The spirits of many women run through the pages of Bazaar : for those that made the magazine in the past still mingle with these who create it today, while others continue to inspire us. In this issue, there are several powerful presences (although some are elusive, or even close to invisible). First, the unknowable yet unforgettable woman at the heart of Daphne du Maurier’s My Cousin Rachel, brought to the screen so memorably this year by our cover star Rachel Weisz. And of course, Weisz herself is a magnificently compelling figure – as intensely intelligent as she is beautiful, and bold in her refusal to be boxed in by conventional roles for an actress in her forties.
An equally potent blend of female strength and beauty is to the fore in our fashion shoot featuring Kirsty Hume as a reimagined Queen Guinevere. Photographed at Caerhays Castle in Cornwall by Agata Pospieszynska and styled by Charlie Harrington, the romance of Arthurian legend has been shaped by a contemporary team of women who share our commitment to storytelling.
And then there is the figure of Gabrielle Chanel, who became a prevailing influence on Harper’s Bazaar soon after she first launched her business in 1910, and whose enduring legacy we explore in our archives as part of our celebration of the magazine’s 150th anniversary. Chanel’s disciplined honing of her vision of elegance, and her dedication to the craft of couture – alongside art and literature – has long been recognised and reflected by Bazaar (Diana Vreeland, the magazine’s brilliant fashion editor for nearly three decades, regarded Chanel as the greatest couturier of all time). But there are also parallels to be drawn with today’s designers, including Giorgio
Armani, who I was fortunate enough to
interview for this issue. Armani, like Chanel, has overseen every aspect of his brand – from textile manufacture to couture ateliers – and has displayed a similar courage in maintaining his own version of style, rather than being swayed by the vagaries and vicissitudes of fashion.
The dream of eternal icons continues to enthral the beauty industry, just as it does fashion and Hollywood, and as such, may be a mirage prone to fade or tarnish. But I hope that Bazaar ’s long-standing expertise on this and other subjects will continue to be trusted by our readers; hence our definitive guide to the 150 greatest beauty products and experts. It is based on months of detailed research by our beauty department, but is also underpinned by the layers of knowledge and experience that have evolved throughout the magazine’s history.
And so Bazaar continues to cherish all the apparently little things in life that we hold most dear – from the scents that we love, to the lipsticks that give us confidence – as well as upholding the principles of the women who came before us. In their footsteps we walk; by their courage, we are emboldened; for them, we stay true to our convictions; and thanks to them, we know ourselves anew.
PS: Don’t miss the chance to subscribe to Harper’s Bazaar
– turn to page 102 for this month’s offer.
Clockwise from above: Rachel Weisz in this month’s cover story (page 200). Chanel jewellery; and Coco Chanel at the Paris Ritz in 1937, both featured in ‘La grande mademoiselle’ (page 272). An Armani Privé look from our interview
with Giorgio Armani (page 252)
Left: Bazaar’s October 1937 cover. Right: Kirsty Hume wears Dior in ‘Queen of the castle’ (page 212)
£595 Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello
£1,965 Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello £2,690 Chanel
£175 Russell & Bromley From a selection De Beers
From a selection
Fr om a selection Van Cleef &
£135 Gerard Darel