I got my Vogue Italia from the B&N yesterday, so let me get down to telling everyone what is in the issue. It showcases some of the world’s most well-known top models, photographed by the great photographer Steven Meisel.
On the front cover is
Opening up the cover, it folds out into a type of gate-fold sleeve picturing
and Sessilee Lopez
all beautiful ladies.
Thumbing through the magazine past the ads at the front, which picture white models, I come to page 36, which has a write-up ( in Italian, of course) about the aforementioned models.
Coming to page 50, there is an article about Michelle Obama (Vogue People). It shows her onstage with Barack during one of his many campaign stops; another photo shown is of Michelle in the “pink dress with halter top” that many around the Internet have seen by now.
Turning to page 52, there is a write-up on Spike Lee’s new movie, “Miracle at St. Anna”, a film he directed about black American soldiers who fought in WW II, a film he made in response to Clint Eastwood’s “Flag of Our Fathers”.
Page 56, shows Naomi sitting with ex-SA president Nelson Mandela, probably at his recent birthday bash held in his honor by many notable celebrities.
Page 60 showcases what is called “The Black List”, a write-up on Toni Morrison, Sean Combs, and Thelma Golden, curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem.
Page 74, has a write-up of the magazine “Essence”, with cover photos of Mary J. Blige and Gabrielle Beauvais.
Page 78 showcases “Ebony” with cover photos of Lena Horne, Denzel Washington/Halle Berry/Jamie Foxx, and Iman, Kinora Simmons, Tyra Banks, and.
Page 86 has an interview with model, Donyale Luna.
A few pages after that, there are ads that feature Naomi Campbell (God, how does that woman stay so young looking?) She is modeling underwear on the left page, and modeling a dress on the right page. In the following pages, Naomi is seen modeling more clothes and some jewelry. I think the designer is Pinko.
Page 104 is an interview with the African singer/musician, Simphiwe Dana.
Close to the middle of the mag, there is a spread of a lithesome young black model wearing a wild-animal print bikini. The company name is, “Yamamay”.
In the center of the issue, there are 8 pages showing young black models in various designer’s clothes. Each model has some vital statistics written about her. These statistics include the model’s agency they work for, her height (metric), bust size, waist size, hip size, shoe size, eye color, and hair color.
Then there is a photo spread entitled, “Vogue beauty”, with a model wearing unusual colors and clothes.
After that a few pages later, there is a spread on Quodlibet that features a young black model among white models.
A few pages after that, there is a write-up entitled, “A Black Issue”, giugno ’08. Vogue”. Too bad I cannot read and translate Italian.
The next page states, “Modern Luxe “, which starts off with a photo ofin mod-type clothes; Alva Chinn in a black leather outfit; Sessilee Lopez, in a way-out-there black hat, a top, pants, and a white feather boa type jacket; next, Ubah, wearing a flowing animal print dress; Kiara Kabukuru, in a kaleidoscope of colors and fabric; Noemie Lenoir, in a bright orange top, black pants, with some nice jewelry; Veronica Webb, in a cute, above the knee, pixieish white dress. On the next page is obviously a write-up of these models.
Next, are photos of the following:
Arlenis Sosa, in a lovely black-white outfit, with hat, jewelry;
draped in what looks like faux Russian Sable, over a brown-gold geometric print dress; Karen Alexander, in a grey-metallic-white looking dress, and a gold bird pendant around her neck;
Iman, in a black-white zebra-type-style dress that has a long train:
Yasmin Warsame, is next, wearing a dress that is white on top, black on bottom, with her wearing long black gloves that come up to her elbows; Jourdan Dunn, is wearing a black-white dress combo (black dress with straps, over a sleeveless white top, with a black-white necktie/bow around her neck, with white fabric cuffs on her wrists); Gail O’Neill comes next wearing all black in a lustrous top and pants, with a white blouse underneath; Iman is next wearing a Chanel number, looks like tulle, in pale pink, with black-gold jacket.
Next page is an article about this month’s issue on black models. The article is written by Robin Givhan. (Don’t know what it is about; this article like all the others, is in Italian.)
