Reading Vogue is kind of like going to the Homecoming dance in a mediocre dress as a member of the “B” crowd. You know you’re not the best looking, the most popular or likely to win any awards but you go for the splendor of it all.
Adele in Vogue
That’s Vogue: the beacon of style that is just outside your reach. Or so it seemed: enter Adele on the March cover. As a famously curvy size 16 many thought “now THIS is a cover girl that we cannot wait to see get theVogue treatment.” And you know what the Vogue treatment means – right-off-the-runway pieces, eclectic styling, scenery that creates a sense of destination, equal parts sexy and strong all wrapped up in a delicious visual. Oh disappointment.
The article itself was fine – but the photos – that’s what everyone was waiting for: the styling and, um yeah, The CLOTHES! Sadly, of five pictures in the article, only one showed her body, reclining in a beautiful Oscar de la Renta ball gown. The others were pretty much facial shots. Gorgeous facial shots, true, but decidedly anti-climactic. Now, no one is privy to the inner workings of Vogue. Maybe Adele refused a broader shoot. Perhaps she was pressed for time and quickly whisked away to some Grammy prep activity. But one can’t help thinking that either consciously or subconsciously they didn’t want to show her body in a grander shoot more typical of the Vogue name.
What did curvy girls want to see? They wanted the premiere editorial voice in fashion to declare “beauty in all forms” by putting a plus-size star in gorgeous outfits in gorgeous photos
By Any Other Name
For musical “it” girl comparisons, look back only to the February Taylor Swift cover. Nearly every one of Taylor’s five pics was a body shot and, more importantly, every one lived up to the magazine’s stock-and-trade as a fashion styling icon. They represent her as a country-rock princess in the season’s hottest looks. Why not this treatment for Adele in Vogue? Compare Taylor and Adele and we see two attractive music superstars on back-to-back Vogue covers treated quite differently. In print editions the plump one gets facial portraits and the skinny one gets full-body shots. (It should be noted that vogue.com showed additional full-length shots)
Even with a talented, sexy, record-breaking plus-size celebrity as subject and unlimited fashion resources at their disposal this is one of the most un-Vogue pieces to grace their pages and the disappointment of the year to plus-size readers everywhere.
What did curvy girls want to see of Adele in Vogue? They wanted the premiere editorial voice in fashion to declare “beauty in all forms” by putting a plus-size star in gorgeous outfits in gorgeous photos; to say that bigger girls are no less beautiful, no less desirable, no less Vogue than their slimmer peers.
Oh, and if, by chance, one might blame the drought of fashion in the Adele spread on the extreme lack of high-end designs to fit the curvy woman, better still. We can only hope that Anna and her crew will one day expose this design opportunity and encourage Vogue-worthy designs for all women rather than continue to ignore the growing demographic over size 6 (and 14).
For all the curvy girls out there who’ve been told they have such a pretty face, it seems Vogue’s Adele spread was pretty much just more of the same.