En­nin­ful’s Vogue

First look

The Guardian - G2 - - Front page - Jess Cart­ner-Mor­ley

There is a look on page 312 that sums up what Ed­ward En­nin­ful, in his first edi­tor’s let­ter, calls “your new Vogue”. A model with tightly braided hair strolls on a gritty pave­ment past Arnold Cir­cus, east London’s most pic­turesquely down-at-heel es­tate, in vin­tage Kappa track­pants and a North Face ruck­sack with a cash­mere Ralph Lau­ren coat price-tagged at £2,600. The new Vogue is a bit less posh and a bit more cool. But it is still very much Vogue.

I was wor­ried that, now that it is be­ing edited by a stylist, there would be noth­ing to read. I’m not any more, be­cause De­cem­ber’s Vogue is worth your £3.99 purely for the last para­graph of Zadie Smith on the Queen, in which she re­counts what hap­pened when she and Kate Moss met her majesty at Buck­ing­ham Palace. Smith’s awe­less take on the iconog­ra­phy of a “dis­tinctly lower-mid­dle-class” monarch, which lists the things we know “Mrs Wind­sor” (not Her Majesty) to look kindly on as “Easten­ders, Corn­flakes, most cakes, gin and Dubon­net (but no fancy wines and noth­ing gourmet)” sets a warm but icon­o­clas­tic tone.

The new Vogue is about 50% more real. There are re­main plac­ards and ragged union jacks pho­tographed by Juer­gen Teller, and Daphne Guin­ness talk­ing about the min­ers’ strike. Annabel’s night­club is in there, but south London is bet­ter rep­re­sented than May­fair:

Naomi Camp­bell and Sadiq Khan rem­i­nisce about grow­ing up in Tooting and Streatham; Glenda Jack­son is on a bench in Black­heath; and John Gal­liano catches the No 12 bus from Ele­phant and Cas­tle. There is an eyes-on-stalks tour of Matthew Freud’s Prim­rose Hill man­sion, yet Vic­to­ria Beck­ham is pho­tographed in her sub­ur­ban child­hood home where her bed­room was “a Laura Ash­ley wall­pa­pered sanc­tu­ary from the school bul­lies who tor­mented her, lined with empty Chanel bot­tles for glam­our”. Jonathan An­der­son revisits his teenage class­room in Magher­afelt in North­ern Ire­land; Burberry’s Christo­pher Bai­ley walks the Leeds Liver­pool canal tow­path.

There is a £125 Top­shop skirt next to a £3,730 Cé­line bag. (There is still a lot of Cé­line. Some things are sa­cred.)

There is a real and thrillingly di­verse point of view: Sal­man Rushdie writes about Christ­mas in a multi-faith fam­ily, Skepta about the speci­ficity of the black Bri­tish ex­pe­ri­ence.

There is still, how­ever, plenty of the old Vogue world. There are cor­gis and hounds; Chanel mod­elled by Lady Jean Camp­bell and her sis­ter Edie; and both Delev­ingnes (Poppy on thank-you let­ters and Sun­day roasts, Cara on Fab­ric and squat par­ties on Park Lane). Oh, and bonus points if you can spot the god­daugh­ter of Ron­nie Cooke Ne­w­house, wife of Condé Nast In­ter­na­tional owner Jonathan: that’s Ad­woa Aboah, cover girl. Vogue is dead, long live Vogue.

De­cem­ber’s in full shoots sale on Fri­day Vogue, on

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