Something about holding the 125th Anniversary Collector’s Edition of Vogue made me want to restart. Holding this piece of history catalyzed a re-thinking of how I wanted to approach my website and my digital space, what I wanted to focus on and how I wanted to focus on my topics. Writing simply for writing sake isn’t fulfilling, at least not anymore.
I am committing myself to publish pieces I’m totally proud of, articles that I can submit as a professional portfolio regarding topics that are worth both my attention and the attention of my reader.
And the 125th Anniversary Collector’s Edition of Vogue is certainly worthy of all our attention.
In this anniversary issue Vogue rightly allows itself to feel nostalgia for its immensely accomplished past and focuses on the fiercely ambitious women that have graced its covers. Among these women are Oprah, Serena Williams, Nicole Kidman, Chelsea Manning, Megan Kelly, Zendaya, Iman, Lena Dunham, and supermodels Claudia Schiffer, Liu Wen, Iman, Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, and Cindy Crawford.
One thing that always strikes me with Vogue is that the magazine is not only a fashion publication in words, but also in photographs. The visual experience of Vogue is unmatched by any other magazine. Flipping through the pages gives me a sense of the current trends and state of fashion, and immerses me into this vibrant, colour-filled world where I lost myself for hours without thought of anything else. I love comparing different publications of Vogue to see how the fashion changes and how trends fade in and out of popularity. And this edition’s 775 pages expose all the fashion trends for Fall/Winter 2017.
A few of my favourite articles were…
- “I am Iman”: The trailblazing Somali supermodel, and inspiration for so many brown and black women striving towards a career in the fashion industry, discussed her 41 years intertwined with the magazine. In 1976, at 20 years old, Iman had her first modelling job for Vogue. She recites her various experiences with Vogue, chronicling her nude photoshoot pregnant with her second child, her photoshoot with fellow Somalian model Waris Dirie bringing to light female mutilation, and a photoshoot with her late husband and “everlasting soulmate” David Bowie.
- “Always on My Mind”: an eclectic collection of memories that have influenced sixteen designers. My favourites were Stella McCartney’s, Donatella Versace, Tom Ford, and Christopher Bailey’s.QUOTE: “Seeing The Wizard of Oz when I was three and a half years old was one of my earliest memories. The ruby slippers were magical for me—I thought they were the most beautiful things I had ever seen. I focused on how they glittered in every scene; I could not take my eyes off them. When I was in my late teens and taking acting classes, one of my coaches asked me what kind of shoes my character would wear. He then told me to find those shoes and put them on while I was working on the character—he said that they would literally help me to become that character; they would change the way I walked and how I felt. I still feel this way about shoes—they are indeed magical.”
- “Heart and Sole”: While in Prague this past September I visited the “Manolo Blahnik: The Art of Shoes” Exhibition at the Kampa Museum, an incredible display of over fifty shoes created by the famous designer over the years. I fell in love with the exhibition and stared for over two hours in awe of the extravagant creations I was presented with. This particular article discusses the documentary directed by Michael Roberts, Manolo Blahnik: The Boy Who Designed Shoes for Lizards, two years in the making. Vogue calls the bio-doc “unconventional” and captures “both [Manolo’s] distinctive loquaciousness and his renowned, slightly twisted wit.”
I absolutely love books! And so, accordingly, I always enjoy the literature suggestions that magazines have to offer. Here are a few of the suggestions that stuck out most to me:
- Little Fires by Celeste Ng: I’ve been recommended this book before by two friends. Ng discusses upper-middle-class America and views on race relations.
- The Twelve Mile Straight by Eleanor Henderson: “The fates of two children, one light-skinned, one dark, born to the same mother in 1930s Georgia evoke present-day complicities…”
- Go, Went, Gone by Jenny Erpenbeck and translated by Susan Bernofsky: “a retired professor from the former East Berlin finds unexpected commonality with a group of African refugees.”
The magazine was overwhelmingly inspiration, and after poring over it for more than four hours I still hadn’t gotten through it all. Reading through all the stories of women who had been featured in Vogue and their various experiences before and after their features was both eye-opening and motivational. As individuals, our lives are in a constant state of flux and no two moments are exactly the same. In such a fast-paced and driven world we’re constantly looking for our next big project, the next big thing that’ll keep us focused and distracted for a while. Reading about Oprah’s experiences of life after broadcast television, Megyn Kelly’s move from refereeing fiery political debates on Fox to hosting her own morning show on NBC, and the memories of supermodels recollecting their first cover shoots for Vogue has me looking forward. Even though the experiences of all these women are different, one common theme is that they’re all incredibly ambitious.
Safe to say I feel much readier to curate my own, individual space on the web and look forward to putting my best work forward.
Let’s see how it goes.