Even Vogue Bows Down to Beyoncé

Vogue is undoubtedly the leading authority concerning anything related to fashion. "The first look, the final word." While I don't often count on them 'for the first look', I have to say Vogue definitely gets the final word. If they say it's in, it's in, but if they say it's out, it's out. Part of Vogue's power of persuasion lies within their power of transformation. If they can transform a dress or a picture or a person to convince you that it's something it's not, then they most definitely have the power to tell you the do's and don't's. Except, they don't have that power of transformation.

The purpose of a Vogue editorial or photoshoot is to transform and convince. They curate a collection of clothes, cast a collection of models, and scout an appropriate set, all to produce a complete image, the full story. In this story, clothes don't carry the name of any designer, and the models/celebrities remain nameless as well. This all promotes the power of the picture, and therefore the power of the publication. Almost a week ago, it was unveiled that Beyoncé would be gracing Vogue's much promoted September issue this year. As much as it irks me that the magazine stories are published online before September, or the issue, actually arrives, I, like any other human being, couldn't resist catching a glimpse of the piece before it landed on my doorstep, and I, like any other human being, was mesmerized in the regality and overpowering presence of Beyoncé. But therein lies the problem. 

I was faced with plain Beyoncé. (Those words together create an oxymoron, as Beyoncé is anything but plain, I know, but there is no other way to put it. Average Beyoncé. Normal Beyoncé. You know what I mean.) All I saw was Beyoncé, the Beyoncé we all know and love and slightly fear, not some fantastical creature one would normally expect to be born from the pages of Vogue. There was no magic, no fantasy, no imagination, and, I daresay, no glamor. This editorial was Beyoncé through and through, and while the photos were beautiful and highest quality in all the technical aspects, they lacked that special something that makes it Vogue.

Perhaps Vogue decided it best not to meddle with her character because she is already such a powerful figure (not as if any of the other women who cover Vogue aren't...) Perhaps they were just as taken aback in her glory as we are and couldn't pull off any transformative magic. She does, after all, run the world.


The tagline for the issue is, "There’s only one September Issue, and there’s only one Beyonce," which doesn't really make sense because last year there was still one September issue and nine models shared the cover perfectly fine...




6 comments:

  1. Great post! Such a sharp observation. And I especially love your point about last September issue and 9 models on the cover!

    http://againstandforward.blogspot.com

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  2. Other celebrities have appeared "plain" wearing couture pieces only in grand settings for editorials- I'm not sure if this is a reflection of the celebs own personal style or purely dictated by the vogue team but your observations are valid nonetheless

    http://secret-hipster.blogspot.com/

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    1. Or maybe because this is both Beyoncé and the September Issue we expect a bit more. Thanks!

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  3. I expected more too. Not only with Beyonce but the entire September issue. I anxiously await Vogue's September issue every year, and this one disappointed. Maybe because we see everything so early now with newsletters and online magazines, nothing is really new. So I agree, it is up to Vogue to take what we are familiar with and "transform" it to something interesting and memorable. They missed the mark this time.

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    1. I haven't actually read the entire September Issue just yet, (I loyally wait for the print issue to be delivered) but what I've seen so far seems a bit disappointing. There's probably a lot of pressure for them to transform completely and beautifully, so maybe serving up more of the same is safer than being a bit off on a photo. But I think the risk is worth it.

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