Every year I am drawn to the September issue of Vogue, even though it comes later—and to fewer outlets—each fall. I like to observe the soaring twists of glamour. The original meaning of glamour has been watered down in my mind. It's a noun, meaning magic spell. Glamour is not natural. It is anti-ordinary. September Vogue has some articles; none of them interested me, and the issue is all about the ads anyway.
The photograph above is a dramatic example of the fight against nature which glamour requires. If you look closely at the model's eyes, you'll notice her pupils are enormous. It is highly unlikely that this effect was achieved naturally. To do so, the image might be shot in darkness, then over-exposed. It is more likely the photographer put dilation drops in her eyes, or fell back on the magic of PhotoShop.
In the "Clothes No One Will Ever Wear" genre, we get a circus trainer in the woods.
Everyone wants to know what to wear when you're struck by lightening. Alexander McQueen has just the dress, and it appears to be twenty feet long. Let's call this 'The Tsunami Train.'
Don't forget your Artemis boots, perfectly matched here with Greek toga and feathers on her shoulders.
In between Earth and outer space, we see a new model who looks remarkably like Anna Nicole Smith, who was famous for looking remarkably like Marilyn Monroe, who was probably famous for looking like somebody else, but I'm getting confused already.
These are clothes I would like to see women actually wear. Miu Miu gives us this magnificent, dignified ensemble. Yes, the model looks only twelve years old, but trust me, when she grows up she'll rule the world.
Girls in skirts on marble stairs. All Italy is theirs for the taking.
Another classic look, slightly wavy. The shoes could go right or wrong, but in the end I just don't care, the rest of her is turned out so well.
We proceed into the Disturbing Section with a look at Stella Tennant. She's been a top model for twenty years now. I imagine she's somewhat attractive in person, but in every shot she glares at the camera as if she were a ghost. When I see these, I want to run away and protect my man-parts. There is danger in her a-sexual eyes.
Finally we come to Marc Jacobs, whose advertising shouts the slogan, "Ugly is the new Pretty." I'm really in the dark here. Is he hoping to provide welcome relief from all the beauty in the world? My wife says his handbags are quite sumptuous, but I don't know how anyone could be induced to buy one through these images. They do fit the theme of conquering nature, though, because it takes effort to make Helena Bonham Carter look this bad. Note her tortured hair. I'll have more to say about hair in the next post.
Over all, 2011 was a let down from last year's issue. We'll hope for better things in 2012. If you like this post, you may check out the earlier posts in the Modern Icons series here: #1 #2 #3