VOGUE SEPTEMBER EDITION – HOW A SINGLE EDITION MADE FALL FASHION
Ah September, a time to look forward to all things True Fashionista: the upcoming holidays, a new school year, a change in the weather, and so much more. It’s also coincidentally enough the Jewish new year, so pretty much everyone is onboard with the refresh, including in a grand way, the fashion industry.
Who better to follow on the subject than Vogue, THE go-to for upcoming trends and fashion forecasts? As much as the September issue was already a thing for fashion in general, Vogue’s version thereof has also been the subject of a 2009 documentary produced by R.J. Cutler, aptly named The September Issue. Warmly received, Cutler’s film gave us a behind the scenes look into the creation of the mammoth September issue, specifically 2007, furthering the mystique and power of the annual publication. “The issue acts as a big reset moment for people,” Glamour Editor-in-Chief Samantha Barry shared with Fashionista this past August. “It marks the end of summer and ushers in a return to life and routine for people. It forecasts what’s to come in the rest of the year.” The sheer size of the September issue for any fashion mag is also a signal to advertisers that the publication is doing well, especially given the growing propensity of online information. Although its shrunken a bit over the years with the growth of online availability, Vogue’s September issue continues to shine among other September pubs like Vanity Fair, Harper’s Bazaar and Elle for True Fashionista fall and winter trends. Case in point, the now-legendary 2007 issue was, as the cover callout proclaimed, “840 pages of fearless fashion”.
As much as all those pages chock full of glam make a statement, even more so it’s the photo gracing the cover that has given the Vogue September issue its prominence. Heading into the Vogue Archives, we can see how the September cover has offered a unique perspective through time. Among the classics is the 1943 cover urging women to “Take a job!” Release a man to fight!”. That year was also the first to feature a photograph instead of an illustration. The first True Fashionista Paris report appeared ten years later.
In the 80’s and 90’s, the September issue cover went supermodel, featuring icons such as Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer and Linda Evangelista. With the new millennium, there was a shift towards celebrities, with Vogue photographer Annie Leibovitz shooting actresses such as Kirsten Dunst and Nicole Kidman. It was also in 2000 that Vogue started proclaiming the issue’s sheer volume, with the number of pages appearing in crazy oversized large print on the cover. In that same vein, 2007’s “Extra Extra Large Biggest Issue Ever” proclamation boasting 840 pages was only to be outdone by 2012’s 916-page behemoth featuring Lady Gaga as cover star. Jennifer Lawrence graced the 2017 125th anniversary edition on four different (no doubt collectible) covers. Beyonce’s 2018 cover then famously broke the internet.
This year cover star honors go to Taylor Swift, stunning in a Louis Vuitton blue jumpsuit, leaning forward into the camera in an Uncle Sam “I want YOU” pose. Not to be outdone, British Vogue tapped Duchess of Sussex Megan Markle to guest-edit their September issue, her cover giving nod to 16 prominent, headline-making women.
New York Times writer Alexandra Jacobs agrees for fashion blog Who What Wear that the Vogue September issue is synonymous with back to the real world as well as the fact that the internet churns through information so fast that there’s always a need for new True Fashionista fodder. There’s also no discounting the influence that The September Issue had on audiences, as Cutler’s film introduced viewers to the enormous amount of time and work that goes into September’s book. As a result, it’s taken on an almost mystical quality that has readers yearning to check it out even more. Hey, think we’re about ready to read up now.
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