This weekend we attended the Vogue Festival 2016, which marked its fifth year and coincided with Vogue 100. As usual, it was a great time.
Saturday: We first headed over to Vogue World, on the East Albert Lawn in Kensington Gardens. Vogue World is the tent where the festival attendees had the most interaction with industry experts. Brands such as Tom Ford, Bobbi Brown and Jo Malone offered makeovers and massages. Attendees could shop for limited-edition merchandise in the Vogue Shop, or have coffee in the Vogue Cafe. Of course there were many opportunities to fashion spot in Vogue World. Gucci conquered. It was everywhere.
Our first event was “A World of Fashion, A Life in Vogue.” It took place across the street at the Royal Geographic Society. Fashion rock star Grace Coddington would converse with fashion director Lucinda Chambers. Grace talked about her history with both American and British Vogue, reflecting on a time less hurried. Research played a central a role in creating Grace’s early fashion editorials.
Grace opened up as well on her relationships with fashion image makers. These included iconic photographers, like Bruce Weber and Mario Testino. She’s also supported careers of numerous top models such as Rianne von Rompaey and Naomi Campbell. Grace was responsible for landing Naomi some of her earliest work, and for bringing the model from Britain to the United States. “Oh, that was you’re doing,” joked Lucinda, in reference to Naomi’s reputation. The conversation was fluid, charming and insightful. Lucinda, who of course is friends with Grace, made it all seem effortless.
We also had tickets to see a presentation with Juergen Teller. However, when we discovered Grace would be signing copies of her recent autobiography during a conflicting time slot, we went with Grace. Sorry, Juergen! We love your work, but we couldn’t pass up the chance for face time with Grace. Kim Kardashian West was on hand to give a presentation on makeup later in the day, but we skipped hers too.
Vogue World was madness during Grace’s signing. There was hardly room to move. Everyone was either in line to buy her book, or in line to have it signed. Cheers to the woman who tried to rip my copy from my hands. This case of festival mania was evidence that Grace is indeed a fashion rock star. And she seemed to handle it all with absolute calm.
We stuck around for a while afterwards, soaking up the atmosphere once the craziness left. Rather, the crazy had merely moved outside. Kim Kardashian’s makeup talk was nearly over, and fans had started accumulating near the The Geographic Society’s exit. We were tempted to stick around to catch a glimpse of Kim, but there was no way to see over the wall of cell phones raised in hopes of catching a snapshot. Maybe next time, or maybe not.