Alexandra Shulman has always been among those people whom I’m utterly fascinated with and who I absolutely admire, therefore, when I found her book in one of my favourite bookshops in early December, I was over the moon. Then, life happened and I didn’t touch it for a few long weeks until one sunny day in late January (which, as it turned out later, happened to be the day when the news about Shulman leaving Vogue went viral). Having just finished Inside Vogue I thought I’d give you a few thoughts on it.
Have you ever seen Absolutely Fashion: Inside British Vogue– that poor, disappointing, unbelievably lazy production committed by BBC? If you know what I’m talking about, you perhaps, also remember how much we were all looking forward to seeing it and what a spectacular failure it turned out. The documentary’s aim was to give us an insight into the most influential fashion magazine in the country and this aim is luckily, the only feature the film and Shulman’s book have in common. And I swear, Alex Shulman from the book, well, even Vogue from the book, are nothing of what they appeared to be in the film. And, no matter what your relationship with Vogue is, you should definitely give it a go!
Moreover, I dare to claim, it’s perhaps one of the most unique and important books in fashion history. I don’t really remember any position like this one. Ok, maybe Kirstie Clemens writing her piece (which I truly enjoyed reading) was the first one who gave us a backstage pass to the fashion magazine’s world but Schulman’s book provokes us to look at things from an entirely different perspective.
The book is immensely fascinating- very well-written, honest, funny and sarcastic. It gives us a chance to get to know not only Vogue but Shulman herself, who happens to be sharing the same worries and insecurities most of us face on a daily basis- stress related to work, motherhood or a broken boiler. I know, you somehow assume than broken boilers don’t happen to people like Alex Shulman- this book is here to prove you wrong. It’s a fantastic portrait of a woman who’s not only the editor-in-chief but also a mother, daughter, sister, partner, friend, boss and co-worker.
Most of all, however, it’s a wonderful journal of events related to Vogue’s 100th birthday, sometimes predictable, more often- unexpected. I absolutely loved finding out more about the photoshoot with the Duchess, organising Vogue Festival and the exhibition I wasn’t able to see in person. There are also quite a lot of famous people involved in the stories so it’s always fun to read about what they are like, which is often different from how we imagine them.
Last but not least, the book paints historical picture of the world we live in, as Vogue’s birthday celebration events took place just before Brexit referendum results, in the middle of presidential election campaigns in the US, at the time of London mayoral election (at least this one’s wasn’t fucked up to the bone if you ask me. You probably don’t- sorry!).
Anyway, because, luckily, fashion is one of the last things politicians can’t take away from us, no matter what, let’s enjoy it to the fullest over and over again. And speaking of enjoyableness (is this even a word?!), reading Shulman’s diary was a great pleasure and an absolutely exciting adventure.