Kim Kardashian Dresses, Vogue US April 2014 Most Controversial Issue

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Let’s talk about this month’s most discussed-about Vogue magazine cover and associated pictorial. Because everyone is alarmed about it and because for some it may just be the last American Vogue they ever acquired.

Annie Leibovitz photographed the couple (and, literally, her mother) in their luxurious home, in Paris or in a private jet but the truth is plain and simple for all fashion passionate out there: wherever they may be, whoever may take their picture, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West won’t overcome the gossip aura that’s surrounding them.

Kim Kardashian Vogue cover dress Lanvin

The cover has the future bride wearing a dress designed by Alber Elbaz for Lanvin, the same dress being also featured in the private jet still. It’s a bridal gown, from the Lanvin Blanche Collection priced at just pennies below $7,000.

Lanvin bridal dress worn by Kim Kardashian Vogue April 2014

There’s a particularly interesting picture of Kim dressed in a very impressive white dress by Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda. A corset princess gown made from lace, organza and tulle custom made by the Italian fashion house. Now the dress itself is overwhelming, but what’s going on around Kim is just as interesting: the pictorial’s editor, Grace Coddington, is arranging the tulle train, three other members of the Vogue team circle around Kim (notice only the men look at the future bride while the women are otherwise engaged). Oh, and I’m sure everyone observed wee North dressed in a Dolce & Gabbana dress (which costs $1,105) standing in her grandmother’s lap. Kim’s mother / manager was something we could’ve been spared of in the pages of Vogue

Kim Kardashian Vogue April pictorial Dolce Gabbana custom dress

Another picture, another custom-made dress: this time from Nina Ricci. A white satin dress with organza and lace flowers. She’s wearing the dress twice, as she’s holding Kanye’s head in her lap and as she’s holding and kissing her daughter while in Kanye’s arms, laying on the couch.

Kanye West North West Kim Kardashian Nina Ricci dress Vogue

Kim Kardashian dress Vogue Nina Ricci

There’s more: a feathered gown by Alexander McQueen makes a floating appearance while being pictured walking along the Seine. What a vision! What a dress! Notice that on Kanye, only the coat and the top change, he keeps on wearing the Prada leather trousers for the entire shoot. Here he’s dressed up in a Uma Wang coat.

See also: Movies in which McQueen dresses made a fabulous appearance!

(I have to be a spoiler for this one – if you watched the behind-the-scenes video from my previous story, I’m certain you noticed how Kim and Kanye walked hand in hand on a desert road wearing just these exact clothes… Take their image, overlap it on a photograph of Seine’s canal and you’re good to Vogue! You don’t even have to be proficient in Photoshop, the McQueen dress will steal the spotlight anyway.)

See also: More designs from Alexander McQueen Spring 2011 collection!

So many dresses, so little time to wear them all! Schiaparelli Haute Couture also contributed with a design for the occasion. A fabulous ivory dress that looks like a cloud (a design that famously takes three weeks and a team of twenty people to achieve) and a silk chiffon sleeveless top. Kanye is allover Kim’s dress (in a very unnatural pose leaned over a $750,000 black matte Lamborghini he received as a birthday gift from Kim) wearing his leather pants and a black t-shirt from Fear of God (I’m certain he chose this particular tee for this particular photo just because it would look good in writing).

Kim Kardashian Schiaparelli Couture dress Vogue pictorial

The least relevant picture, but also the visual key to this Vogue riddle is the ‘selfies’ still. The cover shows KimYe and introduces a long hashtag: #worldsmosttalkedaboutcouple . Media makes a personality these days, and that really doesn’t come easy! Juggling your baby, a phone, a perfectly uninterested pout and an angle for another camera taking your picture demands serious skills and long practice. A ceiling tall mirror filled room – North’s room as we see her transparent $4,000 Vetro Crib behind – was chosen to capture the symbolic media&mirrors essence of this family.

