It's back to the
future indeterminate past this season at Vogue. The page-count is vintage 1991, the styling is vintage 40s, but the direct inspiration for most of the fashion spreads is...somewhat more recent. Let's trace the anxiety of influence!
The cover hearkens back to 1991, the last September issue of Vogue we could find that had fewer than 600 pages. For comparison's sake: Last year's had 796, 2007's had a record-breaking 840. And 1996's had 700.
Do you think the advertising crunch and the precipitous decline in consumer spending might make Vogue do something a little different, a little out-there, a little untested?
Charlize Theron, this month's cover subject, has graced Vogue a total of four times — in October, 2000, October, 2004, October, 2007, and now again in September, 2009. In the last three instances, the South African actress was photographed by Mario Testino.
But that's not the only place in the magazine that had us rubbing our eyes with déjà vu. As other bloggers have pointed out, the Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott-shot editorial with Natalia Vodianova as Little Red Riding Hood from this September's Vogue bears a striking resemblance to...
A Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott-shot editorial with model Doutzen Kroes as Goldilocks, which was published in the August, 2007, issue of W.
The Natalia Vodianova spread for Vogue is called "Into The Woods."
The Doutzen Kroes editorial for W is also called "Into The Woods."
Both the editorials even boast creepy masked soft-toy molesters.
Grace Coddington, the fashion editor for this shoot, can sometimes be a little derivative for my tastes; in recent years, we've seen her turn The Wizard of Oz and Romeo and Juliet into editorial spreads that didn't add much to their source material. "Into The Woods" fits perfectly with that trend.
Natalia's absolutely wretched 'do in those pictures is not a fluke: this issue's full of deeply bizarre hair. You took one for the team here, Liya Kebede.
And in this shot, it's as if you can see Karlie Kloss thinking, "Really, Guido Palau? Really?"
I, for one, am getting just a little bit sick of seeing this particular photo re-made. This, David Sims' version...
...owes as much to an interpretation from last September's Vogue by Patrick Demarchelier, featuring model Catherine McNeil...
...as it does to the Richard Avedon original, with Jean Shrimpton, from the September, 1965, Harper's Bazaar.
Dodai already did an excellent LOLVogue! on the rest of David Sims' editorial. Karlie Kloss has apparently wrested the Vogue showjumping title from Caroline Trentini. The St. Louis teenager has an astonishing three editorial appearances in this issue — four if you count an Annie Leibovitz portrait of her, which runs alongside a short profile of Karlie by Sally Singer.