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One of the most joyful aspects of my work here at Vogue involves dealing in the art of prophesy, intuiting the mood of the season ahead so as to alert readers to the fashion and culture moments that truly matter, as well as to the faces – both familiar and brand new – who are set to define our times. It is a privilege that I take very seriously indeed; if a person appears in these pages, they are someone of real note, someone who is lighting up their field in important and meaningful ways. So it pleases me greatly to make the following prediction: this month’s cover star, Naomi Scott, will soon be one of Britain’s brightest cultural exports.
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A first Vogue cover is a major landmark in any career, and not often one that an actress who has taken only her very first steps to success is ready for. It requires the aligning of stars: an intriguing back story and captivating personal style, to say nothing of a professional CV that is white hot. Naomi is well covered on the latter. In the coming weeks she will become globally famous thanks to her role as Princess Jasmine in Disney’s much anticipated live-action retelling of Aladdin, before taking up duty as one-third of the new Charlie’s Angels this autumn.
But Naomi is more than the sum of her successful auditions. A young Gujarati Indian-Brit from Essex, she is a committed Christian who married at 21, and is balancing a booming career with a set of personal priorities that many unsung women today share. What she has to say about faith and young love is timely and insightful. Of course, I look forward to seeing Naomi dazzle in Aladdin and kick ass in Charlie’s Angels, but I’m also excited to see how she is going to energise a whole generation of British girls and young women, who will look at her story, her religion, her style and work ethic, and see a different sort of ingénue from the sort that Hollywood used to fall for. Reading her cover story, the message is crystal clear: everyone can dream big.
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There’s always a thrill to celebrating the new, especially as spring kicks off in earnest. This moment in fashion is all about beautiful lines, popping colours, the chicest contemporary designers and the crispest, most covetable looks. Whether it is four of the trailblazing actresses who are starring in the grand finale of Game of Thrones, or model Anna Ewers channelling the power moves of the 1980s, the mood is all about confidence. I am pleased to be able to include work from some of my star fashion editors, too, from Grace Coddington to Joe McKenna. Like all of the magazine’s top guard, Grace and Joe understand the true nuances of styling; that it is an art that goes further than clothes.
People often ask me what makes Vogue shoots so special, and it is this: they have a fundamental link to the world we are living in. It may not always be immediately obvious, but it’s always there.
Stella McCartney does not let the grass grow under her feet. At least, not when clearing the way provides another opportunity to plant a tree. Or when she sees a chance to persuade every person in her vast network of personal connections to plant the roots as signs of help and hope in the struggle to save rain forests.
In her Autumn/Winter 2019 show, she celebrated social action openly and joyously. At the feet of every guest and across each runway were written notes of thanks to friends – some as famous as Oprah Winfrey – and a posse of models. Other supporters were family, friends or unknown benefactors.
Painstakingly, after facing a lot of derision – not least from the fashion crowd – Stella has seen her dream come true. There is now a more thoughtful approach to nature in the widest sense.
“My first show was in 1995 at Saint Martins [school of art and design],” she said. “My degree show had vegan sandals! I’m happy that people are now open to the conversation and I’m no longer a freak of nature and ridiculed.
“But leather is a big conversation,” she continued. “People’s businesses are based on leather and I’m going to try and show everyone that you can have a business in fashion, and you don’t have to associate luxury with leather or kill animals anymore.”
Stella does seem to have hit the sweet spot where everything she has tried to achieve is moving in the right direction. The show opened with coats that were threaded through the presentation, in plain colours, simulated leather or Prince-of-Wales checks in a mix of pink, grey and green.
All the ‘green’ codes were there, including a man’s coat that was puffed up like fur, but without any. Stella also showed her quirky sense of fun with earrings that looked like dangling paper clips and rubber bands. Decoration went further with handcraft stitching, as fabrics were upscaled by artist Sheila Hicks who created them using indigenous weaving techniques, to create wearable works of art.
With so much opposition currently to wearing fur, Stella has spent two decades proving that, for people to follow codes that protect sea and land, offering fine clothes built without hurt are the best way to put fashion on the right side of the issue.
The shoes you fussed over, moaned about, “accidentally” ruined, rolled your eyes every time you were forced to wear them are finally chic. This season, sensible school-appropriate footwear deserves to be worn way passed 3pm. No detention involved.
