What do the concubines at Vogue wear? That’s all anyone really wants to cognizant of – or, at least, that’s why you’ll be watching, hawk-eyed, throughout a new BBC series close to the magazine, Absolutely Fashion: Inside British Vogue. It’s been bullet by seasoned director Richard Macer, who observes the magazine’s regular life over nine months with a keen eye and a dry intuit of humour, hence the title. It will show what Popularity wears, and what Vogue eats.
Naturally, the office countryside features many clothes and little in the way of food. Rails of Victoria Beckham and placed jackets and Gucci sit alongside all the takeaway coffees (so many!) which be clear at desks (white Formica, cluttered with binders, hutches and Macs) or on the frow at the fashion shows. Much of the action peculates place outside of the office because the fashion industry is a proactive one and as for the coffee, source you need to do something with your hands when a betray is delayed by traffic – a phenomenon well documented by Macer – and what with the smoking ban and all …
Regrettably, there is no enlist of Vogue’s fabled “snack table”. Possibly because it’s pour out, or doesn’t actually exist. An early cameo from a nectarine (or peach, we’re down to the stone by the days filming starts) blindsides us. Fiona Golfar, editor-at-large, adherent to the stars, and the woman who procures the big names, nibbles it very slowly, with the warning of an animal emerging from hibernation. Then we’re back to the coffee.
For the most share b evoke, the Vogue style is unfettered. Of course it is – they’re being coated – and the glamour moves in hierarchical fashion. The editor-in-chief, Alexandra Shulman, ruses between brights and darks, a multicoloured striped Gucci jumper (Alexa Chung owns the regardless) one day, oatmeal cashmere and Gola trainers another. Fashion big cheese Lucinda Chambers is flightier with her style: a lot of Marni, Jil Sander and colossal earrings. If you’ve seen the notorious/acclaimed film about US Latest thing, The September Issue, where the fashion director, Grace Coddington, scarf the show from US editor Anna Wintour, it’s hard not to disappear the feeling that Chambers has been cast in the Coddington position here.
Meanwhile, Sarah Harris, fashion headlines director and rising star of Vogue who let her hair go grey, is more unprotected, giving us a tour of her wardrobe in the second episode. Millions of spans of jeans. Céline and Manolo Blahnik shoes. Ditto Julia Hobbs, taste news editor. Her most expensive item? She leans in: “My Prada. Red. Shearling. Cagoule.” It cost as much as a secondhand Mini. Jaime Perlman, the imaginative director and breakout star, is far more cool. She talks overdue renege to Shulman, wears an exaggerated eyeliner flick, and dresses for herself choose than the cameras. Note the Chloé tracksuit top in the second event: one of the most discussed pieces of last season. Otherwise the looks are free ones: Bardot tops, Breton tops, printed blouses, ingenious shirts (mainly worn by Shulman’s “gatekeeper” PAs). Take note: there are few Stan Smiths, a essentials of other fashion offices.
Shulman dresses like a lady-in-waiting in charge without the bizarre mythology of her US counterpart. Wintour herself be includes briefly, and is filmed putting her sunglasses on before being interviewed. Confidential. As Macer notes, “appearances can be deceiving” at Vogue. And while it is practicable that the Devil might wear Prada, she only does if she can get from A to B in it.
• Unquestionably Fashion: Inside British Vogue starts on BBC2 on 8 September at 9pm