I really enjoy buying and reading fashion magazines. I’ve probably spent a small fortune over the years but it’s all worth it because being able to physically hold a copy and pour over the images is something that can’t be beat in my opinion. If I see a beautifully shot spread online or if it’s featuring one of my favourite models or was by one of my favourite photographers, I will almost always go out and buy that issue. I don’t believe that you can properly appreciate it when looking at it on a screen. I doubt that this will change for me anytime soon either, especially as magazines are what sparked my deeper interest in fashion.
The types of magazines I buy has changed as I’ve gotten older and as my knowledge of fashion has increased. I prefer to read Russh, So It Goes, Porter and i-D now rather than the more mainstream publications like Vogue because they offer something different. They are usually more inspiring as they are more visually creative and daring. Nicole Kidman on the cover with sleek hair wearing a floral dress doesn’t excite me. To look at Vogue US specifically, after watching The September Issue you can see that Anna Wintour is and has to be very business minded. She has to make sure that the cover appeals to their target demographic; their readers have to want to pick up a copy. Vogue and other big monthly magazines have to focus their cover on securing readership and having a mass appeal more than smaller magazines or ones which are known for being more unique (like i-D).
Therefore I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the cover for the May issue of US Vogue because although it still featured a celebrity, they had actually made her look different! Taylor Swift graces the cover of the new issue and the tagline of “As you’ve never seen her before” is actually true. Taylor does look completely different but you can still tell who it is. While she often looks good at red carpet events, you pretty much know what silhouette she will be wearing and so it’s never really that exciting. I don’t ever get that ‘oh I can’t wait to see what she’s wearing’ feeling about Taylor Swift before a big event like I do with someone like Rihanna, who regularly changes up her look and takes risks with fashion.
I think taking a celebrity like Taylor Swift, who seems to be everywhere you turn for the past few months and so is starting to feel a bit overexposed, and changing up her look so dramatically is a great move by Vogue. The bleached, shaggy hair, the punk-esque dresses and those Vetements boots are things I would never associate with Taylor Swift but I think it really works on her. She has the slim build and height to pull off runway looks like the models do and so I think this shoot shows that with the right styling she could look cool and edgy and much more fashion forward. Plus, even if Taylor just took these looks as inspiration for when she is on stage that would impress and please me because I’m so tired of seeing seemingly every female singer wearing bejewelled and lingerie-lookalike leotards when they are performing.
This shoot was styled by Tonne Goodman, the Fashion Director at US Vogue, and was photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott. I do like the cover image a lot as, like I said previously, you can still easily tell it is Taylor Swift even though her look is very different. Another of my favourite images is the one where Taylor is wearing the white Michael Kors dress. I like how it shows that just because the outfits and styling are tougher, the subject and her expression doesn’t have to be.
images via vogue.com, voguemagazine instagram