I’m not sure when my obsession with Vogue actually began. At first, Vogue was just another magazine I saw on the shelf in WH Smith or the local newsagent, with a model who looked totally different to other models/actors etc on the covers of other magazines. Occasionally I would flip through it at the doctor’s surgery or a battered copy on the floor of the library but it wasn’t of much interest then. In my teens, my choice of magazine was Smash Hits (embarrassing I know) followed by Sky (who remembers that?) that regularly compiled shag lists which often made for lively debates in the sixth form common room. But as an adult, if I had to pick any magazine to read, Vogue would be my first choice.
Perhaps it was one summer’s day in the public library. I was “in between” jobs and killing time and saving money by browsing the magazine rack when I spotted a creased copy of Vogue with Lily Cole on the cover. I don’t know whether it was the cover showing Lily relaxed on a chair or the same photo shoot inside the magazine, shot in Rajasthan, India, featuring some absolutely stunning shots by Tim Walker but I was immediately hooked. Something about the magazine spoke to me – not only to look at but also to read; the articles spoke about fashion eloquently, giving it respect as an art form and the typography was in a readable size print rather than a ridiculously small font size (despite being blessed with twenty twenty vision, very small print annoys me – size matters).
From then on, the addiction grew. Realising the library received the new magazines a few days after Vogue hit the newsstands, I would carefully time my visits so that I would be the first to borrow it and wouldn’t have to worry about pages being ripped out or finding coffee rings on the front cover (such disrespect!) You may wonder why I didn’t just buy it every month and some months I did – but other months, when money was tight, borrowing from the library was mandatory (of course that was one other reason I liked reading Vogue – some of the clothes are so expensive, after reading the issue, I felt I had spent that much and would be far more stricter with my spending as a result!)
I couldn’t pinpoint just one thing that attracts me to Vogue – what does it have that others do not? Well, there are the visuals – everything always appears very correct to me. I like the way items are placed on regular pages and the way they are styled and photographed in the photo shoots. To this day, when I look through a magazine, I see if there is anything I would do differently, in terms of content, layout etc. Honestly speaking, I wouldn’t change a lot. Even the adverts (and there are loads of those!) are exciting to pore over, especially when one tries to work out the correlation between the number of ads a designer has in one issue and the number of times they are mentioned in that same issue.
My Vogue obsession reached new heights in 2007 when Vogue India was launched. At first, I thought this was just a rumour but a frantic Google search enigmatically confirmed that a Vogue India was to be launched, I think I must have asked everyone I knew who was going to India to pick up that first issue for me. Luckily my mother also went to India in that launch year and after reminding her to acquire it for me every time I spoke on the phone to her, she finally picked up that precious first issue, which is carefully kept on my special magazine shelf with pride of place with all my other treasured issues.
With three archive boxes, two massive shelves and another pile steadily growing on another shelf, it seems this Vogue obsession shows no signs of abating. Neither does my secret fantasy that one day, I will get to be a contributing editor and get to write a few pieces for both Vogue India and the UK edition of Vogue, and even have the same piece of writing tailored for both magazines. Using one piece in two unique ways? Now, that’s what I call a Vogue obsession…
See some of my favourite Vogue covers below:
Kate Moss always gives a great cover – I love this one:
I almost took someone’s eye out reaching for this when I saw it on the shelf – Vogue India Man? If ever a magazine was made for me…
This has to be my favourite Vogue India cover of all time so far…
And finally, I love it when the top models come together on one cover:
Long live the Vogue cover!
All covers and pictures are courtesy of http://www.vogue.com.