V Magazine – the Heroes issues by Other Edition NewsstandV Magazine started in 1999.Originally meant as a more accessible bimonthly sister title to the famed limited edition Visionaire, set up at the beginning of the 1990s by Stephen Gan, James Kaliardos and Cecilia Dean.
V Magazine devotes its all-important September address to the theme of heroes and proceeds to elicit nominations for the accolade from the great and the glorious. Everyone from Drew Barrymore and Yoko Ono to Missy Elliott and Jerry Hall has a say. In one sense, this simple yet effective format creates a certain democracy. How could one person’s hero be less valid than another? And so much of the fun is actually derived from seeing just whom individual celebrities choose to put forward as his or her hero. Rather than ruining the fun, its much better enjoyed as a rather voyeuristic journey into seeing just who famous likes someone else famous. And those who might suspect a dry exercise in manipulated sycophancy turn out to be a little hasty in their assumptions: more than a few of the nominees are interesting and refreshing surprises.
In many senses this September issue of V is an unusual beast. If anything, it feels more like celebrity and fame is more to the fore than the overt cover-to-cover coverage of fashion that we expect at this time of the year. But, examined more closely it becomes clear that the fashion is also very much there. V Magazine has, to some extent, decided to have its cake and eat it. For example, one of the lead features sees Mario Testino and Carine Roitfeld muse on the best of the 2011 collections. Well that seems like a fairly solid fashion feature for this time of year. But the twist is that they do so through the persona and legend of the late great Elizabeth Taylor. It’s a canny move because it’s something that is as likely to appeal to those whose interest in fabulous film stars actually outweighs their interest in the inner workings of what the season’s fashion dictates.
And, this whiff of stardom is very much in the overall ether of V’s September statement. Sure, the fabulous frocks from the new collections are all in there, both in this sprawling feature and in others shot by V’s usual suspects of heavyweight talent, but it all sits inside a playful, loving and never entirely naïve nod to the dream of stardom that remains a driving force for so many around the world. If all of the arguments about luxury fashion being beyond the grasp of most intrinsically exclude a vast section of the potential readership then the beauty of V Magazine’s September gesture is that it intrinsically understands the democracy of the unattainable dream. No one is excluded from an aspiration or a secret dream to something that is so unlikely.
Issue available at: http://www.otheredition.com/VMagazine
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