In the world of celebrity, there are a myriad tantrums and tiaras, divas and diamonds, yet true grace is often sorely lacking. Thank heavens, then, for Cate Blanchett, one of the greatest actresses of the era, who remains thoroughly likeable and utterly unspoilt by her fame. She has appeared on the cover of Bazaar several times before this most recent issue, and on each occasion, she has been a joy to work with; hence our delight in welcoming her return to the magazine. And Cate, in turn, has been equally welcoming to Bazaar, inviting Lydia Slater to a picnic lunch at her home in the English countryside, where their conversation ranged from feminism to jam-making, in the most endearing of ways (page 182).
Meanwhile, our fashion teams have also ranged far and wide: from the Scottish fishing villages of the East Neuk of Fife to the gardens of Aberglasney in Carmarthenshire. We are thrilled to feature one of our favourite models again, Malaika Firth, who is as kind-hearted as she is beautiful; indeed, kindness is at the heart of Bazaar, along with a warm sense of friendship towards our contributors and readers. And with every passing year, I realise how important these qualities are, for they are part of the alchemy of love and camaraderie.
Hence my admiration for Ralph Lauren, who I interviewed on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the launch of his business. While he has come to epitomise the American Dream, he has done so without losing his integrity, and his generous philanthropy has extended from New York (where he funded a breast-cancer clinic in Harlem) to London (establishing a pioneering facility at the Royal Marsden hospital).
Above right: Cate Blanchett in Giorgio Armani (page 182). Right: Ronja Furrer wearing Ralph Lauren Collection(page 252)