Next, is feature ad showing Naomi in a pair of black, lacy-looking pants (She is topless, with no blouse or bra on. Wonder why I am now having a foreboding sense about the next pages that are yet to come?) The caption on the left page reads: “There’s only one Naomi.”
More pages follow with Naomi bra less, in a dress pulled down over her left shoulder, while she sits in bed, amid lots of types of food; next is Naomi on a pool table in a short black dress; next is Naomi reclining on what looks like a table. She is naked except for the jewelry she is wearing and black knee-hi boots. Next page, Naomi is wearing a short black skirt, once again she is topless. Next page, Naomi is wearing a sheer fabric over black scarves (?), while she reclines at the base of a set of stairs outside; next Naomi is inside in a room reclining in a chair in black undies, black hat, black coat, with a mirror in her left hand. She is still topless. Next Naomi is relaxing on a table laden with many types of sumptuous desserts around her (hmm, that coconut cake with fresh fruit on top looks good right about now).
This time, Naomi has a bra on along with black undies (the bra/panty set looks very nice). She has an elaborate ruby/diamond necklace on.
Then comes the photo that many of us are familiar with:
I do not need to say anything about the above photo. It is self-explanatory.
Now, we are winding down near the end of this issue.
I come upon what is entitled, “Colorful”, by Mariuccia Casadio.
It starts out with a drawing of a black woman’s face. Across from that page, is a painting entitled, “Tumors of the Uterus”. Hmm, don’t know why that is in the mag, but, whatever.
Next page after the painting of the black woman’s face, an article which has the famous photo of one of the Little Rock Nine children who integrated Little Rock High School.
Next is a collage photo the idea behind what I am am not able to figure out. If any of you are familiar with the lady known as Sarah Baartman (“The Hottentot Venus”), well, that will give you some idea as to what the picture I am looking at brings to mind. I, for myself, did not like this picture, as it comes off as vulgar to me. But, that is just my opinion. It shows a Khoisan-looking lady with her body on top, and the lower half of her body is that of a white woman’s rear-end and legs in knee-hi red plastic boots, with a white woman’s hand fingering the clitoris. (Hey, that’s what is pictured.)
Next, we have a write-up, and photos of Tyra Banks, in a black turban with the white makeup she has been seen in in some photos on the Internet:
After that, comes a spread entitled, “Elegance As A Form”. This covers 10 pages with the black Somali model,
in various black dresses, black pants, black gloves, black hats, black underwear, in bold colors and eccentric designs that are dazzling.
Next after that is an article with photos, and write-ups on the following women: Carol La Brie; Donyale Luna; Pat Cleveland.
Then we have an article entitled, “How To Dazzle”, with Sessilee wearing various beautiful outfits, with accessories. This is about 25 pages of photos.
Next, to my surprise……an article and photo of one of my favourite singers: Grace Jones. She is still her beautiful, fantastic looking self, dressed in a short little dress to show off her lovely legs, a jeweled top as she stands on a stage.
Then on the following page is a photo of the singer Jody Watley ( a close-up head-shot) and Angela Bassett (twirling with an American flag draped around her body), entitled, “Outstanding Ladies”. In these photos, and the following, are showcased the incomparable Aretha Franklin, in a pretty red dress; Tina Turner, with her signature legs; Queen Latifah, with a cheesecake pose.
Then there are Champagne Furs, worn by Toccara Jones. There about 12 pages of photos with Toccara is various furs. Some nudity, but, mostly clothed.
We are now at the end of the mag.
A photo of Jourdan Dunn in a sequined black dress on the left; on the right, a silk/taffeta-looking black top and pants (?) hard to tell since this is a photo that does not picture her in full body length.
Next 2 pages, Liya Kedebe in a black outfit on the left page; on the right page, a black dress with black leather halter-type top, worn by another model.
And then the final “credits” if you will, pages 342-346, which gives phone numbers, addresses of the designers and advertisers.
Well, there you have it.
This issue also comes with a complimentary issue entitled, “Vogue: Fashion Shows Fall-Winter 2008: Milano/Parigi/New York/Londra”.
All in all, an interesting issue.
That Italy came out with this issue of black models says not only a lot about them.
It says a lot about American Vogue as well.