Tag Archives: anna wintour

French Vogue vs American Vogue

29 Jun


Vogue America
Previously I talked about the controversial androgynous model ANDREJ PEJIC where I outlined my views on the distinctions between French and American fashion. I am now trying to compare the two bibles of fashion- French Vogue and American Vogue, a debate going on since the magazine came out in the early 20th century.
There has always been this contest between American and French Vogue which I feel narrows down to their editors at large- Anna Wintour and the recently appointed, Emmanuelle Alt. Anna who may be the most popular person in the industry and one of the most powerful woman in the world today and Emmanuelle, fresh editor who was a style editor and is worshipped for her street style by all the leading street style blogs.
Being an Indian, everything American has always been more popular in my country as opposed to other foreign brands due to the sole reason that the States influence us more in terms of film and the more recent, culture. Anna Wintour is known to bring celebrity to the covers of her magazine  for the first time and that maybe the reason why the term ‘celebrity’ and ‘fashion’ can be used in one line. The French version, according to me, is rawer. They focus more on fashion and celebrate the fact that it is art. The American version will be more interested in celebrity and Hollywood. Full disclosure:  If French Vogue will have Natasha Poly or Isabeli Fontana on the cover, the American Vogue will have Sarah Jessica Parker or Angelina Jolie.
Dewi Dregan in Vogue Paris
The American version really scales out things for the conservative American audience and airbrush nudity or any other ‘inappropriate art’ whereas the french version contains bold features and celebrates fashion as art.  But then again American Vogue is a more commercialized version and gets a million readers while the French edition gets approximately 200,000 per issue. 
“I’m very happy at French Vogue to be able to do everything — almost everything — I want in the magazine.  It would be too political at American Vogue for me. At French Vogue, there’s less pressure to appeal to the masses. Its circulation of some 139,000 is dwarfed by the million plus readers of American Vogue.”- The then editor in chief of French Vogue, Carine Roitfeld told CNN a couple of years back which I agree and it was further written in the article that the Paris team had only 25 members while the American office is well, packed!
Then why is American Vogue diminishing couture trends and splashing the magazine with more actresses and less models? Why is it that you know more about a new independent film after reading Vogue than you do on Vulture+ Agenda (I remember watching Beautiful Kate when I read about it in their last year issue). I cannot answer these questions because they are all under the reign of Miss. Anna. I am not taking sides since they hail from the same house but it would nice to see Anna actually using fashion in her magazine than celebrity styling.

Size 20 is not that fat either

25 May

Five years ago, Jean Paul Gaultier, known for his stimulating

Velvet- The model used by Jean Paul Gaultier

collection, experimented. He used a size twenty model ‘Velvet’ as his runway model. The swap apparently shocked all the fashionista’s around the world and thus made it controversial.

Jean-Paul wanted to show beauty can be universal, He thinks all women are beautiful and aims to challenge society’s beauty stereotypes. That’s why he featured Velvet and a much older model in the show.“- A spokesperson was quoted at the fashion show.

It is always (and wrongly) assumed that to be fashionable; you need to be skinny. In the 1960s, people saw their first supermodel-Twiggy. People objected it by saying that she won’t last the industry long but ironically, she brought the revolution that thin was in. All the people of fashion industry worshipped her. They wanted models no more than size zero and perceived people more than that to be fat. I remember reading an article on Jezebel about Anna Wintour where she stated that she disliked fat people and wants everyone to be slim who are in her magazine. That is why she asked Oprah to lose some weight to make the cover.

Oprah on the cover of Vogue

“I suggested that… she lose a little bit of weight… I said simply that you might feel more comfortable. She was a trouper! She totally welcomed the idea and she went on a very stringent diet and it was one of our most successful covers ever.”-Anna Wintour

But are the thin models that we deem to be somewhat perfect; actually real? Good computer skills help. So does airbrushing. The cult to be ridiculously thin or perfect is somewhat stupid. I was glad that Jean Paul Gaultier used the model to differ himself from this issue.

When women see pictures of models in fashion magazines and say, ‘I can never look like that,’ what they don’t realize is that no one can look that good without the help of a computer.-Christy Turlington

The obsession to have a figure like Kate Moss is not exactly a paradise either. Women often adapt rather unhealthy means to become thin which causes them eating disorders, stomach ulcers and other illnesses which they do not seem to mind now since they get thin, but what about five to ten years later?

Look at Suzy Menkes or more recent, Adele. They both are so influential and have made an impact in the world. Adele was heard saying that ‘She makes music for ears, not eyes.’ Amen to that.

But since we are talking in opposition to be skinny, let us talk for it too. Looking from a designer’s point of view, they want their product to sell. Hence, they want a medium through which their product looks attractive. Why would they want their product to be put on something (in this case, someone) which will be mocked?

 I reason that skinny is fashionable only till an extent that it is healthy and original. None knows that if this ideology will actually become a trend but I definitely perceive that designers should experiment with all sizes.

Heck, if Vogue can make an ageless issue, why can’t they make a plus-size issue? Women of all size, color, age are pretty because beauty lies in your eyes.