Kim fur vest Vogue selfies Kanye North

Huge engagement ring, iPad and iPhone, a Balmain Tshirt on Kanye and a RIccardo Tisci ivory fox stole belted over a sequined print skirt (and a mere diaper of innocent participant, North) to conclude a very controversial story, even by Vogue standards. A good selfie is nothing sans heavy smokey makeup by Aaron de Mey for Sephora, hairdo by Anthony Turner. A special editor was assigned to the mensweear section: Renelou Pandora with a little help from Ibn Jasper taking care of the grooming.

Whatever they might wear or whomever they might be accompanied by, Kim and Kanye will always bear the weight of their gossip worth. No designer tailored clothes will take that from them and no fashion enterprise will beam them up on the high style deck. And that is hardly their fault. It’s the culture: people get used to classifying things, boxing and labeling them and never changing that label. They feel uncomfortable with being forced into changing labels. So uncomfortable that they’re willing to throw the entire box altogether. End their subscription, start petitions and protest verbally. In all justice.

However, there’s one thing we need to all agree upon: like it or dislike it, this month’s Vogue magazine American issue got everyone involved. Got everyone interested in one way or another. My interest, momentarily, is in the styling. The dresses Kim Kardashian is wearing in her Vogue pictorial as I laid them down one by one.

Because her fashion transfiguration is so elaborate that she has to undergo a complete makeover in order to become Mrs West, Kim is relevant for my fashion interest.

Naturally, this issue is taking advantage (reciprocating the need for attention of the couple) of the upcoming wedding: Kim and Kanye have set their date on May 24th 2014. The ceremony should take place in Paris as Kanye thinks big as revealed by Hamish Bowles in the Vogue story:

‘[…] the Louvre perhaps, or Versailles. Or both. “We could get the Hall of Mirrors or something,” says Kanye, “We could turn up.”’

Outraged? Certainly this is what they’re going for. The contrast of their entire pictorial – she’s wearing white, bridal-esque gowns while he’s constantly wearing laid back black, is meant to make people react. Kanye is undoubtedly a very talented individual, with a huge vision. But he’s always in a hurry. He’s not waiting for the world to notice him. He simply takes what he thinks he’s entitled to. Fame, judgements (remember when he took Taylor Swift’s moment from MTV’s Video Music Awards 2009), he’s not waiting for anything or anyone, he takes over (Kim’s marriage to Kris Humphries wasn’t officially over when Kanye got involved).

He’s not waiting for fashion recognition, he just takes a pencil and designs: his sneakers collection. Styles: himself and, especially Kim. Establishes: himself and Kim as Vogue-worthy. Now he’s planning his nuptials in a chateau – and not just any chateau but Paris’s Versailles? I’m afraid Anna Wintour didn’t have a saying in putting them on the cover. She and her Vogue were just part of the entitlement.

17 comments

#1 Ana on 03.26.14 at 3:20 pm

Nina Ricci and KK is like cashmere to polyester. I vomited a bit in my mouth seeing this.

#2 jac on 03.27.14 at 5:57 am

Portraits are not fashion – grrrr! This is my pet peeve…..

#3 kpriss on 03.27.14 at 11:16 am

I’m so puzzled by this type of cover choices… Like I said earlier: I see why Rihanna would be relevant for Rolling Stone, even for Vanity Fair, Elle and such. But Vogue? Same goes for the KKs why not start their own magazine if this is their ambition? If ever Victoria Beckham will get a cover, nobody can as much as blink against it after April 2014!

#4 Appollonia on 03.27.14 at 1:29 pm

My dears, why bother so much? I did that for a very, very short time. Then read some other comments and I was unconscious uncoupled of my disappointment until my pleasant surprise.
We live in this celebrity pop culture. This is a sign of the times. When was the last time there was actually a fashion model on the cover of US Vogue? As for Victoria she has been on the cover of US Vogue with the Spice Girls late ’90s. I bought the issue and gave it to a little fan. Who was very, very happy. It seems there was ‘outrage’ back then not I noticed or cared about. The internet was still young and things were still laid back not blown up about everything as it is now.
Be real, look at the comments of the current fashion fans on Facebook on fashion photos……..”OMG” – “I love this look” and so on. The F-like button is enough. They don’t want to know or learn about master crafts anymore. All the new fashion audience likes is the name of the label or a pretty picture.. See Pinterest. So, this Vogue is going to sell to a new public. Not you, not me……but it’s going to sell!
Needless to say that I hate what I see? Only this…..what hurt my eyes the most is the kneeling Grace Coddington…..really, it’s painful to watch ……:((

