Not just in Elba, but all over Italy, the new Vogue Italia has come out, and it has, for the moment, left skinny girls all but out of the equation. And as I have been for the past week or so writing about a “vacation” from life as usual, I find it totally appropriate to include this, which is, also, a vacation from life as usual.
We are so accustomed to thin, no gaunt, faces and bodies that ours will never be, that laying eyes on this issue (main story: “Belle vere,” or “True Beauties”) made me breath a bit freer. Yes, these models are still beautiful. And one might argue that in casting them and in styling them in a Helmut Newton-esque fashion Vogue and photographer, Steven Meisel have just traded in one kind of perfection for another, but at least there is allowance here for a woman to be just that: a woman. It is progress to show something other than rail thin. It is progress to let a curve, any curve, replace a straight line.
Meisel’s story is the raciest of the three featured articles. Another was subdued and elegant, but with the same unabashed confidence, featuring women draped in lush colors and large, voluminous coats and dresses. Shape was everything, in a positive way. I’ve included a close-up from that spread just to celebrate a face that’s not reduced to bone and shadow.
The third story was about eyewear: the comeback of roundness in glasses. Here too, without exception, all the women were healthy samples of the female animal. And at no point did I look at the spread, even with my art director’s eye, and yearn to see something with less heft. No, this is a good move. Now, sadly, I’m sure they’ll return to business as usual, but at least the statement was made. I wonder how many saw it and “listened.”