Last Friday and Saturday marked the first ever Vogue Festival. Held at The Royal Geographical Society in London, it offered not only the chance to see some of the leading names in fashion all in one place, but also to experience British Vogue as never before.
Hair and makeup experts were on hand, and one of the most popular features was the chance to be a Vogue cover girl for the day with makeup and styling by Chanel.
I was allowed to borrow the most beautiful Chanel coat and accessories for my photo session with a Vogue photographer. Back when I was modelling years ago, I would have done an awful lot for a Vogue cover, but on Friday it was effortless, although of course my cover will never grace a news stand!
Presentations included live interviews by Vogue Editor Alexandra Shulman with Christopher Bailey of iconic brand Burberry, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana and one of the highlights of the day was an interview of designer Stella McCartney by her friend, actress Kate Hudson.
Nigella Lawson and Kirsty Young discussed ‘Women and Food’. I will be covering that fascinating discussion in a separate blog post. A panel discussion of ‘Does Fashion Have An Age Limit’ with models and industry experts raised questions and emotions amongst both the panel and the audience. I will be sharing more in a future post. There were also sessions on customising your own clothes, fashion and travel and women in business. Saturday’s guests included Diane von Furstenburg, Tom Ford and David Bailey.
This was fashion, and British Vogue itself, at its most accessible ever. Guests at the festival were young, middle aged, older, short, tall, svelte and voluptuous and everyone was made to feel welcome. Both Christopher Bailey and Stella McCartney expressed the hope that everyone would feel comfortable in their stores, whether they were buying or not. The days of the intimidating salesperson are definitely numbered! When one young fashion student stood up and breathlessly asked Stella McCartney what it would take to get work experience with her atelier, Ms McCartney replied that it would take exactly what it did to stand up and risk asking that question. She then instructed a staff member to take the young lady’s details.
Although there were a few logistical problems with the festival, on the whole it was an utter triumph. More than anything I took away a sense that British Vogue were hoping to change how their readers see both them and the fashion industry in general. I’ve often thought that some of Vogue’s articles and photo shoots seem almost intimidating, but now I realise that Vogue do not expect their readers to emulate them, they are merely hoping to inspire. It has made me look at fashion and style in a whole new way and I really do hope that The Vogue Festival becomes an annual fixture in the fashion calendar.
Shared with Monday Mingle at Momtrends.