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23 July 2011

Review: Vogue Paris August 2011

Like the August 2010 cover, a light blue sky was the back drop but that’s where the similarity ends. Vogue Paris enlisted the help of regular cover model Lara Stone to help recover from the catastrophe that was the June/July issue, and just what do we think? Well, despite the overkill of the plane, I like it. I like it a lot. A good start! I think the image would have worked better as part of an editorial, but it’s a good image providing the sexiness associated with the magazine. The emerald ring is one step too far but hey, I’ll let that slide. 

The Beauté section opens with ‘Art Nouveau’ featuring beauty products and looks from this season’s fashion shows. Bold eye-liner, dark lipstick and matching nail varnish and bags, this is not a section to be missed. Bien sûr, I’ve spotted a few products I need to get.

It was all going so well for Vogue Paris until I turned to page 97, only to see Anna Selezneva cavorting around in the ‘Bijoux’ section. Like her Bijoux feature in the May issue, it’s uninspiring and as I’m coming to realise with Emmanuelle’s Vogue, repetitive. It’s basically a pretty woman wearing precious stones. It could be a marketing brochure and no, that’s not a compliment. It’s worth noting that she looks good in red. I don’t want to be a complete downer.

 

Madame Saglio redeems herself from the blahness of the Bijoux section with flirty monochrome editorial ‘Maitress Attitude’ which just screams “Parisienne”, though that Louis Vuitton bag is misplaced (and tacky). The simplicity of this feature works well.

She may roll, literally, with the world’s creepiest photographer and have a vile smoking habit but there is no doubt that Jen Brill has an amazing wardrobe (and is freakin’ gorgeous!), so thank heavens Vogue Paris noticed her for the ‘Une Fille Un Style’ section. Glossy brown hair and those trademark red nails are even more alluring on the pages of Vogue Paris.

 

Géraldine Saglio is all over this issue and as we turn to her ‘Miss Vogue’ section, yet another 8 pages of bad taste and a stylist team who forgot to call a hairdresser.

 

‘Escale À L.A.’ is the editorial you’ve seen everywhere featuring Lara Stone, Freja Beha Erichsen, Natasha Poly, Arizona Muse, Isabeli Fontana and Raquel Zimmerman, and photographed by Inez and Vinoodh. So big names there, right? If that’s the case, why is it so boring and repetitive?I expected Lara and Isabeli to lead but it is, without a doubt, Freja who looks nicest. Of course, Vogue Paris’ Emmanuelle has styled her in the same way she always does – edgy, rock chick – stick to what you know. Not ground-breaking stuff, but she looks nice. Her images are sharp, sexy and I particularly like the black and white images. Lara is, of course, sexy and with flesh on display. Yawn. There is however one image of Lara (as styled by Melanie Ward) which is complete and utter Carine Roitfeld (below). Considering the wealth of designers, why Melanie chose to keep Lara in the simplest pair of Christian Louboutin heels for the most part, is baffling. Budget cuts!? Though it is Raquel I feel bad for: she’s running around LA with the worst possible perm. Shame. What I don’t get though, is that why the focus is on the scene and models, but not the clothes, particularly in an issue named “Fashion Special”? 

 

I cannot understand the obsession French magazines have with American locations. I seriously don’t understand. As a reader, if I want to follow L.A. Or NYC style, I’ll buy an American magazine. This whole Americana business (in France) is starting to annoy me and this issue is no exception. I cannot relate to Hollywood and that knived-up, drug-fuelled lifestyle of cut-off shorts with Uggs and people so deeply entrenched in the lives of celebrities. I don’t get it. It’s like when Vanity Fair puts Lindsay Lohan on the cover; are they mocking the reader or maybe the joke is on Lindsay? I don’t know but I wish they’d stop. This idolisation of what I see as an irrelevant and wasteful lifestyle is unnecessary and insulting to me as a reader. Paris is the most amazing city and France as a whole, an amazing country. The last issue focused on Greece, this issue on America, what next? Russia or China? Oh, how I will lose the plot should that happen! Clearly I need to separate my political views from my fashion musings…

 

Yves Saint Laurent’s very own artistic make-up director, Lloyd Simmons, takes us through four looks associated with the couture line. So creative and pretty. 

I recall watching Oprah many years ago when she interviewed Will Smith. They spoke about his life as a husband and father. He commented about mourning the life you had as a couple without children helps you to enjoy the life as a family. It made me think about Vogue Paris because the reality is that it will never be what it was. The driving force – Madame Roitfeld – behind the Vogue Paris I read and collected has moved on and the magazine is in new hands now. It is what it is. I either get with it or I get out. I have 4 more issues to receive as part of my subscription and then I’m done. 

In other news, Vogue Paris’ Fashion Night is set for 8th September 2011 – put it in your diaries people!  

