^well, what did you hope for? everything's going to be the same, maybe a slight change in time, who knows... I mean we can't expect her to change vogue radically into a super hype art/fashion magazine, what would the dames in neuilly say?!
New Star in the Front Row By CATHY HORYN
Published: February 9, 2011
FOR two reasons, the choice of Emmanuelle Alt as editor in chief of French Vogue, in January, was anticlimactic. First, there was all the weirdness of her predecessor’s departure. Was Carine Roitfeld, who held the post for 10 years, fired or did she resign, as Condé Nast maintained? Second, the swift promotion of Ms. Alt from the No. 2 position of fashion director suggested that her bosses weren’t looking for much change. As she herself said, “They know my work by heart, and probably they felt like it was safe for them.”
Vogue editors do not come along every day, except in China and India, where Western fashion magazines are new. Anna Wintour (American Vogue) and Franca Sozzani (Italian Vogue) have each held their jobs for 22 years; Alexandra Shulman, the chief of British Vogue, a little less. If anything, the cult of the editor has exploded in the last decade, with books, documentaries and fan sites like I Want to be a Roitfeld, which is dedicated not just to Ms. Roitfeld but also to offspring. Recently the site branched out to include Ms. Alt.
At the same time, in a series of posts on Vogue.it, Ms. Sozzani has been critical of this cult, suggesting, among other things, that people have their priorities confused. Without referring to anyone specifically, she said this week in an interview: “They think it’s sitting in the front row and looking around with a tough eye as if you’re the one to decide about the life of people. This attitude is completely wrong. It’s what you do for the magazine that matters.”
Then she added, “Honestly, I don’t think a stylist has a vision for a magazine.”
Ms. Roitfeld was a freelance stylist before she became editor of French Vogue, where she continued to style shoots. She was also the model for Tom Ford’s louche glamour at Gucci, down to her black bra and stilettos. Insiders doubted that she could run a magazine, but within a few years, with the help of the art director Fabien Baron and Ms. Alt (not to mention a bunch of great photographers and models, who seemed to have interned at the same disco), French Vogue felt coolly revitalized.
“It’s one of the best female fashion magazines in the world,” the photographer Jean-Baptiste Mondino said. “It’s as simple as that, and people couldn’t cope with it.” The magazine was also profitable under Ms. Roitfeld, said Jonathan Newhouse, chief executive of Condé Nast International, with a 40 percent jump in circulation over her tenure.
Ms. Roitfeld’s undoing as editor in chief was triggered, people in Paris speculated, by her December issue, which was devoted to all things Ford, not least sex. For one spread, he photographed a pair of elders groping each other in a smear of lipstick and neck wrinkles. Mr. Ford declared he was tired of youth culture.
Maybe so, but the issue as a whole suggested a lack of adult supervision at the top. In a post that appeared in January, Ms. Sozzani questioned the point of fashion shoots that make people look vulgar, specifically condemning a shoot (in the December issue of French Vogue, as it happens) that showed little girls in seductive clothes and makeup.
Certainly the Vogues face a world in which assumptions seem to be changing daily. But for that reason, Ms. Sozzani said, editors have to be absolutely in control of their magazines. “Everybody can create a magazine, just as everything can be on the runway,” she said. “But there has to be a concept. And it’s true that we’re in an image. But you cannot have the image without the vision.”
What happened to Ms. Roitfeld was this: she offered to resign, according to several individuals close to the matter. She was frequently absent from the office, on shoots, and when the issue of her management came to a head, she offered to resign. She may have been bluffing, hoping she would be asked to stay, but her resignation was accepted.
When asked if being away from the office was a contributing factor, Ms. Roitfeld said last month over a drink at the Ritz hotel in Paris: “Maybe, maybe. Everybody has an opinion. Before, it wasn’t a problem, and anyway the magazine was doing very well. It’s difficult to work with a big team. Maybe it’s good I go back to my roots.” She said that her bosses received complaints from advertisers over the Ford issue. “I was killed for that,” she said. “You know, it’s difficult to try to do something new each month.”
