Sometimes 'Vogue' runs a story so dumb it can only be responded to on its own terms, with an obsequious letter to the editor. If you thought last month's Arden Wohl profile was like that, you really mustn't miss August's piece on the sisters Poppy and Chloe Delvigne/Delvingne (either the magazine or Poppy's modeling agency screwed up the spelling) touted as the second coming of the Plum and Lucy Sykes. They are (duh) British socialites, one of whom has (duh) worked at 'Vogue', the other of whom is, praise Allah, moving to New York. But only because "she has saved practically all the money she has earned modeling in the past five years so she can afford to." Perhaps she could give us a tutorial in financial planning. And the application of face diamonds! ('Diamantes' to those who are thrifty enough to afford them...)
To Ms. Wintour:
I will be first to admit I was unconvinced when in your August editor's letter, you likened British sisters Chloe and Poppy Delevigne to the inimitable Sykes twins, Plum and Lucy, distinguished authors and journalists both known for prose as shimmering as their Patek Philippe watches. But your breathtaking profile of these two ravishing young specimens of English public school gentility, "Charm School," went an admirable way toward chipping away at said cynicism. I can assure you, for one thing, that a less refined magazine could not have exercised the restraint you did in leaving out the "heroin" word from mentions of their mother Pandora, especially given her somewhat-mystifying decision to name her second daughter "Poppy." But by deliberately using a more obscure spelling of their surname — and risking the possibility that you might look as though you'd made an editing error — you admirably provided the young ladies with an extraordinary layer of protection from the invasiveness of those jealous, embittered, computer-age "blogger-types" that derive so much satisfaction from the decimation of every cherished vestige of upper-class culture. I can only imagine what else you protected them from — perhaps that youngest Delvigne daughter Cara, a teenager who appears to be in a rock band of all things, is nursing an addiction of her own? Or that the trials of rehabilitation have left her a touch zaftig next to her spritely sisters? I did not, nor do I now, particularly want to know, which is why I was gratified that you chose instead to lavish the bulk of your attention on the details of her busy day "trial running" her makeup in preparation for her 21st birthday party. How else would your writer have been privvy to such delightful details as Poppy's eyelashes being "so long they touch my eyebrows" — your bit of hyperbole about the "entire cosmetics floor fluttering" at the blink of her eye adding such a lovely touch — or that she is polite to both makeup artists and paid drivers in front of reporters? In conclusion, I can only say thank you. Every time I worry that eBay and American paparazzi culture have robbed fashion of all of its glamour, romance, and mystery, I have only to pick up your magazine and read a deliberately-opaque story about a marginally-employed socialite — or perhaps a publicist-driven roundup of the impossibly weighty books rich women take with them to St. Tropez — in order to believe again.