taking a look at vogue with cathy horyn

A few weeks ago, NY Times Fashion & Style writer Cathy Horyn, published a criticism of Vogue [CRITIC’S NOTEBOOK: What\’s Wrong With Vogue?]I tend to wear rose tinted glasses when thinking about my fashion bible, but I really think she hit the nail on the head. I think that Vogue publishes phenomenal writers, photographers, artists and designers yet many of her points rang especially true as I read the February Issue.

First off, I just have to say I am disappointed in Blake Lively on the cover. When is Leighton Meester going to get the attention she deserves? The show is nothing without her! [This is completely unrelated to Ms. Horyn]

Horyn’s article surfaced after the rumors of Wintours retirement and followed Vogue’s publication of a letter to the editor that complained about seeing the same faces issue after issue. [This is true and not only for Vogue. Consumer magazines sell more issues if they have a glamorous celebrity on the cover. I have to admit, I long for the days of supermodel only covers because I think it keeps the focus on fashion, rather than celebrity]

“There are too many stories about socialites — or, at any rate, too few such stories that sufficiently demonstrate why we should care about these creatures. What once felt like a jolly skip through Bergdorf now feels like an intravenous feed. To read Vogue in recent years is to wonder about the peculiar fascination for the “villa in Tuscany” story. Ditto staff-member accounts of spa treatments and haircuts.” [Horyn] 

The above was especially apparent in this months issue. The ‘It Girl’ this month was socialite Poppy Delevingne, 22. Obviously she looks great because she can afford to buy amazing designer clothes with her trust fund.

“When she isn’t taking acting classes or shooting campaignes for Anya Hinmarch, Bamford, Myla, and Hogan, she reads, attends photography exhibits and shops for vintage bargains.” [Vogue Feb 09] 

I will not be doing ANY of those things, except maybe the vintage bargain part, when I am 22. For a magazine that is for the readers this is anything but. If Vogue really wants to show their readers an ‘It Girl’ they should go out on the street and find someone with unique style. Someone that works hard and maybe doesn’t have an unlimited income. I understand that high fashion is a central issue of this magazine. But there are plenty of successful women that dress in a way that reflects the high fashion trends without breaking the bank.  Especially with the current economic situation, Vogue is failing to relate to real life situations. 

I look at Vogue because I find there is a great art in fashion, and Vogue is one of few magazines that finds the best art. I am constantly inspired by the features and fashion spreads- even though it is unattainable. Yet in these times, it is difficult to find inspiration when I am reading the profile of a trust fund girl in a Chanel jumpsuit. And maybe this is something that will never change in Vogue. Maybe in a few years, the industry and economy will turn around and I will appreciate the profiled ‘It Girls.’ But at a time like this, Vogue needs to rethink how they are going to reach out to their readers.

Anna Wintour is an irreplaceable editor. She has doing amazing things for fashion, journalism and the magazine industry. In these times, we can only hope she will continue to adjust and make strides.

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