As this issue went to press, I was in Paris attending the recent ready-to-wear season. While normally I would be in the office overseeing the final revisions to each page as they are sent to the printers, this time the final flip of the ‘book’ and last-minute changes were done on my phone via FaceTime with my team in Sydney. Oh, how things have changed. When I first started attending the shows in the 1990s, the then editor would have pages and pages of the magazine proofs sent via fax to her hotel. She would read them in the car in between shows and spend hours on the phone – I imagine at great expense – calling the office in Sydney in the middle of the night to talk the art director and deputy editor through her changes. The digital age has in so many ways made print publishing easier.
Today in Paris, I met with Victoria Beckham to discuss her upcoming trip to Australia, thank her for this beautiful cover (the fourth featuring the designer since I have been editor), and view her latest collection. I always find myself having a sneaky shop during the Victoria Beckham re-see. Her clothes are beautiful.
Writer Tim Blanks has witnessed Victoria’s transformation from pop-star royalty to serious designer from the beginning, and his interview highlights that 10-year journey, one we also celebrate. The accompanying beautiful images were created thanks to a close and trusted relationship between our fashion director Christine Centenera and Victoria. Victoria told me today: “Only for Christine.” By which she means that under Christine’s direction she is willing to wear looks she mightn’t otherwise. The resulting photographs speak for themselves and show Victoria in a fresh new light.
With real royalty, care of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and fashion royalty, care of Victoria and her husband David, all expected in Australia together this month, there will no doubt be a media frenzy. At Vogue we felt it was also important to highlight in this issue why they are actually here. To that end, we photographed the extraordinary Australian female athletes who will be competing at the Invictus Games in Sydney. We’ve also told the stories of these returned servicewomen in a powerful video that I encourage you to watch on Vogue.com.au and share with the hashtag #ThanksForServing.
This month, we will also respectfully acknowledge 100 years since the end of the World War I, the war that was to end all wars, but which unfortunately did not. The women and men who have bravely served this country then and since often return with scars you might not see but can impact for a lifetime. The Invictus Games brings hope, focus and friendships that can change their lives for the better. It became apparent while working on this feature that the strength and compassion of the athletes’ families and their support networks is essential, and so we also thank the carers for their love and selfless efforts, too.
Victoria Beckham in ‘ The Victorian era’, from page 146.
Vogue editors-in-chief with Victoria Beckham in her showroom. From left: Christiane Arp (Germany), Edwina McCann and Angelica Cheung (China).