British Vogue. What an elevation. I always wonder if the new found admiration and… satisfaction? I have in this magazine since the appointment of Edward Enninful will dissipate with the next issue but so far, its all good. Before the arrival of Enninful, British Vogue was stuck in some kind of Sloanite rot that hardly resonated outside a particular bubble regardless of theme or subject. If you have been in those bubbles you will know what I mean; it felt like constantly speaking in inside terms that mean nothing to the wider world. No depth, no feeling, bland like season-less chicken breast. That’s it! If you are looking for what season-less chicken breast looks like in fashion terms, it would be British Vogue under the tenure of Alexander Shulman. Enninful, brought a marked shift from the status quo, a complete 360 times ten and with every issue, there has been that something, snipping back at me the reader who left it behind. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the April issue of British Vogue, so much so, I bought all four covers- Janaye Furman, Precious Lee, Achenrin Madit and Mona Tougaard. Four fresh faced Black models inspiring oodles of joy, fresh faced, preppy, bouncy and happy. So, so HAPPY. Black joy is beautiful. A true delight to behold.
Some things I enjoyed…
THIS DAY AND AGE | Fashion has long had several problems on our life’s journeys, one being ageism. To be twenty-five in fashion is akin to playing the grandmother in a Hollywood movie. Another industry with this particular problem. The pandemic have presented fashion and its adjacent industries, an opportunity to reckon with itself some. This means a celebration of women of all ages on the runway, in campaigns and on magazine covers and at the forefront of the audience. It’s sad that this is rare but its good that it is here. To age is to go through a metamorphosis and in any stage the moment before represents a history of our lives, Every smile line is a chapter in the big book of our life’s story. If the pandemic has taught us anything it is that life, with every passing moment is ever so precious and therefore at any age, a cause for celebration. A love of self, always.
DAYS LIKE THESE | You know, the show notes were correct on this one. On days when it been hard to will my mind to do anything, my wardrobe has added some respite to the doldrum. This shoot is fun and joyful and bright and cheerful and full of fashion. In his editor’s letter, Enninful alludes to the fragility of joy and how often we have taken the little things for granted. Waking up to go to work came with its own set of struggles, starting from the night before, choosing an outfit. At times it was a chore I left for much later in the morning having change outfits five or six times, no word of a lie. But here is the thing, being at home with a rotation of sweatpants and cashmere sets for wardrobe, has made me crave the days when I took playing dress up for granted. It’s the little and not so little things; deciding what shoes goes with what dress, a silk scarf here, a belt there… it is a reminder of how we see ourselves and want the world to see us. I miss those days so dearly.
LIVING FOR THE CITY | God I love this shoot, I love the pure urban romance of it all, the slant and the leftness of it. Its indulgent and whimsical. It is about everything all at once; Home comforts especially in the carcass of an empty city like New York. One so wild and full of life at any point in the day. Binx Walton takes us on this frivolous and romantic journey that serves as a love letter to a city and a day in a woman’s life. Its work and play, the unusual and playful, joy in a giant pretzel or an extra extra long pair of pants that sweep the city along. Put sequins with an anorak, take your ghana must go to the laundromat and whilst you are at it, stop by the pet store to pick up a gold fish you don’t have a tank for. The pursuit of happiness for us these days is in the memories of our lives pre-pandemic and how we hope to come of out this moment better than we were going in. We may not all be able to leave home just yet, or get on a plane in the near future, but let’s find those moments when we seek joy. Goodness knows we will not find it on the news.
AFTER THE FACT- In her brilliant piece Sarah Brown captures all of our fears and thoughts in the days leading up to the last US elections. The last four years of sheer madness reigned down upon us by the most powerful man in the world for a time. Like her, I cannot shake the darkness of those days, I remember them so vividly and how we normalised the madness of Donald Trump and his stooges in the Republican party that have turned out to be embarrassing at best. We watched America disintegrate before our eyes like a cheap thrill. Every kind gesture was met with scepticism because the last four years was… to put it lightly, unkind to all of us. Safe to say, the soul of America was up for grabs and it was involved in a fist fight of its life. Its that saying; “this is not the America we know” that keeps replaying in my mind. But for a lot of people, the marginalised, African Americans, Asians etc. this is the America they know and have lived through for as long as memory serves. This underbelly of insidiousness culminated in the attack on the Capitol on the 6th of January aided and abetted by GOP cowards. This election was a reckoning for America, here is hoping she learns what lessons there are.