This has undeniably been a year of milestones. London Fashion Week celebrated its 25th season. Cosmetics giant, L'Oreal, celebrated 100 years of beauty. My boyfriend's grandparents celebrated 50 years of marriage. And one other entity celebrated 50 glorious years: Vogue Australia.
To commemorate the occasion, Kirstie Clements, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Australia, put forth an impeccable tour de force of a magazine. The September issue is graced by drawings of one of Australia's greatest actors, Cate Blanchett, in four different illustrations each by the London-based artist David Downton.
What I loved most about this issue were the many tributes to Australian fashion, culture, film, literature, and art. Australia is not often a fixture on the international scene, so it was terrific to learn so much about the country in a single issue. In a sense, the September issue could be treated as a reference guide for one wanting to learn more about the country. Even though my dearest friend is a bona fide expert on all things Australian, graciously educating her friends on the customs and manners of her adopted country, I still learned a few new things about Australia from this issue.
The issue also had insider perspectives from top Australian fashion editors, including the editor in chief. Ms. Clements, along with the fashion director, and other top positions on the masthead, reflected on their time with Vogue Australia and how each sort of fell into the position. Ms. Clements spoke of her world travels and how, at age 19, she returned to Sydney looking for a job. It just so happened that Vogue Australia was looking for a receptionist. Ms. Clements won the position and, ten years later, she wields the greatest power atop the masthead. Her message was particularly inspiring, even though she acknowledged that the industry has changed radically over the years and that the competition is now fierce. Indeed it is!
To pay homage to the great "Aussie cossie," Ms. Clements commissioned international designers to come up with their own version of the iconic Australian fashion piece. Karl Lagerfeld, Francisco Costa, and John Galliano all created swimsuits best reflecting the special joie de vivre of the Australian woman. In another tribute, Ms. Clements chose fifty of the best covers of the magazine.
Issues of Vogue Australia are expensive outside of Australia: $11 for each issue. The September issue, however, coming in at 360 pages, is unquestionably worth the eleven dollars. If you've ever wanted to learn more about Australian fashion, the September issue is your chance to do so. I can't think of a better way to celebrate fifty years of Australian culture than the triumphant September issue.