Asked if she regretted resigning, Ms. Roitfeld said no. “I’m very sad, but in a way I’m very happy, too. I don’t want to get old in this golden cage. I’m very punk in a way.”
Her friendship with Ms. Alt did not survive, however. Both women said they were no longer speaking. Neither would reveal the reasons.
A few days later at the Café de Flore, Ms. Alt, as candid as she is unfazed, said: “I don’t look back and see clouds anywhere. Carine is someone who needs to be free. She’s the rebel of the class. She hates authority. She dealt with it for years but. ...”
Ms. Alt, 43, the daughter of a Parisian model who worked for Lanvin and Nina Ricci and a professional writer of children’s songs, is every inch a fashion editor. Starting from the bottom, as a summer intern at French Elle, she arrived at Vogue in 2000, three weeks before Ms. Roitfeld. She is tall, lanky, with dark brown hair. Her style twin would surely be Daria Werbowy.
Indeed, for a shoot in the September 2008 issue, she styled Ms. Werbowy in the attitude Alt: skin-tight pants, snug jackets by Balmain and Chanel, plain T-shirts, Zanotti booties and flying hair. And she is as famous in fashion circles for not wearing skirts as Ms. Roitfeld is for showing leg. Her antenna is aimed at the street.
She said: “I think the street now takes its influence from the Internet and music — more than what designers do. I would love to recreate this impact in the magazine.” There is also an opportunity, Mr. Mondino suggested, to relate more content to iPad technology.
What isn’t known is whether the centimeters, when broken out, add up to editor in chief. Ms. Alt’s great strength, say those who work with her, like the photographers Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, may be that young women, with careers and families (Ms. Alt has a daughter, 6, and a son, 13) identify with her style. “It’s believable,” Ms. van Lamsweerde said, adding, “I always say to her, ‘I want everything you’re wearing.’ ”
Personally, Ms. Van Lamsweerde said, she doesn’t care to see a more well-rounded French Vogue. “Do we really need another magazine about the latest architectural feat, the latest book? To me, what’s needed is a real fashion magazine, with the best taste and incredible photography.”
Ms. Alt, who plans to attend the New York shows for the first time in years, likened the changes she wants to make to “opening a few more windows.” She wants a more feminine attitude. “I don’t mean girlie,” she said, “but less tough. And I think you can make very strong fashion pictures without shocking or being borderline.” French Vogue may display a nostalgic love for cigarettes and nude Bardot blondes, “but it’s not because everything is possible that you can do everything,” she said.
She seems aware that to be a great editor is to be more than a daring stylist. She has told photographers that she will only style one shoot per issue. And she has given up her outside styling jobs, with Balmain and Isabel Marant, which she was permitted to do when she first came to Vogue. In an internal Condé Nast memo in January, Mr. Newhouse reminded editors about the company policy against taking on outside jobs without permission.
“I completely understand that in life you have to make choices,” Ms. Alt said. “It’s not even a discussion. I’m going to be exclusive to French Vogue.”
Emmanuelle Alt, The New Editor of Vogue Paris, on Daria Werbowy, Celebrity Covers, and New Designers
More French girls, more French lifestyle.
I always want a relationship with reality: nothing too sexy, or provocative, or fashion victim. Even if I love to dream, I want the magazine to feature a girl who looks like she belongs in real life. We are French—we can show smoking, nudity. We have no boundaries, and it can be good to have them."
As far as I'm concerned, the above quotes are steps to the right direction. I'm longing for Paris Vogue to become, well... Parisian again, after all the Roitfeld vulgarities.
And lets just wait and actually see her work as editor before we complain....
Plus I do not buy Paris Vogue because i want to see radical fast forward fashion, I like the fact that they are not totally disconnected from reality. I hope the style remains the same. There are other publications dedicated to fashion in the purest form. I like their concept, and I'm glad it won't change much. It will be interesting to see after all what was Carine's and what was Emmanuelle's.
Last edited by Les_Sucettes; 10-02-2011 at 07:23 AM.