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28-04-2012
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Is Vogue Italia Due for a Shake Up?
I thought about creating this thread a couple of weeks ago, but I was not sure if this was a matter that enough people have given thought to to warrant a standalone discussion, but after reading comments about the most recent issue, I think that there is "critical mass."

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28-04-2012
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Maybe. Mostly for the layout I guess. But as for Steven Meisel who has photographed every cover since Franca became the EIC, I don't think so. I wouldn't replace him as the main photographer. Although it cannot be denied that sometimes, Steven fails to deliver. Still, it is not a reason that he should be changed or replaced or whatsoever.

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28-04-2012
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This is what I posted in another thread (minor edits):
Quote:
I think that Franca Sozzani or Conde Nast needs to shake things up at Vogue Italia. I think that a strong Creative Director needs to be brought in and that Meisel's term as the exclusive photographer of the cover and main editorial needs to come to an end. The guy has been doing this for close to 25 years and all good things must come to an end, and there should be no shame in Vogue Italia bringing in new blood after having almost 300 covers and main editorials lensed by the same photographer.
I think that Meisel is still one of the top photographers in the industry, so I am certainly not saying that he should be put out to pasture, but I think that the time has come for other voices need to be heard. I remember reading a comment by Sozzani that the reason why she made it so that there is only one photographer lensing the cover and main editorial is because she wanted Vogue Italia to have an identifiable signature (or something like that). This makes sense, but I think that the better way to go about it at this time is through a Creative Director as opposed to a lead photographer.

ETA:
Timing wise, I don't think that any overt action should be taken immediately - I am enough of a sentimentalist that I would like for Meisel to get to (or beyond) the 300 cover mark, which is more than a year away, plus unless something happens to really get the execs riled up, I don't think that things move that fast in this part of the fashion industry.


Last edited by agee; 28-04-2012 at 09:32 AM.
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28-04-2012
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well i do agree that vi should hire more photographers, like vp, vogue us and vogue uk do. the covers are not that good imo anymore, sometimes they are really bad.. changes can be good sometimes. i'm not saying meisel doesn't shoot a single cover for vi anymore, but just more variety in photographers.

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28-04-2012
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I have more issues with the rest of the magazine. Apart from the main editorial there are a lot of random b-list models and b-list photographers. Some will say that they deserve a chance as well, but in my opinion it brings down the quality of the whole magazine. And I want them to get rid of the celeb eds as well.

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28-04-2012
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I've also been fairly disappointed with Vogue Italia this year so far. I thought the March issue was very strong, except for the main editorial which I found embarrassingly bad and inappropriate. The rest of the issue was amazing. The Emma Summerton editorial with Kelly Mittendorf was a standout, and so was the Haute Couture supplement with Marie Piovesan. And in disagreement with what anlabe32 said, I'd also add the celebrity editorials as a positive note. They're always very creative and extravagant. And most of the time I wouldn't even guess it's just some b-list actress and not a professional model in those editorials. So I'd go as far as saying that Meisel's eds have been the weakest part in the past 4 or 5 issues and paled in comparison with the rest of the editorial content.

However, I'd never suggest that Meisel needed to be replaced because I don't think there's another photographer that could be so consistently good over such a long time like him. What's a few poor covers over the course of so many years when someone has delivered so many masterpieces and iconic covers and editorials? What photographers are more varied and could come up with something entirely new and spectacular every month like he does most of the time? I don't think there are any in this current generation of established fashion photographers. Sure, it would be nice to have other photographers get the chance of shooting a VI cover every once in a while but there is no way the contract with Meisel would allow that, I guess. Keeping Meisel and using other strong photographers for the inside editorial still seems like the best option to me.

I guess Vogeu Italia could use a shake up, but I'm leaning more towards wishing they would provide better articles, practice more of what they preach (Vogue Curvy & Vogue Black, anyone?), be more fashion forward rather than so long-established and prude. I sometimes think VI is just somehow less fun (I'm not sure that's the right word for a what I want to say,haha) than, for example, British Vogue or Vogue Deutsch.

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28-04-2012
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Quote:
However, I'd never suggest that Meisel needed to be replaced because I don't think there's another photographer that could be so consistently good over such a long time like him.
I totally agree with this point, when I was going through my memory bank I could not think of another photographer who could "replace" Meisel, however I don't necessarily think that the vision has to be set by one person and if it does, that person need not be a photographer. However if the Creative Director (CD) happens to be a photographer, s/he will not be tasked with shooting all of the covers and main eds. In fact I have three names in mind for the CD position and Steven Meisel is one of them.

