The coming season in fashion will always be remembered as a time of profound change for the industry, starting with its fashion month, last September.
Gone were the dozen seated shows a day, the schedule of international travel and the throngs of people. Instead, there was the unexpected peace of our sofas at home, as leading designers put on video presentations of models walking in empty spaces that beamed on to our laptops, while others sent elaborate recreations of their work on paper in beautiful boxes (Loewe), or made mood-heavy street-shot documentary films (Marni).
I was even made into a doll (thank you, Moschino).
To pull out the message of the season from so many different creative propositions felt new and exciting. No longer simply models parading up and down, it came with a whole new set of codes to dissect.
And so, on page 110 of the February 2021 issue, you will find our first spring/summer 2021 story, the magazine’s traditional opening to the new season’s coverage.
Vogue’s Kate Phelan joined rising-star young photographer Rafael Pavarotti and a cast of models, from Adut Akech to Shanelle Nyasiase, to capture the mood of now. For many designers, this time has been about cutting away excess and zeroing in on the core of what they do.
It has made for focused, thoughtful collections high on wearability and featuring the sort of pieces that will see you through not only the weeks and months ahead, but the years.
The intoxicating notion of the approaching spring promises an artistic reawakening, too, and so we have turned our attention to some of the extraordinary women shaping the cultural conversation.
Tilda Swinton is photographed at home in the Scottish Highlands by Nikolai von Bismarck, wearing pieces from Chanel’s spring/summer collection. Tilda is a true one-off, an artist through and through, who famously carries off fashion brilliantly.
Why? Because she treats it with the same respect and integrity she does every passion in her life. In conversation with playwright Jeremy O Harris, on page 128, she offers a rare insight into her world.
Award-winning actor-turned-debut-filmmaker Regina King talks One Night in Miami on page 52, the film that could see her become only the sixth woman ever to be nominated for best director at the Oscars.
It’s been quite the journey, she tells Vogue’s Olivia Marks. Elsewhere, screenwriter Kata Wéber, whose film Pieces of a Woman, starring Vanessa Kirby, is also the talk of awards season, writes about the background to her powerful story about losing a baby in childbirth, on page 60.
Meanwhile, gifted American author, poet and humorist Patricia Lockwood, whose eagerly awaited new book, No One Is Talking About This, is published in February, writes for us on a peril that has become all too clear this past year: the Google spiral.
Then, of course, there is this month’s cover star.
Dua Lipa appears to have lived 10 lives already in her 25 years – child of war-fleeing immigrants, determined teenager, next big thing.
Now a fully fledged global superstar, the young Brit returns to the cover of Vogue – and stars in a transformative fashion story by photographer Emma Summerton.
With six nominations at this month’s Grammys under her belt, a record-breaking album and a clutch of new tracks, she shows what it is possible to achieve even as the world becomes less certain, while providing the perfect, uplifting soundtrack for millions to dance to and let off a little steam.
Dua did what we all strive to do during tumultuous times: she met the moment.
The February 2021 issue of British Vogue is on newsstands Friday 8 January.