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It all started at the Burberry show in September. In Riccardo Tisci’s take on British classicism was the beige trench, the signature check, sharp tailoring and then traditional T-bar buckle-up flats. In keeping with the spirit of these Startrite-inspired shoes, the Italian designer had them styled with sweet cotton socks and looks that hinted at the ironic anarchy shoes like these can offer.
They’re not teacher’s-pet sweet, they’re more of a Pink Floyd ’80s punkish attitude-packed approach. She’s the girls that’s bunked off school, enjoys their practicality, but totally rejects the usual insistence of how and when they should be worn. Jourdan Dunn’s look – comprised of a studded trench and buttoned-up shirt – was the one that made this message loud and clear.
Burberry Spring/Summer 2019 Ready-To-Wear
Over in Milan, Queen of (everything tbh) a chunky shoe, Miuccia Prada had the shoes storming down the Prada catwalk paired with silky baby doll dresses and those collect-them-all hairbands. Here, knee-high socks only added to the school-ish appeal of these chunky-soled shoes but note how the rest of the ensemble is miles away from Monday to Friday uniforms. Instead, a blazer is replaced with a satin bowed-at-the-neck jacket and a kilt swapped in for a tie-dye printed and embellished baby doll party dress. Gigi Hadid and Anok Yai have already taken the look out on the town, sticking true to the catwalk origins. Miuccia always knows best, students.
Prada Spring/Summer 2019 Ready-to-Wear
And so, with these shoes not really being anything new – just a classic style with a fresh purpose – there are plenty of options available to buy now. While the catwalk versions by Burberry and Prada are ready to snap up for three figures (in shoes like these you’ll find your best cost-per-wear argument), the high street has plenty of options and then so do brands like Dr Martens who have this chunky style in their DNA.
From festivals to parties, job interviews to easy Saturdays, shoes have never been so sorted. We give this trend an A+.
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By now, you’ll have digested the myriad, disparate themes of Solange’s fourth album When I Get Home. Or perhaps you haven’t – and that’s the point. The younger Knowles sister dropped a 19-track tribute to her home town of Houston, Texas, on February 28, and then, two days later, she released a video that is just shy of the album’s 39-minute runtime. To say the film is as ambitious as the audio output, which features the likes of Pharrell, Sampha, Dev Hynes, Tyler the Creator and Playboi Carti, is an understatement. The footage comprises sumptuous slow-motion outdoor dance sequences, selfie videos, snapshots of rodeo riders, computer animation and street scenes – all in homage to Solange’s roots, as a nuanced depiction of black womanhood and, quite simply, art for art’s sake. It’s sometimes raw, always stylistically beautiful and a true insight into Solange’s imagination and that of her inner circle. Central to this is the fashion.
Kyle Luu, who has been Solange’s stylist since the Met Gala 2017, is at the heart of her team of collaborators. The performer found him via Instagram when he was working as Travis Scott’s dresser (he racked up four years with Kylie Jenner’s partner) and this meeting is symbolic of the way they work. They are both Insta obsessives. Rather than compile a moodboard for When I Get Home, they direct messaged each other references. “We pretty much have the same taste,” Luu tells Vogue over the phone from New York. “It’s an easy working relationship, as she kind of lets us [Luu, plus Solange’s make-up and hair stylists] do our own thing.”
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The team began working on the visuals six months ago without hearing any of the music. The back-and-forth messaging then became more rapid after tracks filtered down to them over the course of three months. Many of the references are not shareable as they relate directly to Solange’s family lineage, and indeed, it’s not necessary to share most of the visual aids because the project was really all about conjuring up a feeling, says Luu.
“We wanted the looks to feel like elements versus garments,” he expands. “They appear like a second skin, rather than a piece of clothing.” Take, for example, the jewellery. The futuristic eyelid bar that features on the album cover was created by Israeli accessories designer Keren Wolf, who realised the pieces on Lady Gaga’s Joanne tour and counts Kylie Jenner and Nicki Minaj as clients. The sparkly silver headpiece and bikini was fashioned by Yeha Leung, who is in Luu’s creative circle and predominantly makes bondage wear under the guise Creepy Yeha.
“We always want to work within our community,” says Luu. “We hang out in the same pool of people, and Yeha is just one of those downtown New York girls that so happens to create amazing work.”
Other designers, such as Eric Javits, who is the man behind some of the hats, were sourced during Luu’s extensive social media scrolling. “I spend too much time on there. Solange is the same,” he giggles. “We can find any designer you can possibly imagine via Instagram.” Brands like Telfar, Gareth Pugh and Helmut Lang, whom Solange regularly looks to for public-facing looks, were the bread-and-butter brands that supported the whole aesthetic.
