I know I might be turning 30 at the end of the year but I still got *stupidly* excited when Vogue UK announced back in January that they were going to launch Miss Vogue– a UK equivalent of their Teen Vogue brand. I’m well aware it’s been a good while since I’ve been in the target demographic for ‘teen’ versions of mags but nevertheless I was still a devotee of the much mourned Elle Girl well into my twenties and I’m currently loving all things Rookie based.
Although I’ll happily devour the latest issue of Elle or In Style and gaze at the beautiful editorials of ‘Things I Will Never be Able To Afford’ there are large chunks of content which never connect with me at all. Possibly by now I should be a career focused home owner with the sound of my biological clock ringing in my ears but for me, and an awful lot of other people I know, it just hasn’t happened yet and our lifestyles and interests still seem more in tune with our teenage selves than those of A Proper Grown Up. Whilst being stuck in school all day has been replaced by being stuck in an office and I now have *slightly* more disposable income than my younger self, my pay packet will still never stretch to being clothed in head to toe Miu Miu, Prada or Chanel. This fact is not something that greatly worries me and I’m more than happy to view their latest collections in the pages of monthly glossies simply to admire the skill and creativity behind them as well as seeking inspiration for ways to achieve similar looks on a more modest budget.
The balance between high fashion and low budget is why I got so excited about Miss Vogue as with a parent magazine so devoted to amazing fashion and highlighting upcoming talent, its younger spin off must surely be the perfect place to fuse these elements with editorials featuring looks at a budget more suited to its target demographic. Sadly, it seems like the team behind Miss Vogue didn’t get that memo…
On first look, Miss Vogue seems to hit the mark. The cover is graced by model of the moment and Instagram favourite Cara Delevingne in customised Topshop Unique (highlighting just how much talent the British high street has in terms of design at the moment), the ads are more Miss Selfridge than Selfridges, there’s a feature on Meadham Kirchhoff and an article by Rookie editor Tavi Gevinson. So far so good until you get the editorials which feature a majority of products I could only afford with a bank loan. And bonus. And maybe selling a kidney. We all know that Miu Miu sell amazing sunglasses but just how many 15 year olds (let alone nearly 30 year olds) can afford them? Or how many teenagers have a ‘Fairy Godmother’ who would shell out £3,300 on a Dior ring for them?! There’s also an article on how to dress for an internship which again assumes that a) you have enough money to work in London for little or no wages and b) you’ll have enough money left over to shell out £345 on a jacket. Recession chic clearly hasn’t hit the Miss Vogue offices.
Miss Vogue has the potential to be amazing but its debut issue falls short of the mark. It feels rushed, almost like the afterthought of the June issue brainstorming session when they couldn’t decide what supplement to give away free that month. For every great article such as the Meadham Kirchhoff profile, Miss Vogue will then undermine it with a vacuous piece on how someone once dated the son of a rockstar. I mean seriously? Have an article on girls who are in the band rather than just dating someone once removed from fame! If you are going to focus on interns, maybe expand on what interning actually involves, the higher education courses to aid a career in the industry and not what shoes to wear to what meeting. Give role models to aspire to instead of the offspring of 90s celebs!
There are some amazing women working in fashion right now, the British high street with its designer collaborations has never been hotter and we have creative institutions such as Central Saint Martins that are world-renowned. Thankfully where a lot of magazines fall short, there are now enough brilliant bloggers and blogs, such as Rookie, around to pick up the slack and give coverage to those designers, brands, inspirations and budgets that the mainstream magazines overlook. Maybe hoping for a fashion magazine that offers sass as well as style is too much to ask (a British equivalent of the now defunct Sassy for example) but it really, really shouldn’t be.