Magazines are dead. Wrong. That’s fake news
Last week in London, not one, but two new magazines raised a finger to this theory. One, Chaos 69, is independent. The other, British Vogue, is part of the establishment. David and Goliath (and is there a reason this analogy is still male?).
Should you judge a book by its cover? No. But we all do. In the case of the new look of British Vogue, it’s a very good place to start. The first issue under new editor-in-chief Edward Enninful’s helm is a slick shift into more diverse style and substance, and thank god for that.
Fashion likes to be on trend and is often quick to judge. Like an emoji, it can be hysterical in praise, but in the blink of an eye, those love hearts turn into daggers, pineapples, or shit. When something is new, the social media tribe whirls into overdrive as everyone races to retweet the image and join the new gang. Me, me, me. Yes, yes, yes. Or no no no. Not interested. Sour Grapes. Whose side are you on?
This British Vogue cover is brilliant. It made me remember why I fell in love with magazines—those heavy, cumbersome things that don’t fit in your pocket, you can’t pinch to enlarge, and you can’t scroll through faster than a Tinder app. Magazines—well, good magazines—deserve your full attention. They should inspire you.
The new Vogue cover says, Look, it’s time to up your game, get the gloss back on, twist a turban on your head, and try harder. This statement, unveiled a year after that election, translates to: okay, it’s a political fuck up, but fashion should be looking forward and celebrating talent, not click bait or fake news. Fashion should be focusing on its job: to make people dream.
Adwoa Aboah is the perfect unexpected-but-who-else-could-have-done-it Vogue cover girl with eyes rimmed in blue powder, lips glazed in flame red gloss, and freckles peeking through like fairy dust. Her expression catches your attention—ethereal and defiant. She knows it’s something inspiring and something that demands your attention. Smart. It’s chunky in a good way, and the only thing that has slimmed down is the font. The members of the stacked, starry cast list on the cover are called out for their talent, not their notoriety—a clue to the magazine’s diverse insides that are glossy and global. It’s an issue that, even before it went on sale on Friday (and subsequently sold out), has earned that overused adjective, iconic. Highlights include John Galliano at a bus stop, Naomi Campbell as roving reporter, and the majestic Meisel cover shoot, for which Pat McGlitterGrath and Guido Palau came together to make Aboah shine.
You need to buy it, read it, and relish it rather than re-gramming someone else’s opinion online. This is a new Vogue, and a new era.