“I wasn’t afraid,” Solange wrote via Instagram of unleashing her new project into the ether – albeit by a carefully curated roll-out plan. “My body wasn’t either, even at times of uncertainty. [My fans] make me feel safe and held even in this big big strange world.” And there lies the secret to Solange’s uniquely captivating style: it’s propped up by the community standing behind her, much like her album.
The Women’s March on 21 January 2017 made history as the largest single-day demonstration ever recorded in the US, with more than three million attendees across the nation. Sister protests were held in more than 50 countries, and worldwide participation was estimated at seven million. There was a rally in Barcelona, a gathering in London’s Trafalgar Square, slogans chanted outside the US embassy in Accra in Ghana and a nighttime march through the streets of Tokyo. The campaign even reached Antarctica, where one placard declared: “Penguins march for peace”.
While the election of President Trump had been the initial catalyst for the Women’s March, its organisers wanted it to be part of a larger movement, encompassing issues of equality, tolerance, reproductive rights and immigration reform. It was undeniably a watershed moment, but women had marched before – and will continue to march long after. From the suffragettes who traipsed across Hyde Park for the 1907 Mud March to the 1977 Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo protests in Argentina and last year’s demonstrations against the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, these movements have always acted as a rallying cry for women around the world, promoting solidarity and propelling change.
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Ahead of International Women’s Day on 8 March, three women share with Vogue their most memorable marches, and the profound impact they had on their lives.
Actress and author
“The march I remember best is one I attended when I was 14 years old. I marched in a Seattle, Washington, Gay Pride parade. It was 1988 and things back then were not as they are now. Gay marriage was not even on the distant horizon. As long as I can remember, gay rights were a huge part of the agenda for me. Discrimination of those with whom I most identified was unacceptable. The march was packed and loud and fun but had an urgency to it. My voice was hoarse from yelling. The day before, I had sat with my friend Tom at the hospice that was caring for him. AIDS was terrorising so many of my friends. I carried a sign during the march that said, “Silence Equals Death”. And it does, so that is why I marched.
“The march made me feel like I was doing something in a time when discrimination ruled. Things were not as they are now. It really felt like life and death because it was life and death. It is so important to engage, to fight, to dissent and to cure the sickness in our world. We must fight for each other and be unafraid to do so. We all count. We all matter. Rise up.”
Rose McGowan’s memoir Brave is out in paperback on 5 March
Executive director of UN Women
“On 18 November 2015, I joined black women in Brasilia, Brazil, at the March of Black Women against racism and violence and for ‘good living’. It was a chance to draw attention to the double discrimination faced by women of African descent in Brazil on account of their gender and the colour of their skin, and to call for an end to gender-based violence. I marched with mothers, grandmothers and daughters from diverse backgrounds – the riverbank dwellers of the Amazon, the Babassu domestic workers, prayer women, midwives from Brazil’s countryside and women of the Quilombola people. I marched with activists and academic researchers, ministers and public officials, and my fellow UN Women staff. The energy and sisterhood that they brought to the streets that day was palpable.
“Women have long occupied an important place in the struggle against injustice and in the search for dignity and equality. In 1956, in my own country of South Africa, more than 20,000 women and girls from all corners of the country and all walks of life marched against apartheid, positioning women as a force to be reckoned with in the struggle for freedom. As a result, 9 August is now an official holiday for National Women’s Day in South Africa, celebrating both the historic and current contributions of women and girls in the country.
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“Today, around the world, we are seeing the power that marches of solidarity have to counter silence, to demand change and to hold leaders to account – from the women’s marches that have sprung up in cities around the world over the past two years, to the recent climate justice marches led by inspiring young activists in Europe and beyond. They remind us all that this is a time for women and girls to band together and to act, together with men and boys, on the issues that will determine a lived equality for all. That is why we march. And most importantly, why we must continue to grow and scale these movements for gender equality, human rights and sustainable development together.”
The 2019 Commission on the Status of Women will take place at the UN Headquarters in New York from 11 to 22 March
Activist and founder of the #FreePeriods campaign to end period poverty
“A march that had an impact on my life was the #FreePeriods march, which we organised in December 2017. We organised it entirely on social media and asked everyone to come to Downing Street, to wear red and bring banners. We had absolutely no idea how many people would turn up, but in the end we had over 2,000 people, every single one of them enraged about period poverty and demanding the government take action.
