“Kimyegate,” caused in equal parts uproar and horror across the globe. Amongst the critics, many have called time on Vogue as the authority on fashion and style it once was. However, personally, I have always felt that British Vogue is rather superior than it’s American counterpart, in particular when it comes to the written content. The May issue is a prime example, littered with poignant features and fashion editorial. The issue begins on a touching note, with Sandy Boler remembering Beatrix Miller, the inimitable Editor of British Vogue from 1964-1986 who died in February this year. Not only does the tribute touch upon the remarkable legacy of a shy yet powerful visionary, it provides a beautiful glimpse into a bygone era of Vogue, and how the force of one quite literally yanked the publication forward. The history of Vogue is touched upon once again in a profile of photographer John Deakin, who was once upon a time a staff photographer at the publication. Whilst the life of this temperamental yet undoubtedly talented photographer is a fascination in itself, reading of his relationship with Audrey Withers, who guided Vogue resiliently through the war years. The very famous amongst fashion journalism often are referenced, quoted and imitated time and time again. Whilst I adore the like of Carmel Snow and Diana Vreeland, it’s rather wonderful to touch upon the others that have had such resounding effect on the pages we love.
As part of their “Digital Special” was a focus on five very different women, including Tamara Mellon and Walthamstow Labour MP Stella Creasy, talking about the importance of varying digital platforms in their working lives. Most compelling of all was possibly the account of Venetia Scott, the photographer who eschews modern technology with surprising candour. In her own words “I don’t want to be burdened with too much information.”
And of course one can’t forget the Fashion. The spread of dresses was wonderfully simple and refreshingly, completely without pretence of “edge.” Here we had, page after page of unashamedly pretty dresses, the likes of which you can gladly wear without making a show. In a thinly veiled reference to Miranda Priestly’s famed exclamation, “Florals for spring, groundbreaking,” the May Issue brings a beautiful fashion spread zoning in on the darker side of florals that designers explored this spring summer. The images are beautifully styled, with a raw, punkish element weaved through, complimenting the sharp and inky motifs.