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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
(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).
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.
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.