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Vogue March 2021

Setting the standard for over 100 years has made Vogue the best selling fashion magazine in the world.

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United States
Conde Nast US
12 Issues

in this issue

2 min
special deliveries

THERE’S NO WAY TO OVERSTATE what an astonishing moment in history we’re living through. The country, severely tested as I write this in January, is set to remake itself under a new administration. The losses wrought by this pandemic have been profound. Our lives have been upended and transformed. Everywhere you look, old ways of doing things are being discarded and new ways are taking hold. This is true at Vogue, of course: Change is everywhere. And to be honest, I welcome much of how we’ve had to adapt and evolve. A love of change, in fact, led me to fashion journalism in the first place. And I feel strongly that so much of what is happening now, especially in fashion, is long overdue In this issue, which pays tribute to creativity…

3 min
stella tennant, my friend

Stella came off the train from Scotland smelling of goats,” Isabella Blow remembered back in 2001. Stella Tennant had been scouted for British Vogue’s “London Girls” story, to be shot by Steven Meisel in the summer of 1993. The portfolio was being orchestrated by Blow and stylist Joe McKenna, and they were searching for striking bluebloods. The young writer Plum Sykes had also been enlisted in the hunt and remembers the “tiny little passport photo” of Stella with her septum ring. “She was remarkable-looking—just this really cool, beautiful country turnip,” Sykes said to me when we spoke just after Stella’s death. “Her beauty was in her eyes,” Blow told me. “She was absolutely wild.” Meisel was so smitten with Stella’s achingly cool style that he asked her if she would…

6 min
a place for everything

In January 2020, on a drizzly morning so familiar to those of us who endure the gray winters of the West of England, I received an excited message from my friend Emily Mortimer. Her television adaptation of The Pursuit of Love, Nancy Mitford’s novel about an aristocratic British family in the 1920s and ’30s, had been greenlighted. Filming was scheduled to start in the spring. Emily would be directing and starring in the series, and she asked if we would consider our home, Badminton House, as a suitable location for some of the production. Then, of course, the pandemic happened, and all plans melted away. March and April drifted into May without any of the usual events that animate the house and the estate. I began to wonder if the whole…

4 min
take the read

My Year Abroad, by Chang-rae Lee (Riverhead) My Year Abroad is an extraordinary novel, acrobatic on the level of the sentence, symphonic across its many movements—and this narrative moves: from the manicured town of Dunbar (hard not to read as a Princeton stand-in) to buzzing Shenzhen, to a Chinese bazillionaire’s compound, back to a landlocked American exurban town. For all the self-proclaimed ordinariness of its rudderless protagonist, My Year Abroad is a wild ride—a caper, a romance, a bildungsroman, and something of a satire of how to get filthy rich in rising Asia. This isn’t a book that skates through its many disparate-seeming scenes, but rather unites them in the heartfelt adventure of its protagonist, who begins his year “abroad” as a foreign land to himself and arrives at something…

6 min
pencil pusher

One would think, based on the hundreds of hours I’ve logged consuming photos and videos of attractive strangers on the internet, that I would know more about beauty. I have mastered the art of observing attainable, desirable aesthetic choices on others—and taking absolutely zero action to apply them to myself. All of my makeup expired two years ago. My brushes are in desperate need of a wash, and instead of washing them I just refuse to use them. My foundation doesn’t match my skin, because I bought it two summers ago, when I was tan, and I don’t want to waste money ordering a new one, because I know I will somehow mess up and it too will be the wrong color for my unmatchable, sometimes red–sometimes green skin tone.…

7 min
fresh paint

Sarah Cain, a 41-year-old Los Angeles–based artist whose wildly colorful paintings dominate huge spaces, is about to take over the National Gallery of Art’s soaring East Building Atrium. One of the most heavily visited spaces in the nation’s capital, the building has been closed for several months due to the pandemic but also to allow for a major renovation. The great hanging Calder was removed; the sculptures by Richard Serra, Isamu Noguchi, and Max Ernst stayed put but were enclosed in protective boxes the size of mobile homes. “It’s going to be so deadly in there,” Molly Donovan, the NGA’s contemporary-art curator, remembers thinking when the process began. “No art, just gray construction walls. What can we do?” Her solution: Get artists to transform the atrium while the work goes…