Edward Enninful is shaking things up.
From a pure make-up standpoint this cover is industry gold. It is the encouragement and celebration of FASHION make-up that Vogue covers of late have been missing. Pat McGrath is the artist responsible for this 1970’s meets Studio 54 look, a bold, colourful move away from the commercial no-make-up covers. Thank you Pat McGrath, for invigorating our industry. At Delamar we feel this make-up dominant cover is a breath of fresh air for what was becoming a very safe, samey commercial outfit. Vogue is first and foremost about fashion so this cover looks and feels much more on par with Vogue Italia, the undisputed coolest of Vogue magazines. Rather interestingly, Enninful was a contributing editor to Italian Vogue in the 90’s. Hopefully this can only bode well.
On the other hand, grumblings of concern have been expressed… why is that guy who left One Direction, named at the top and Kate Moss at the bottom? This is deliberate and duly noted. Sure, Zayn Malik is a creative personality often praised for taking control of his work, but in the grand scheme of things, is he really appropriate as the first name on the new British Vogue cover? From Enninful’s interview, the message is clear:
“My Vogue is about being inclusive,”
“It is about diversity – showing different women, different body shapes, different races, different classes [and] tackling gender.”
What he has not expressed so explicitly, but is apparent from the names listed on this cover that British Vogue is making a nod to the younger generation. In very much the same way Rankin supports fresh talent with his publication, Hunger Magazine. We like this a lot, especially for our providing recent graduates to work on a Hunger editorial. We digress! Importantly, the first half of names listed on the new British Vogue cover run in age order: 24, 25, 39, 42, 47, 47, 50. Youth first. It feels fresh and Enninful may be taking queues from his days at ID, pushing the envelope for newness with an anti-establishment feel.
Will this transcend to all parts of Vogue?
The British magazine is known for working with likes of David Bailey, Mario Testino and Nick Knight on a rinse and repeat cycle. Industry tittle tattle about the predictable nature of these photography dinosaurs leads way to the assertion that their 3rd or 4th assistant can take the same shot, often with much greater knowledge about the technical set up. On the other hand, the confidence required to shoot a Vogue cover lends itself to more experienced talent.
At Delamar Academy we are very encouraging of the underdogs, the young whippersnappers who rise to the top with their skill and good nature alone… case in point being genius Isamaya Ffrench, a make-up artist who at the age of 25 had several Vogue covers under her belt and is Beauty Editor of ID magazine. Young photographers are rarely given the opportunity and we hope Enninful’s clear support for younger talent extends across the whole British industry. It needs it.
Enninful has kicked out many of the old guard, notably Sloane Rangers like Lucinda Chambers. Fair enough! Edward wants new blood and a non-institutionalised viewpoint on fashion, one that isn’t exclusively white and posh. Let’s face it, an office full of similar looking and speaking people who have worked at Vogue forever, are not representative of British fashion culture. They are simply no longer relevant. It is also understandable that the machine required to publish a dense magazine each month, (previously steered so well by Alexandra Shulman a lady without ego or showmanship) needs to be efficient. This huge shake-up will create its own teething problems. With baited breath and bedazzled eyes, we are apprehensive to watch the new British Vogue develop.
Thankfully for us, make-up takes centre stage on British Vogue’s brand new cover, glistening (quite literally) amongst the political and deeper messages of inclusion, embellished upon the face of this new era for British Fashion.