite a few front row bloggers and they spend more of their time editing photos and doing 40+ hours of work in other jobs and less time than you’d think prancing around gritty urban settings/stately homes in the new Prada flame heels and taking pictures of themselves picking their teeth in fabulous hotel suites.

This shoot is still pretty great.  A really original concept, great styling and lovely pictures.  I especially love the photos where the clothes are lovingly organised on the suitcase and the bed – accessorised with a half-devoured room service breakfast.  But of course.

I am a Camera, British Vogue Fab 2012.  Tati Cotliar by Raymond Meier.  Styled by Charlotte Pilcher.  Images via Hey Crazy (http://heycrazy.wordpress.com/2012/01/09/i-am-a-camera/)

What Would Isabella Blow Do?

After last night’s Isabella Blow post, I picked up the copy of ‘Isabella Blow: A Life In Fashion‘ that I had bought and immediately put on my bookshelf to gather dust and started to read. And read.  Until 7am, when I finished the book and fell into a nice, long comasleep.  It’s the best Blow biography I’ve read – almost surprising that she died a handful of years ago and already three biographies of her have been released, with a major exhibition of her wardrobe in the works.

This is a rather roundabout way of saying that I’ve had the superstylist on the brain lately.  It’s odd, because I only ever pick up a book on her when I’m sick, the last time when I had food poisoning over Christmas (fun for everyone involved) and now, a weeklong stint in bed with a knee ailment (annoying, but still nowhere near as bad as food poisoning), doing that RICE thing.

And this is an even more roundabout way of saying that I saw these editorials today and I think that she would have liked them – if you’ll allow me to make some conjecture about a woman I never met and will never know.

Medieval ostentation and a highland fling shot by Chris Nicholls and styled by Fiona Green for Flare. (via)

Bright colours and unharmonic dischord by Steven Meisel (styled by Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele) for Vogue Italia. (via)