Is the current Vogue issue using the responders of the Sandy Hurricane as a prop? It might look that way. Some wonder if this "is what happens when Anna Wintour feels emotion", with a high-end fashion spread “celebrating” Sandy’s first responders. Granted Vogue and CDFA did in fact raise millions for the Sandy Relief, I’m not sure just exactly how these pictures are honoring the first responders of Sandy or how placing runway models, in designer dresses is really bringing the focus on the responders. Are your eyes immediately drawn to the firemen in these images or… the tall, Karlie Kloss in ravishing red towering over them? Initially, I’ll admit (*sigh*) my response to these pictures is, like most Vogue pictures, “Oooo, sweet!” because a place like Vogue is one of the few where doing the unimaginable, fantastical and unrealistic is possible. It’s somewhat naive and frivolous a reaction but being the dreamy, idealistic female that I am, a shoot like this looks, well… picturesque. I would not naturally flip through this spread and initially find it a controversial issue. And give me a break, anything slightly questionable Ann Lebovitz captures has a way of making controversy just look so good, no matter how controversial or politically incorrect it may be. Fashion has the freedom to do that, and has for a long time. And it’s Vogue, we’re talking about after all. Not Newsweek (oh wait, Newsweek isn’t even in print anymore, because, guess what? People don’t care to purchase fact, when they can buy fantastical fiction for their coffee tables. It’s just looks prettier.) Though most of us weren’t directly effected by the Sandy Hurricanes, more lives were affected in this storm than we’ve seen in a natural disaster in America in quite some time. So it would be ignorant not to consider the controversy such “picturesque” images might stir for those who were affected.
Take into consideration the nurses, who were so cleverly fixed around these beautiful model dressed in Michael Kors (which I’m sure didn’t feel intimidating or at all belittled while they posed in their scrubs) I wonder how honored they felt. I wonder if when they were called about the feature, they had pictured the final product quite this way.
Vogue certainly made a point to highlight this tragic event and it’s hero’s doing their nobel duty as the empire of fashion, and in many ways, New York City. But if I was Anna maybe I would’ve made a point to actually let the hero’s take the limelight for once. It may have been a bit more honoring to, maybe, feature the firefighters among the remains of Sandy in Armani suits and the nurses in Diane von Furstenberg dresses, with the hospital floor as their runway. While “it’s the thought that counts” (so I’m told) it may have made for a better tribute if the idea to “celebrate” our heros, actually did just that.