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“#FreePeriods is calling on the government to provide free menstrual products to those who need them so that no child misses school because they can’t afford to buy pads and tampons, and it was really humbling to see how many people came to be part of the #FreePeriods movement. We had some incredible speeches from Adwoa Aboah, Suki Waterhouse, Daisy Lowe, Jess Phillips MP and Tanya Burr. We had such a diverse range of people who turned up, from Dizzee Rascal to Martin Sheen, and it was so inspirational.
“I started #FreePeriods from my bedroom and this march showed me that it had turned into a movement of people who were willing to stand out in the cold, five days before Christmas, to protest about a cause they felt really passionately about. It was galvanising and we felt mobilised to keep fighting.”
Ariana Grande’s sky-high ponytail is almost as famous as Ariana herself, so it’s easy to forget she didn’t come out of the womb like that: scraped-back hair, winged liner and manicured talons clutching at a tiny microphone. But this weekend, the singer Tweeted a picture of her curly-haired self aged five, captioned: “If I’m honest this is still exactly what I look like without lashes and my pony,” adding “the only difference now is that hand now says bbq grill finger”, in reference to her recent tattoo mishap.
Grande then followed up on a fan’s request for pictures by posting a video – complete with Snapchat filter – showing off shoulder-skimming curls and a curly fringe. Her Twitter audience erupted with calls for her to “bring back” her natural style, to which Grande responded: “They gotta grow first! That blonde last year… tarnished. BUT they’re like halfway back.”
Is the end of the iconic ponytail nigh? For anyone concerned, it was less than 24 hours before Grande was back on Twitter showing off a bouncy pony reaching past her waist. But if she or her scalp did ever fancy a break, the world would welcome curly Ariana just as they did blonde Ariana when we placed her on the July 2018 cover of Vogue last year.
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Just weeks after David Attenborough’s Dynasties concluded on BBC One, a teaser for the icon’s next project, One Planet, Seven Worlds, just dropped. “Each one-hour episode will transport viewers to a single continent and tell the story of its spectacular wildlife and iconic landscapes,” the BBC shared at the end of January. As with Blue Planet II, the most-watched programme in the UK in 2018, there will also be a distinct focus on the lasting impact that humanity is having on wildlife around the globe.
One Planet: Seven Worlds is just the first of five major wildlife series that will debut on the channel in the next three years. In addition to the latest instalments of Frozen Planet and Planet Earth, stay tuned for the premieres of Green Planet – described as the “first immersive portrayal” of the world of plants – and Perfect Planet, a five-part docuseries showcasing the various ways in which the forces of nature support life’s diversity, from the “white wolves of Ellesemere Island to bears in Kamchatka; vampire finches of the Galapagos to golden snub-nosed monkeys of China”.
The news of Attenborough’s next BBC series comes after months of speculation that the 92-year-old would fully decamp for Netflix, which dropped the initial trailer for Our Planet, their first partnership with the British icon, during the Super Bowl on February 3. Created in partnership with the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) and due out on April 5, the landmark programme was filmed across 50 countries with more than 500 members of crew. All in all, it’s going to be a good year for television.
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Eight Mulberry sunglasses styles inspired by eight British style icons: it’s fair to say that Johnny Coca has drunk the Kool-Aid since joining the house from Céline in 2015. The Spaniard has been waiting to launch lenses for some time – and, accordingly, workers in the company’s West Country factory have been sporting John Lennon and Kate Moss-inspired sunnies around Somerset to ensure the creative director succeeds in his mission to make a pair to suit everyone.
“I have been designing sunglasses for the last 15 years so it’s part of my process when designing a season,” Coca tells Vogue ahead of the February 13 launch. Eagle-eyed fashion fans will have spied opticals on Mulberry’s models in past catwalk shows, as Coca has used the accessory “to complete the silhouette and give the attitude of the season”. It was not until a license agreement with Italian eyewear specialist De Rigo was signed, however, that a production process began in earnest.
Mulberry Spring/Summer 2019 Ready-To-Wear
The frames fall into categories that each complement the ’60s-inspired spring/summer 2019 collection. “This was an era when distinctive eyewear silhouettes became synonymous with their wearers,” Coca shares of his sojourn to the Mod mood of the decade when researching the ready-to-wear. “We also looked at modern icons and the attitude that comes with wearing sunglasses. The bold styles add a fresh, playful edge to these retro influences.”
