Thursday, 31 March 2011

Just Vogue!

Yes, I know I’m late, but I figured that a good way to end out the month would be to do a review of the March issue of American Vogue (aka the Power Issue). Next month I swear I’ll get around to a magazine review earlier, but this month was just so hectic, and I had other things to write about! So, without further ado, on to the glossy pages!

We’ll start with the cover, which features the strangest queen of pop to dominate the charts since Madonna. She’s known not only for her awesome dance music, and prowess as a songwriter, she’s also rather famous for her outlandish wardrobe. If you’re not living under a rock, you know I’m speaking about Lady Gaga. Her cover shot was not really what I expected from her (with the exception of the pink bob), but it actually fits the colour theme of the issue quite well (which is why I presume they chose it). I’ll talk more about how much I despise the neutrals that dominate the editorials later, so we’ll skip right on to the article about Lady Gaga. No one really cares about the articles in fashion magazines, since obviously it’s all about the fashion spreads, but I actually found this article to be rather enjoyable. It wasn’t really anything new, we can wiki Lady Gaga and find out about her past, and there are a million interviews with her out there, but it was well written, and the contrast between the description of the chaos backstage at the Monster Ball, and the following lady-like demeanor of Gaga during a sit-down interview was charming without being too clichéd. If you’re so inclined, go ahead and read the entire article here. The fashion that was featured in the article I found intriguing, but a little bit one-sided. The three major outfits (two ball gowns, and one suit) were all by the late Alexander McQueen. Not that I’m complaining, since I j’adore McQueen, but I would have expected a bit more variety. It seems a bit overdone to focus on one designer, especially considering that Gaga is known for her outlandish fashion statements. Were there no other crazy outfits hanging in the Vogue wardrobe at the time? I find that hard to believe, considering that it’s Vogue!

The single-sided nature of the Gaga shoot is also reflected in the monotonous colour theme of the entire March issue. It seems that the hot colours for Spring are anything but; in fact they’re barely warm, since they’re all either pale brown neutrals, or very muted pastel shades of pink and peach, with a dash of ever-cool navy. How dull! For spring I fully expected splashes of brights that reflected the emerging colours of Spring flowers! I know it’s cliché to want bright flowers for Spring, but neutrals belong to Fall and Winter damnit! I’m so disgusted with this colour palette that I’m not going to talk about it anymore, and I hope that it goes away more quickly than the last spots of Winter snow.

Even though neutrals dominated the editorials in this issue of Vogue (just take a look at the stats below…) there were some that were still gorgeous. I’ve always loved the black and white editorials from Dolce and Gabbana, and the latest set doesn’t disappoint. The overabundance of embroidered finery and multitude of beadwork on their creations adds a much-needed texture to the simple black and white colour scheme. I would love to get my hands on the tiny jacket (far right), and any of the beautifully worked skirts!

The other ad that I was drawn to was from Burberry Prorsum. Not surprising, since I love the classic, yet modern look that the brand always produces, but the new ads took my love to a totally new level of adoration. Burberry is known for simple lines, and classic plaid prints, but the new Spring line is anything but traditional; instead of focusing on a classic look, they went with a very punk, street look, which for someone like me, who likes everything with a bit of rock n’ roll, it was love at first sight. Obviously the punk look has been around for ages, but I’m glad to see Burberry branching out into new areas, since it must be a bit shocking for their clientele.

The fabulousness of the new Spring looks from Burberry is reflected in the first editorial spread in the magazine, entitled “Punk’d.” Try not to think of the lame Ashton Kutcher show by the same name, since the spread is anything but comic. I would buy almost all of the pieces featured in this editorial, but thankfully I already have some gorgeous leatherwear in my wardrobe so my wallet doesn’t have to be gouged! The only criticism that I have of this spread is that Vogue might have used an actual male model, instead of relying on the androgyny of the women in the shoot.

I was less impressed by the other three editorial spreads in this issue, as they were all lacking something key. “Lady be Good” had some beautiful colours, and the concept was cute (if a bit trite), but the photo quality was horrible. I know they were going for a retro feel, but I just can’t stand that texture in film. It makes my eyes feel all scratchy…

“Enchanted Garden” was even more disappointing, since by the title I expected something whimsical and nature-inspired, but instead I got a dash of safari, and a lot of random. There wasn’t really a cohesive theme in the clothing or accessories, and the shoot relies way too much on the setting for artistic unity. I am intrigued by the sparkling silver jacket in the first shot though.

“Rebel, Rebel” was also rather uninspiring. It was meant to show how to dress interestingly for formal affairs, but not many of the outfits were actually interesting! More neutrals, more clean lines, and very little glamour left me wanting to scoff at their lack of creativity. I didn’t mind the red leather jacket that was shown, but a more version of a red leather jacket with more personality was also shown in the “Punk’d” spread. Seriously guys, you must have been overwhelmed by the February blues when you were creating this entire issue…

from "Punk'd"
from "Rebel, Rebel"

Neutral Editorials: 69
Colourful Editorials: 36
Car Ads: 3
Hair Product Ads: 6
Make-up/Skin Care Ads: 25
Perfume Ads: 6
Jewelry Ads: 8
Retailers: 9 (K-mart? Really?!)
Misc. Ads: 3

Last Look: Best ad in the whole magazine for me was from Christian Louboutin, of course :) Simple and gorgeous!

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