THIS WEEK FASHION AND BEAUTY COLUMNIST NANCY BUCKLAND KIRK HAS BEEN MAKING A DATE WITH THE SEPTEMBER ISSUES OF HER FAVOURITE GLOSSIES.
Fashion is quite literally, everywhere. Whether you are scrolling through Instagram checking out influencers or pacing through your favourite Blog, it is now a 24/7 commodity. And yet, somehow, in my world, you can never beat the lasting allure of the September issues. Every glossy magazine has one, but it seems that Vogue is always the one that gets us talking. You can even watch that famous documentary about Anna Wintour putting together the U.S. version in the aptly named documentary. When it comes to Front Row importance, the only person who has ever upstaged her is the Queen herself.
There used to be four very distinct seasons, and four very esteemed fashion capitals in terms of New York, London, Milan and Paris. Each would show couture and then what was once known as pret-a-porter. The first looks you can only afford if you are a member of the super rich. The second looks are what you could find in store. Fashion buyers from around the world would descend alongside premium editors, and the odd A-lister, to watch supermodels waft by in designs that would then, over time, influence what we would then find on the high street when that new season approached.
We now inhabit a different style landscape. The fashion capitals remain the same but all of the main houses now show ‘cruise’ collections at different locations all over the globe, at varying times. Bloggers and influencers sit right alongside fashion editors, and the raft of celebrities is no longer just about Hollywood red carpet actresses, but also the highest earning reality stars. A show isn’t a show without a Jenner on the catwalk and at least one Kardashian getting papped on the way in.
The September issue used to be the big reveal: coats we had never seen before, and boots that were new to our eyes. It didn’t matter if we could afford it, or not, it was the chic treat of the year, always accompanied by Catwalk Reports, putting together themes and content so we knew exactly what trends were around. The work involved, and is still outputted, is simply phenomenal. Sales of glossy magazines are falling. That’s an indisputable fact. And yet the September issue is just something that can never be equalled.
This year, British Vogue is certainly leading the way. The magazine has had a huge sea change since Edward Enninful has taken over as Editor-in-Chief. His new stewardship was seen as hugely controversial after Alexandra Shulman left the post, as in came a whole new raft of reporters, including Naomi Campbell, and yet Enninful has created something very inclusive and culturally aware in what was once a very rarefied world. Rihanna, photographed by Nick Knight, is simply spectacular, and the models inside are no longer all under 25 and a size 8. Women of every age are invited to the party, too.
Italian Vogue, courtesy of Mert and Marcus, has dedicated its September issue to Madonna, who is about to celebrate her 60th Birthday. It is a triumph to see, and the Queen of Pop looks resplendent. The September issues of yesteryear would never have featured anyone who could technically qualify for a bus pass on the cover, no matter how famous they were. But then, Madonna is very much a part of what has shaped so much cultural change over the last four decades, it would be rude not to include her somewhere along the way.
I await my subscriber issues with excitement and pride. I will never get bored of looking at Maxmara coats, and Saint Laurent boots, Dior dresses and anything by Chanel. Teenager Kaia Gerber may be the model of the moment, featuring in so many of the commercial campaigns, but I am glad to see her mother gracing the September issue cover of Tatler. Cindy Crawford is still pretty unbeatable when it comes to cover girls.
While everyday style is often about throwing on whatever you can find that’s clean and wearable in that moment, September issue fashion is still the stuff that dreams are made of. It has the power to lift you out of an ordinary day and transport you into another world, with each turn of the page. It is art and it is history, and has a beauty all of its own. It can never be replicated anywhere else, and I can only describe it in words here. If you want to see it in all its glory, then make this the month when you pop a few September issues into your shopping. No matter your age, or background, or style tribe, it’s always good to have a dream. Mine right now is a bag by Ferragamo. What’s yours?
About the author: Nancy Buckland Kirk is a writer with a keen interest in fashion and beauty and a career which has spanned modelling, teaching and spreading the word about leading beauty brands.
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