And another thing is Vogue has been always about the rich and stuff for the rich. Be real. For us lesser mortals the magazine was and is to dream about and get inspiration of the fashion shoots. I speak for myself. I never cared for the socialite stories, I didn’t even know who these people were? This couple and others are the new rich who are gonna marry in Versailles? In Versailles? Time for the guillotine but here I go again and talk politics. Time to quit this comment although it is related……. just think about it…..
Do I take fashion seriously these days? Hell no! Do I still love fashion? Hell yeah, despite the horrible view above. :)

#5 kpriss on 03.27.14 at 2:59 pm

oh, I love that ‘unconscious uncouple’ reference! (I was rather shocked because I really thought they’ll make it somehow.. But what do I know?) Yes, you’re painfully right about it all. The social media changed the way people perceive the world and the social itself. Nothing is social but at the same time it’s way too social.

Two days ago, I came across one of the very few fashion advertorial images that really inspired me. That became so rare lately. I find it hard to relate to (again) Rihanna posing in a bathroom for Balmain. I’d love to see more beauty. More harmony and natural appeal. One of these days I’ll bring the said image into the right story and we’ll discuss it. It’s hard to talk marketing without touching the social and the psychological aspects of advertising…

I’d love you fine ladies to tell me more about what inspires you nowadays in fashion. I would love to see your side of the modern fashion story <3

#6 Ana on 03.27.14 at 3:47 pm

Why bother ? Because you don’t break a 20 plus years relationship without “suffering”. It is like going to your favorite eaterie or doctor or manicure /hairdresser and being mistreated. I DO feel . I am heartbroken. Most people will think I am nuts.
I always bought Vogue, ever since I was a teenager ,and I felt like I could always rely on it to inspire me and educate on several levels. I dont buy tabloids for a reason : because I don’t look up to or find inspiration in people with no talent and even less morals. A man who thinks it’s ok to interrupt people’s acceptance speeches, and believes his own hype . Kanye is nowhere near an amazing performer and did la Wintour actually type the words : cultural provacateur? Well, yes if we use the real definition, He is a person who provokes trouble, causes dissension, or the like and this is what she wants to promote? The last time I checked reverb, delay and auto tune does not a singer make !!! Nobody, NOBODY will tell me this trash is a good musician. ( one just have to watch that “thing” Bond 2 to laugh ) and Kim has a strenght of character ? Sorry, but proving your butt is real through x-rays is the epitome of banality. How much ” strenght of character” do you need to lay on your back and do po*nog*afic video tape ?
I am outraged.
Yes, this issue is going to sell, no doubt. Let’s see for how long K&K public will hold on Vogue. I expect (and wish!! ) a major backlash.
Yes, life goes on, of course. Sadly with one more deception on the way.

#7 Appollonia on 03.27.14 at 5:28 pm

Ana, I feel your pain and I don’t think your nuts but I’m just realistic. Fashions change all the time and so do the magazines and at this moment not for the better. Plus magazines have a hard time. It’s a struggle in magazine land. I got to admit it hasn’t been as bad as this! On the other hand I can’t waste time on being outraged of this cover and the shoot. And you know as well as I do Anna has bosses too she must obey to keep her seat, Condé Nasty as I said earlier about this Vogue issue.
The very young audience of Vogue has no clue what we moan about or being that outraged…… they just don’t. Yes, I know all about K&K and I even have spent some time watching two shows of the Kardashians some years ago. Just to know what it is. I also tried Rock Star Wives. Made me feel as sick as the Kardashians show. That was enough.
When Kanye was fresh on the scene I liked him a lot but I can’t stand his attitude whatever Anna says. She’s not my guru. Maybe you must do what I did with the pain in my heart and that is saying a goodbye to a part of your life.. Because the things that what excites us in our teens has the biggest impact on us as they say. So again, I feel your pain but I am a blunt Dutch who shrugged her shoulders and thinks only “oh, go away idiot” and moves on. . Hugs to girl XO
And perhaps next month someone like Lupita Nyong’o will grace the cover? Fair chance she will methinks…..:)

