If ever there was a cover that screamed “Parisienne”, this is it! When I think about French beauty, I see women with flawless skin, red lipstick and seemingly little else. Arizona Muse looks natural and pretty. In my opinion, this is Emmanuelle Alt’s best cover thus far, and perfectly fitting for November’s beauty special issue.
The advertising has been slimmed down to pre-Emmanuelle era and that can only be a good thing, plus the advertisers are considerably more refined but that’s just me being a snob! I’ve said it before so apologies for the repetition but Olivier Lalanne’s extended agenda section is really cool. Appealing to those with varying interests from fashion, architecture, art and music, Vogue Paris opens itself up to the cultural types as well, which can only be good for sales and for those of use who want to know more.
Making a break from the recent trend of using images from previous issues, the Beauté section is fresh and relevant to today’s reader; focusing on the art of flawless skin, non-invasive wrinkle treatments and highlighting make-up products. Given that we live in a time where there is so much pressure to not only look good, but to look young, and so many woman sadly going down the expensive and dangerous route of cosmetic surgery, I say bravo to Théodora Aspart for this editorial. Famed beauty writer Lili Barbery-Coulon keeps the beauty baton alight with a one-page feature on luxury perfumes starting at 150€. Well, Christmas isn’t far off, is it? As I’m leaving Paris in a couple of months, I’ve been thinking often about what I’m learnt/discovered here and Emmanuelle Courrèges ‘Plantes médicinales’ is the perfect example: focusing not only on organic products, but mainly on skincare derived from plants. Pretty much everything I use from shampoo to face wash to body oils is plant-based, and I am grateful to France for that introduction. I’m helping myself and the planet. As someone who strongly believes that beauty isn’t just about what you look like, it’s about who you are, I thoroughly enjoyed reading the article on meditation and the positive effects it can have. Though Isabeli Fontana, who stars in the editorial, need not worry.
Miss Vogue’s ‘De brut en blanc’ is pretty. Very American and really pretty. Photographed in the US by Claudia Knoepfel and Stefan Indlekofer, the model’s hair takes us back the Farrah Fawcett era and boy do we love it! She looks casually beautiful though why she’s wearing the same cowgirl boots throughout is beyond me.
For the Christian Louboutin fans among you, Francis Dorléans give an in-depth account of the man himself. Personally, I’m not a fan of his shoes. Yes they look sexy as hell but I’m still mad about the money I spent on two pairs, which I can only wear for 40 minutes max. His shoes are so uncomfortable. Yes, I want a refund!!
As with the Agenda section, the last few months has seen an increase in the more cultural sections – cinéma and livres (books) – much to this reader’s delight. I’m not going to lie, my French reading hasn’t quite made it from glossy mags to hardcore literature, but the suggestions are varied and often include material published in various languages.
It takes a lot of work to ruin a Chanel suit but Emmanuelle has done just that in the opening image of ‘Haute Couture’, a bold and energetic editorial photographed by Inez & Vinoodh. We heart Sergio Rossi, really we do, but those boots with that suit. I think not. As the editorial goes, the images become brassier though I wouldn’t complain if the embroidered Valentino gown ended up in my wardrobe. I’m curious about what others think because it seems as though Emmanuelle went through the couture collections and chose the ugliest designs she could find. That said, I like the striking, tribal-like image of the Dior dress.
To say that I’m not a fan of Terry Richardson is an understatement. I was rather surprised by his collaboration with stylist Marie Chaix, in which we see Vogue Paris regular Natasha Poly roaming around Harlem. The contrast between the rough backdrop and Natasha’s poised self makes turning each page a complete delight. Natasha decked out in Donna Karen whilst using a telephone box or “phone booth” as my cousins across the Atlantic call it is my favourite. What do you think?
In keeping with the beauty theme, Arizona Muse, Alessandra Ambrosio, Natasha Poly, Isabeli Fontana, Karolina Kurkova and Hanaa Ben Abdesslem take on a different make-up styles, each from a renowned brand, as we question which appeals most to us in ‘Cover Girls’. Very well done indeed.
‘Plus que parfaites’ focuses on what we do to achieve the “perfect” face and body as well as New York based specialist should you wish to have some work done. As I’ve said before, I’m totally against having cosmetic surgery myself but if I wasn’t, the bruised face in the accompanying image would change my views.
Unlike previous Vogue Paris issues under the new editorial team, November’s issue finishes just as strongly as it started with Kate Winslet and a very good interesting interview with Versace’s Donatella. Given this month’s focus on beauty, I find it fitting that Donatella should make an appearance. No offence intended but the woman has clearly had so much surgery it’s hard to even imagine what looked like 20 years ago. When her brother tragically died, everybody thought she would fail. She proved them wrong and now with a (hideous) collection for H&M, the brand continues to rise. It’s so saddening that she has done this to herself. Of course, when you’re surrounded by spring chickens (do non-British people use this term as well?) with flawless faces and perfect figures, it must be hard to age, but it can be done. If ever there is a reason not to have cosmetic surgery, this is it. The perfect antidote to this tragic case can be found in the form of literary icon Joan Didion, and what a contrast! Turn the page and there she is: head cupped in her hands, pushing her beautiful face to the forefront, wrinkles et al. What a photograph! What a message!
Lara Stone romps around Central Paris looking her normal flawless self and yes, I am jealous!! The magazine ends with a fun 10-page ‘reportage’ of Vogue Fashion Night. If you weren’t there, you need to see this!
With the exception of “Never Mind” – Emmanuelle Alt’s editorial featuring Natasha Poly and Sasha Pivovora, which I’m not even going to feature because it is mind-numbingly boring, this is the strongest issue yet and if it continues next month, I will consider renewing my subscription. Not only is the issue full of pretty, fun and cultural things, it also appeals to those of us who like to use our brains. Like many Vogue Paris regular readers, I was pleasantly surprised to see Arizona on the cover – a welcome change. I’m bored of Natasha, Isabeli and Sasha and hope that Vogue Paris will start to vary the models they use to keep us interested, and to shake things up a wee bit. Slightly off topic but I’ve noticed that Vogue Paris has stopped putting their models in those ugly, long claw-type nails. Hallelujah!!