I received my daily update from the Boston Magazine blog with tremendous excitement today, because there were a few posts which touched directly on issues I have been thinking about a lot lately. The first was entitled “How Boston Shapes City Resident: A new study proves that we’re still bound by our Puritanical history”. The post directs the reader toward Emily Badger’s piece for The Atlantic Cities in which she discusses a study entitled “The Cultural Construction of Self and Well-Being: A Tale of Two Cities“. Those two cities are Boston and San Francisco. The idea behind the study is that these cities have a tremendous amount in common, offering a perfect opportunity to examine what factors, then, might be responsible for the cities’ profound cultural differences.
The fashion industry generally ascribes a direct correlation to the influence and celebrity of the woman who graces a magazine’s cover and the sales figures for that particular issue. In this light, it seems that everyone can’t stop talking about the fact that BritishVogue featuring Adele on the cover was one of the worst selling issues in the magazine’s history.
And I would have to agree, that if number of sales reflects anything about popular response specifically to the magazine’s cover model (more than, for example, the stories highlighted on the cover), that is a surprising and I dare say disappointing fact. What does it mean? That BritishVogue readers may love Adele’s voice but don’t see her as a physical ideal to which they aspire? My god, the woman is gorgeous. According to racked.com, British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman said that “there has to be a relationship with the person on the cover that goes beyond how they look.” So is it a failure of readers to connect with Adele. That seems to me to make significantly less sense. Are we really so superficial?
When asked who she was dying to get on the cover, Shulman replied that her choice would be Kate Middleton. While I can’t understand, let alone articulate, what went wrong with the Adele cover, somehow Kate Middleton doesn’t seem to me like much better of a choice. But who knows, maybe this is why I’m not the editor of British Vogue.
Clearly I am all for life imitating art, art imitating life, art in life, and style driven in equal parts by beauty, enthusiasm and a good sense of humor. Still, the two are not entirely interchangeable and it seems lately like some people could use a little reminding about where the line is, however faint it may be.
On Tuesday, for the London premiere of Snow White and the Huntsmen, the stars showed up decked out in full Gothic glory. I have been waiting not so patiently for the movie to come out. I love that kind of dark Gothic drama. On film. And I admire actors like Christian Bale, or even Sascha Baron Cohen, who stay in character when appearing in public while promoting a film. But Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron’s dresses weren’t in character, they were simply misguided. Somehow when Rooney Mara tries this type of thing, the whole look is so completely of a piece, and so genuine to her style, that for me it works. But Stewart and Theron have their own looks which work for them, and this is not it.
Gotta love it when all of your favorite things come together in one place. At the Proof of Purchase show on Saturday I was carefully examining every postcard to find one by Rachel Perry Welty, an unbelievable contemporary artist with whom I am absolutely obsessed, and scoring that for $50 would have been a major coup. Sadly, we learned that her postcard had already sold, and that Rachel herself had in fact purchased one of the most coveted items in the show, a postcard by artist John Baldessari, and from there the conversation drifted to Perry Welty’s spread in the December issue of Vogue magazine. I had seen the spread at the time but somehow had forgotten about it (which doesn’t make much sense to me given how much I love Perry Welty’s work, but there you have it, yet more evidence of my early onset Alzheimer’s, and led to the mind-boggling realization that I had just thrown that magazine into the recycling the week before). Now I cannot stop thinking about that spread (and what an a*hole move it was that I managed to throw it away).
Rachel Perry Welty Vogue spread – December 2011