Kpriss, yess I had to make at least one joke with the Goop divorce lol! Glad you liked it :D
Ok, curious about your Balmain and Rihanna story, another one that’s not for me but I get it she’s a fashion icon to generations younger than I am. Of course I get it! She’s a beautiful girl and I really loved one of her Vogue covers. I believe we all did, our small Stylefrizz crew :)
Nah, I also love some of her songs. Truth to be told? I was almost addicted to ‘Stay’. ;) :)

I can’t help myself to leave with a quote that I so agree with, so keep eyes open this Summer.

“Fashion is part of the daily air and it changes all the time, with all the events. You can even see the approaching of a revolution in clothes. You can see and feel everything in clothes.” ~ Diana Vreeland

#8 jac on 03.28.14 at 12:02 am

I feel your pain – it is like you have been lied to for 20 years! What one thought & believed was stylish; fashionable and exclusive is in fact not superior but just ordinary; everyday & maybe not really needed.
What I hate is the vindication that people so shallow; vain & abhorrent in behaviour get from scoring a Vogue cover.

#9 Appollonia on 03.28.14 at 8:14 am

Jac, on the other hand and it’s not only Kim herself who said it, there’s something else to say about this cover.
Yes, it’s the first time a reality star grace the cover of US Vogue. It’s also the first time a black man graces the cover of US Vogue and it’s also the first time an interracial couple on the cover of US Vogue.
I changed mind by listening and reading many other comments and visions…… This couple has also fans. many fans and they are happy.

Perhaps you both expected to much of Vogue.. It’s only a fashion magazine…..that’s all it is. And to honest in my view it was twenty years ago, more than twenty years Vogue began to change slowly to adapt celebrity culture. With the Supermodel culture as one example. Pushed by Gianni Versace. As if there weren’t not great models before these girls around…….from that point on celebrity culture was a fact.

#10 kpriss on 03.28.14 at 8:44 am

Oh, Ana! I love your passion! <3 and so what if people think you’re nuts? Fashion needs passion. Fashion needs un-ordinary vision and flamed hearts! I’m just sorry you had to go through this much sorrow in relation with one of your biggest passions.

And you know what? it’s Anna’s loss. Vogue’s loss. Not that it cares that much, but it takes the little people to build empires. Once your target audience becomes that of KK, there’s no empire anymore. Just a slum bending with the wind of gossip.

Appollonia, I had the chance to do a lot of introspection lately. And some of it involved Stylefrizz and how I feel about many things, including fashion. And although I can ‘like’ Rihanna on a certain level, or Christina Aguilera or whoever else, I don’t feel inspired by her. And so many others. And I think while your social being can like-alot, really few of those things get to really touch you. Influence you. (as in a generic ‘you’) and I’m trying to get more connected with that true inspiration.. (heading on youtube, listen to some Rihanna – I don’t know that ‘Stay’ song – and some autotuned Kanye – although I sooo dislike his so called ‘meaningful’ lyrics)

Oh, and jac – thank you for pointing out the ‘revenge’ perspective! It makes all so shallow now!

oh, Appollonia – we were writing almost at the same time! <3

happy is good. Happy is universal. And I’m ok with them being happy. I’m even ok with people listening to Kanye’s or Katy Perry’s music. I just think there’s better. and that ‘better’ deserves attention as well, not just the audience-magnets! But whatever and whoever Anna puts on the cover, I’m certain she’ll be dissed at least just as much as she’ll be praised. Imagine that – we live in a world where we have to mark the first black man on the cover of Vogue magazine! The first interracial couple to be on the cover of Vogue magazine! How careful one must be just to be impartial…

#11 Ana on 03.28.14 at 9:33 am

Appollonia : it is not the first time a black man is on the cover. LeBron James was with Giselle in Vogue’s 2008 shape issue. With the BIG difference that LeBron is actually a gifted professional.

