ED­I­TOR’S LET­TER

ELLE (UK) - - Contents - NORA EPHRON

Ed­i­tor-in-chief Anne-Marie Cur­tis on the en­dur­ing power of glam­our

It’s fair to say the job of an ed­i­tor on a glossy mag­a­zine from time to time in­volves con­tact with A-list celebri­ties. From my years as a fash­ion di­rec­tor to now, I’ve tot­ted up a fairly im­pres­sive tally while shoot­ing our cover stars over the years. It’s an in­ter­est­ing thing, meet­ing a very fa­mous per­son, in that they are never quite what you ex­pect. They can be nicer, smaller, taller, more or less beau­ti­ful, grumpier, fun­nier, the list goes on. But the one thing they of­ten have in com­mon is that they are in­vari­ably not quite as starstruck-in­duc­ing as you might imag­ine. In fact, in my ex­pe­ri­ence, most ‘fa­mous’ peo­ple are ac­tu­ally far more or­di­nary than you ex­pect. A few have been so ex­tra­or­di­nary, I’ve ended up fall­ing a lit­tle bit in love with them by the end of the work day. Only one, though, has ended in a full-blown, no-holds-barred in­fat­u­a­tion of epic pro­por­tions. And that would be this month’s cover star Rihanna (page 176).

As is the case with most celebrity crushes, I was not the only one en­am­oured by her. In fact, ev­ery sin­gle per­son in the stu­dio that day was trans­fixed (as are Eminem, Phar­rell Wil­liams and Tyra Banks, who have all talked to her for this is­sue). It was im­pos­si­ble not to be. That Rihanna is in­cred­i­bly beau­ti­ful, and even more so in the flesh, was of course a fac­tor. But as we all know, looks soon wear off if there is not much else go­ing on be­neath the sur­face. What Rihanna has in spades is a qual­ity I can only de­scribe as glam­our.

When we think of glam­our, a sense of dressed-up daz­zle (heels, lip­stick, dra­matic cloth­ing, the works) of­ten comes to mind. And Rihanna has that down, as wit­nessed by any num­ber of her vi­ral looks from 2017 alone – the be­jew­elled CropOver cos­tume, the sweep­ing Gi­ambat­tista Valli gown at the Va­le­rian pre­miere, and her Gucci crys­tal body­suit at Coachella, to name a mere few. But true glam­our is more than that. It’s a can’t-quite-put-your-finger-on-it al­lure, a heady mix of mys­tery and bravado, and, most im­por­tantly, a sense of gen­uinely not giv­ing AF about what any­one else thinks.

That is what made my col­leagues and me fall in love that day. Oh, and the fact she’s an ab­so­lute riot to be around, in the best way pos­si­ble.

And speak­ing of glam­our, get­ting dressed up is very much the mood of the sea­son; even the humble cardi­gan has had a glitzy makeover this au­tumn (page 82). Per­haps this is a re­ac­tion to the re­cent ath­leisure mo­ment or sim­ply be­cause, in dif­fi­cult times, we all crave a lit­tle fun and es­capism. It’s fine right now to look like you’ve made an ef­fort. Take in­spi­ra­tion from the late, great Nora Ephron, who summed it up with her words, ‘Believe me, if I looked good, it wasn’t an ac­ci­dent.’ Kenya Hunt shows you how on page 64.

Of course, hand-in-hand with dress­ing up is go­ing out. Af­ter all, a night in with Net­flix and a bot­tle of red isn’t go­ing to cut it when you’re wear­ing those new sparkly Miu Miu shoes. Nel­lie Eden’s paen to the Big Night on page 148 ex­plores why the fash­ion crowd is go­ing out out right now. It will make you want to go danc­ing im­me­di­ately.

But glam­our is not just about dress­ing up and af­ter-dark fun. One of my go-tos when I need a quick hit of glam­our (or have some­thing slightly nerve-rack­ing to do) is Top Nails salon near our of­fice in Soho. It’s not the fan­ci­est of places, but it’s chock full of women like me get­ting their fix at lunchtime. I al­ways choose the same red. But it’s not the colour that is the point, rather the con­fi­dence boost and mood lift it gives me ev­ery time.

And while I’ve never em­braced a red lip, I might af­ter read­ing Sophie Beresiner’s bril­liantly in­for­ma­tive col­umn on ‘shade rules’ (page 267) and how the right colour can change your look.

Creat­ing mod­ern glam­our and mak­ing women feel pow­er­ful is some­thing Er­dem Mo­rali­oglu has al­ways been a mas­ter of. He made my wedding dress when he was a fledg­ing name on the Lon­don Fash­ion Week cal­en­dar, but ob­vi­ously a huge star in the mak­ing. Af­ter hav­ing watched his ca­reer progress, I’m so happy to see his sin­gu­lar vi­sion reach its big­gest au­di­ence yet with his new H&M col­lab­o­ra­tion. Hav­ing seen it up close, I ad­vise you to get in the queue early. It’s go­ing to be a sell-out.

While you’re in the shop­ping mood, our fash­ion well has all the in­spi­ra­tion you need: the best dresses of the sea­son (I want them all), the most covetable shear­ling coats to co­coon your­self in, and ex­cel­lent tai­lor­ing to raise your of­ficewear game.

In short, I can’t imag­ine you won’t be ready for a lit­tle more glam­our in your life, what­ever form that takes, af­ter read­ing this is­sue. And if in doubt, may I sug­gest chan­nelling a lit­tle Rihanna AF at­ti­tude? It’s the per­fect ac­ces­sory this sea­son – try it and see.

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