14 Comments leave one →
  1. 23 July 2011 12:02

    always adore Vogue Paris…most fabulous Covers and Editorials! wish I could read it, too! haha ;)

    • 25 July 2011 12:23

      How interesting because right now I feel that Vogue DE has taken over VP’s top spot! Who is the EIC of your Vogue?

      x

  2. 23 July 2011 15:47

    I always love your take no prisoner reviews of Vogue Paris. They should be worried if past devotees like yourself are considering ending subscriptions. Funny, I got a subscription to keep up with all the Parisian styles and they do seem to be doing more and more American culture/influenced pieces. Not exactly what I signed up for but not something that would necessarily make me cancel. Perhaps as foreigners we have an idealized version of Paris that we want to see in the magazine? I think this is the case with me at least.

    • 25 July 2011 12:51

      Sometimes, you just have to share the truth!

      I’m definitely not renewing. The American-influenced aspect certainly isn’t why though. Even during Carine’s reign, there was a major American influence, but that balanced with other aspects of the magazine. These days, the editorials don’t tell a story or flow in the way they did (and indeed should). They no longer have an impact. Vogue Paris used to leave you with questions and give you something to debate. Now it’s just a magazine most famous for which models feature. Such a shame.

  3. 24 July 2011 00:27

    This was a precise review and your reticence felt. While there may be French Vogue beyond Carine Roitfeld, Chanel’s ads are noticeably not in this issue. Advertising page revenues speaks very loudly and quickly.

    It’s not expected that a professional, Ms. Alt in this instance, would need time to pull it together. It’s living, breathing, immediate fashion and style. Ms. Alt lacks a tone that our American Vogue has with its stylist, Grace Coddington.

    The scenic fashion shots resemble, always a bad thing, a W shoot.

    Carine was of fashion and a muse, but she spoke through the pages of French Vogue, sometimes challenging us in uncomfortable ways but always teasing the ironies of today into breathtaking imagery.

    Just another.

    • 25 July 2011 13:38

      Do you recall what Karl said when it was announced that Emmanuelle would fill the EIC chair? I thought he was so rude. Well… Apparently, he was right.

      Carine understood that Vogue Paris, whilst the pages are littered with models and fashionable stuff, is not solely a fashion magazine: it’s a living magazine.

  4. 24 July 2011 22:57

    i love how you approach magazines- i’m so passive in comparison! there’s something about the touch and feel of a glossy which sucks me in, and makes me much less critical than i am online. i miss all such observations! x

    • 25 July 2011 12:20

      I feel really passionate about Vogue Paris because it really was a top magazine, so much so that I have collected every issue over the last 10 years. Now it’s like receiving a present in a Tiffany box only to open it and find a bracelet from Topshop!

      Which other mags do you read Adele? Right now, I’m all about the British version of Harper’s Bazaar.

  5. 25 July 2011 00:57

    I love the honesty of your reviews, I agree that the obsession with American locations is so odd – I have had comments from my European friends about this. I hope it does not signify a wider issue with American brands/imports into Europe, I think we have enough already. I did also like the makeup shown in this issue though. At a recent sample sale in NYC I was very interested in the things “around” the clothing like shoes and cosmetics, the overall “look” of the sales items. The blue eyelashes are just stunning.

    • 25 July 2011 10:41

      Thank you SOTC! I think this obsession stems from film. The world of celebrity in the US is considerably different in France, and possibly most of Europe (with the exception of the UK, which is frightfully like the US in that respect). The two countries are so different yet the obsession goes both ways. I think the language plays a role.

      What I dislike most of all, is that they choose to highlight the dullest aspects of US culture/life. Someone recently compared the Marais in Paris to the West Village. Now, unlike most of the world, I don’t particularly care for the Marais (which is pretty much like Shoreditch in London…) but love the West Village. New York City has such a great energy, vibe and attitude. If French magazines must use American locations, why not use fabulous ones?

      That editorial is so bad, and if I happened to be one of the designers, I’d be mighty beeped off that my clothes weren’t being highlighted.

      x

  6. 25 July 2011 18:08

    Entertaining review, Milla. You made me Google for a close-up of the emerald ring… ;-) The photo where it says “Maitress Attitude” looks so dirty/ew, but I love the photo under “Ça c’est Paris”, I love all things tweed (her pants) and rolled-up sleeves, ah!
    If I should buy this issue it would be to look at the photos of Yves Saint Laurent’s make-up director. Next to Guerlain, YSL is my favorite make-up brand. I love make up with celebrates color and life, it’s often so much gloomy make-up in high fashion.

  7. 25 July 2011 18:24

    I don’t have any YSL make-up, but if you recommend it, I’ll give it a try. I still haven’t done my July beauty feature so there’s time! The images are quite spectacular so yes, it’s definitely worth it, plus it comes with a beauty DVD.

    Tweed is divine – we must talk about this over tea next time.

    Do you have any magazine suggestions Nina?

  8. 5 August 2011 01:46

    The magazine actually improves 50 % but offcourse now it’s proven that Madame Roitfeld is a Genius..This August issue is the complete redesigned of E.A for the magazine…But I wish they improve that Zoom Pages cause it’s kinda lame..But nevertheless I like it. Anyways you’ve forget to mention Balenciaga, where is it? and there’s no fashion redactrice en chef

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