When Edward Enninful was offered the position of Editor In Chief at British Vogue, following Alexandra Shulman’s departure, I was quite excited. I had been somewhat familiar with his work as a stylist for some of the other publications that I love (I.D. and Italian Vogue to name a couple), and I was quite curious to where he would take Vogue next.
Loving his work the way I did, I was totally ready for another “Black Issue” like he did for Italian Vogue, but I know that could alienate the readership. I was also ready for it to go the route of I.D., Blitz and The Face, but again, the change would be too drastic. When I finally got the issue, I had to sit and eliminate anything and everything that could distract me (computer, phone, Itunes) and take in each page, including the ads. I wanted to get the feel of his version of Vogue.
The first issue is called “The British Issue” and it’s celebrating Britian and all it’s talents, despite the whole Brexit thing.
Great Britian as a country and London as a city meant and still means a lot to me. This was the place where I wanted to be and build my career as a designer. This is the place where all of my favorite music and designers come from. This is the place where I want to make my mark in any way I can. It’s coming along slowly, but it’s coming along. London has put a spell on this born and bred New Yorker, with all of the creativity of the fashion and nightlife worlds.
Edward covers the gamut of people explaining why Britian is so special and how their experiences here shape what they do here and in the world at large.
One article has the amazing author, Zadie Smith talking about the Queen and how many view her, and the context of who she is. It’s an article that has given me an interesting view of how her country sees her compared to how Americans see her. My view of the Queen, before I came to London has always been of awe, wonder and curiosity. I know that she is human, so I’m sure she does the same thing that everyone else does, but not in the same context. Zadie sees her as a lower middle class woman that keeps it simple, when everyone else wants to complicate things, more like the women that we have as grandparents, or aunts.
Another article I enjoyed quite a bit is the article about the nephew of artist, Lucien Freud, whose painting of performance artist, Leigh Bowery is one of my favorites. His name is Matthew Freud and he is an art collector that is known for his amazing parties. I love the idea of keeping a party relaxed and fun with fun food and different personalities rubbing shoulders together. In this world you never know who you could meet or the friends you could make from attending one of his parties. He believes that parties, especially the ones he throws are like art installations and there is no space for ego, or V.I.P. treatment. Although he may have thrown parties with all kinds of celebrities and friends of his, he is also a major art and furniture lover. His art collection is like the well curated collections in museums and he is considered the best connected man in London. When you have a home like his, full of amazing art, beautiful furniture, and great people providing the atmosphere, you can’t help but see this a a recipe for a fantastic night out at an awesome house party.
Two other articles really stand out for me, because they are just perfect in every way!!! One is of Gwendoline Christie (Brianne of Tarth in Game Of Thrones) speaking about playing strong female characters, women with a voice and a sense of power of who they are. The other is the interview of the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan done by another strong, powerful woman, Naomi Campbell. They talked about their upbringings and of being people of color in a country where it wasn’t so always nice to people that are not like each other. These are two people that made it to the top of their fields through sheer determination, ambition, and a lot of fight. Being a person of color anywhere, you have to always be tougher and smarter than the others. It’s like a phrase that my grandmother would always say to me, “You have to work twice as hard and be twice as smart to get the same things that others get easily, just by being who they are”.
This issue is more than just amazing fashion on beautiful women. It’s all about the Great Britian that produced all of these talented, creative beings.
Edward Enninful’s Britian is a place where inspiration and creativity run free, where we can pick up on the beat of the street as well as the beat by the Royal Albert Hall. It’s the place where the opportunities come when you step out and take a chance in all you believe in and show the world what you can do. This is the place where you can make your mark outside of the the typical fashion system. You can do it your way!!!!
His second issue has Taylor Swift on the cover, in a way that I have never have seen her. I’m not a fan of her music, but I do understand why she is so popular amongst young women and gay men. She’s an empowered young woman and she empowers all that come into her orbit. This particular issue is all about the transformation of self, not just with fitness and beauty treatments, but with changing the mindset and coming into your own, pushing forward to make your dreams come true and setting the goals to get there.
It’s something that we all have to do in life. There are many times where we are told “No!”. or laughed at because we want to punch above our station, or being told to “stay in your lane”, and every time we’re told these things, we either roll up the sleeves to prove them wrong, or we take the knocks and stop in our tracks, convinced that it won’t happen. This is the time of year where we reflect on what we’ve done to get here and what are we gonna do to change things in the New Year (lose weight, go to the gym, meet the one of your dreams, etc.), and the plans we need to make to make those dreams and goals happen (get that gym membership, make the time, put in the work no matter what, put yourself out there in every way, be open to learning more about yourself and others).
The editorial of Taylor was done by Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott, and styled by Edward. The shots and the styling shows Taylor in a completely different light and shows the lessons she learned in a poem penned by her. These shots can make me a fan!!!! Total respect for her and all that she has achieved.
My girl crush, Adwoa Abdoh has a column all about Gurls Talk, where she created a platform for women and girls to speak openly about the things that they need to hear to boost their confidence as well as learn about themselves and their dreams. Many women and girls have been conditioned to not want certain things or forced to turn away from what they want because it’s not right for them to want that (whatever it is). Women and girls have always been told to be smart, but not too smart, or to be successful, but not too successful, because it upsets the balance of things. Adwoa, as well as her team of people that help her with this want to drive the point that women can be anything and everything they want to be and that they need to be proud of that. I love her confidence and her goal to make all women confident to go for their dreams and to be comfortable in their own skin.
Another article I loved in this issue is the article about one of my FAVORITE designers, moving to Los Angeles, Tom Ford. Tom is one of my favorites because he is uncompromising in his vision and he never allows what others think of what he does to shake him. He has the kind of confidence that, even if you hate him, you’ll love and respect him. He’s ten years older than me and still has that confidence of a younger man, full of piss and vinegar, but with the wisdom to do it with grace and steely determination.
The one thing I can say about these two issues of Vogue is that Edward is making his vision of the Vogue woman known to the world and is taking her in a new direction. Hats off to Edward Enninful and his amazing talent!!!!!!
Stay fashionable and sexy!!!!!