I know that putting forth my preferences / vision for Vogue Italia is rather indulgent but here goes:

I remember Franca Sozzani mentioning that she has an interest in photographers, and I would like to see VI be more fashion photography and perhaps stylist driven than model and celeb driven. It is pretty much that way already but I think that it is too insular - there is a small club of recurring photographers and stylists, I happen to like that club (Aldridge, Meisel, Roversi, Sundsbo, Templer, Yiapanis, et. al.), but I would love to anticipate who photographs and styles the VI cover in the same way that we anticipate who the cover model is for other editions. And another thing, not that I think that things should get gimmicky, but I would be so jazzed if every so often something "shocking" happens and a little known fashion photographer or an unexpected choice, e.g., a commercial photographer, a designer or model, shoots an ed or even the cover.

Regarding models. I am a model-phile and I know that there was a time when VI was a tastemaker for models, but I hope that the magazine does not recapture that distinction. I don't think that super / top models or the current hot girls should be shut out, but I am fine if B or C-list status models or celebrities have a significant presence in the magazine. Note that I am referring to status and not the quality of their work, to me there are a lot of quality models who are not, never were and never will be MDC Top 10 or MDC Icons.

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29-04-2012
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VI used to be unpredictable and appealing. Now, their formula for controversy is monotonous. All black cover, home shopping, etc. only go so far. Sometimes thinking outside the box only causes you to be in another box. Get what I mean?

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29-04-2012
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I think Vogue Italia throughout the years tried to change it's aesthetics so it could be a little bit more appealing for the american public (they even made a way into America's Next Top Model), but they still wanted to stay controversial and influent, and in the end they got lost in the middle.
For me VI continues to be one of the most fashion forward magazines, one of the few that I long every month to see what they have in their issue, but I do agree that they shold go back to their old formula, and stop trying to be polemic at every cost.

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29-04-2012
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It would be great if other photographers were given the chance to shoot the covers and main editorials. I've never been a fan of Meisel. I think it was Grace Mirabella who once said that Meisel is a great fashion photographer because he loves fashion, but he's yet to create his own defining style. I completely agree with her. I will go even further and say although he's a great fashion photographer-- he's not a great photographer. Having been at the top of his game for so long now, I don't feel he's produced any iconic imageries-- not yet anyways. And I think he knows that, since he's never produced a book of his work; either that, or he's an extremely modest and humble man-- which I don't get the impression he is.

I'd love to see Fabien Baron take over Italian Vogue, or someone like him. He has such a tight, defining style, yet there's always variety in his approach.

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29-04-2012
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Two of the most striking covers and editorials in fashion in the last couple of years have come from Vogue Italia, imo.

The August 2010 issue, with the Kristen McMenamy "Water and Oil" editorial, photographed by Miesel was SO STRIKING, not just visually, but because it combined environmental and political commentary with fashion - it was utterly brilliant and breath-taking.

http://www.fashionising.com/pictures...28-108621.html

And of course the September 2011 issue with Stella Tennant as an homage to Ethel Granger. It was striking for the transformative power of fashion, the indirect references to body modification, the mood, the way it generated discussion (especially at a time when designers everywhere were making references to the 1950s and that waisted and girdled "lady-like" look), and so on. Very smart and captivating. Also photographed by Meisel!

http://www.vogue.it/en/magazine/cove.../09/avantgarde

So to get to the point, maybe it just needs variety and a few more ground-breaking moves like this.

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04-05-2012
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Some of their covers and eds are great but I also agree that they should give a chance to someone else besides Meisel.

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09-05-2012
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If Franca shook things up for VI, expect it to be like L'uomo Vogue with no models, random celebrities in every editorial, horrible font (that take up half the page), and multiple covers shot by Francesco with random celebrities/artists/people that have no business modeling in the first place with random themes that don't compliment each other (and the same horrible font on each photo - taking up half the page).

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10-05-2012
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Yeah, what's with the b-list celebrities?

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10-05-2012
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I appreciate that Vogue Italia mostly confines its celebrity coverage to a photoshoot tucked away amid the rest of the content, usually an editorial near the back of the issue, leaving the cover story free for models to take centre stage. Things could be so much worse.

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