#12 Ana on 03.28.14 at 9:52 am

and I couldnt care less about the interracial couple… I was the other half of one interracial couple more than 15 years ago, so that says nothing to me.” Been there done that”. with the difference that I did for love not for convenience or money. But you are right Appollonia, “saying a goodbye to a part of your life” is also part of the whole process. To” Let it go ” .
Thanks Kpriss and Jac for your nice words. I AM mourning, really. An era has ended.
I am 100% with you Kpriss, I thrive for better, for higher levels.. I refuse to be engulfed in this tsunami of mediocrity .

#13 Ellington on 03.29.14 at 12:48 pm

Its all as Appollonia states.
Fast food fashion and plastic fashion icons.
I saw this cover and I laughed, kind of like Naomi Campbell did when she was asked about this cover.
People have no depth and substance, for that implies actually thinking and the taking of time to think… far too much work my dears.
It is not even mediocrity for that too has its place, this the Lowest Common Denominator. No form or substance, just all facade all day long. All hail the sycophants!
I am no longer interested in Anna W’s Vogue vision. She lost me a long time ago. This cover and layout belongs in People Magazine not Vogue.

Oh and Ana the LeBron James cover was full of controversy for it was deemed rather r*c!st in its depiction. I agreed. Fashion likes to think it is being avant garde and pushing buttons and creating art but it seems to dress up, se*ist and r*c!st and shallow notions and tries to shame the general public by consensus into thinking it on point and fabu…. well it ain’t.

#14 Ellington on 03.29.14 at 12:52 pm

Oh and the Selfie photo of Kimye and the baby North is just what this age is about.
Egads. The Selfie!
The height of Narcissistic personality disorder.

#15 Appollonia on 03.31.14 at 1:38 pm

Having been intrigued by old Roman history since my teens what I see, feel this days is “The Rise and Fall of Rome” all over again…..guess we have entered Caligula’s state right now. ;)

#16 Adriana V on 04.26.14 at 6:18 am

Ha, it’s not a Anna Wintour idea but Grace Coddington’s!! Grace Coddington my stylist hero……. but then again anyone who has seen the September Issue must remember that Grace loved Anna’s idea to use celebrities for the covers,j a, ja…….
Grace has fallen from grace here…..: (((

This quote by Grace was posted originally in the interview for Financial Times interviewed by Vanessa Friedman . These magazines and so the covers are about money after all. Whatever we wish, think etc.:

“There was a wedding story to be done. And Anna probably had them in mind, because she had been seeing a lot of Kanye, so she said, ‘Maybe we should shoot it on lookalikes.’ And I thought, ‘Why not just do it on the real thing? This is Vogue.’ And I do think Kim Kardashian represents this moment in our culture. I’m fascinated by her, in the same way I’m fascinated by the people I see on the street or the subway.”

(Kpriss, I miss the notification very much. ::((( )
(Adriana V is former Appollonia. Prefers my own name. )

#17 kpriss on 04.29.14 at 12:00 am

Adriana, we’ll look into the notifications issue! Keeping you posted, hopefully we’ll find a solution soon!

Now that’s interesting – so it was Grace’s idea…she does have a point there – why would people on the street be entitled to the ‘inspirational’ title and not Kim and Kanye? Rihanna and all those who dictate trends for legions of admirers? It’s a ‘why not?’ type of cover and I’m certain that many feel ambivalent about all kinds of models covering Vogue on a monthly basis…

And you know what I admire most about these magazines editors? How they handle the pressure! The harsh critics and continuous waves of un-appreciation. That’s something I look up to, honestly, as I know it’s a personal flaw :)

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