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The Kate, Jane, Emma, Charlotte and Gian styles come in chunky acetate, while Tony and Lenny are shaped from a lightweight metal wire. Enyd, a hybrid silhouette, also borrows the colour palette from the mainline collection and comes in hibiscus red and sorbet pink, as well as sensible blacks and metallics.
Is Coca confident he has created something different from the myriad sunglasses collections in the competitive accessories market? “They reinforce Mulberry’s statement and DNA,” he states matter-of-factly of not creating a flash-in-the-pan product. Consumer response to his reinvigorated accessories – leather goods have thus far been a priority – has been positive. “I think our customers can see a consistency across all the categories, which aim to keep the Britishness, protect the heritage and progress with modernity”. Tapping into Mulberry’s quintessential country roots again will no doubt appeal to an international audience too. Coca, from Spain via Paris to Somerset, is a savvy businessman indeed.
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Priced from £190-£220, the sunglasses will be available to purchase at Mulberry.com from February 13 and from an immersive installation at the Regent Street flagship store during London Fashion Week.
Miley Cyrus stepped up for her husband Liam Hemsworth, while stepping out in a striking red Valentino gown for the premiere of his latest film, Isn’t It Romantic in Los Angeles last night.
Cyrus – who paired her ruffled gown with matching rouge lips, a high ponytail and a cluster of heavy diamond rings – represented her husband as he was unable to attend due to health issues. “He’s down. He’s not feeling well right now,” Cryus told Variety on the red carpet. “He just had some health things, and I think that’s the most important [thing] – that [as] entertainers, we have a really hard time taking care of ourselves… This movie is the most important thing to him so I had to be here to represent it.”
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Cyrus later took to Instagram to shout out to Hemsworth: “So proud of my hunky hubby Liam Hemsworth and his latest movie Isn’t It Romantic. He, unfortunately, wasn’t able to attend due to health reasons… but he is recovering and taking time to rest/heal,” she wrote.
Hemsworth also took to Instagram to praise his wife for attending the premiere without him. “Sorry I couldn’t make it to the Isn’t It Romantic premiere tonight guys. Been dealing with some pretty annoying health stuff the last couple of days. Lucky I have the best girl in the world to represent for me!” he wrote.
The rom-com, which follows the life of Natalie, a New York-based architect who finds herself in an alternative universe after being mugged, comes just in time for Valentine’s Day, airing in the UK on February 28 on Netflix.
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If there’s one thing you can rely on every season, it’s denim. In jeans, in jumpsuits, in skirts, in jackets, this hardy fabric is the ultimate wardrobe pillar. A support act as fabulous as Rachel Weisz in The Favourite, that can be worn any which way for a multitude of moments.
While it can be easy to fall in love with one pair – and then wear them every day for the foreseeable future – there is so much more to be had by embracing all the styles that are trending today.
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For the summer ahead, there’s a retro feel to denim. Whether it be a skinny in an ’80s bleach wash or a pair of baggy boyfriends that could be straight out of an NSYNC music video – there’s a nostalgic mood in the way to wear jeans right now.
Make these five pairs your starting point.
The Wide Leg
The pair to reach for on easy Sundays. The wide leg jean is an easy option that works best with oversized layering and chunky shoes that add to the oversized luxe of this silhouette. Wide leg jeans, £29.99 at Zara.com.
The Baggy Jean
Here’s a new shape to try this season. Don’t let the proportions intimidate here, but instead embrace the louche fit that should slip over the body and then graze along the ankle. The waist will fall lower than perhaps you’re used to so team it with your existing favourites before upgrading to a sheer long-sleeved top in the spring. Balloon boyfriend jeans, £42 at Topshop.com.
The Mom Jean
A wardrobe classic now that is probably already a part of your collection of denim. Wear now with the tie-dye trend that dominated the SS19 catwalks for a fresh take on a well-loved pairing. Slim Mom jeans, £35.99 at Mango.com.
The Skinny Jean
Back in bleach, the skinny jean is making a triumphant return this season. Don’t wear in the day, instead think of this second-skin silhouette as your going out go-to, best worn with a frilled blouse or Bardot neckline for the ultimate in ’80s referencing. Good American slim-fit skinny jean, £160 at Selfridges.com.
The Straight Jean
This is the pair you’ll struggle to take off. The looser fit here adds a contemporary edge to the usual T-shirt and jeans look we all enjoy. Try wearing with barely-there kitten heel sandals and a jaunty handbag all summer long. Straight leg jeans, £40 at Topshop.com.