I should have known better. More than usually after reading it, I felt the mix of excitement and despair that always stems from reading fashion magazines: "I could be like that/I'm not like that". Sometimes the clothes seem baroque, ugly, unwearable, but sometimes deep in my shallow little black heart all I want to do is rush out and buy "autumn's new egg shape".
But this time I was also absolutely infuriated by much of the content. The cover story "COUNTRY HOUSE FASHION GETS A REVAMP" should have alerted me; the nod to the toff Tory leader David Cameron in the editor's letter; the Checklist piece which began "British Fashion has no greater champion than the Queen"; but worst of all, even by VOGUE's London-insular, nepotistic standards, was an article about "YOUNG LONDON" photographed by Mario Testino. Darling Mario says at the beginning
- such an unvarnished, unashamed admission of what this piece was really about! And sure enough, across dozens of pages the spoiled, petulant offspring of the rich and well-connected, among them the sons and daughters of VOGUE contributors ("London's coolest teenagers") sprawled their way and, despite the billing ("our 'Young London' story ... shows that teen style can be every bit as quirky and innovative as it ever was", Alexandra Shulman gushes in her intro), they were not even wearing their own clothes. A sample:
"What I absolutely loved about this shoot was photographing all the kids of my
and most risible of all (but absolutely typical of the fawning tone of the entire piece):
"VIOLET NAYLOR-LEYLAND in Luella, LUCY LYTTLETON in Molly Grad ... Photographed at the Cuckoo Club."
"Fifteen year old TAMARA BELL claims she grew tired of the London club scene
when she turned 12. These days, though, she promotes a music night at Madame
Jojo's in Soho."
Sadly, none of the above is ironic. Rarely has the phrase "First up against the wall come the revolution" seemed more appealing.
"Art lover CLARA PAGET, the 17 year old daughter of the Earl of Uxbridge, loves
the culture surrounding the drum'n'bass scene and has been known to devote entire evenings to flyering upcoming nights." [my emphasis]