ELLE magazine’s latest in-depth catwalk guide is as desirable and collectible as ever. Specialising in fascinating close-ups of the new season in photo and fact form, the tome opens with double page glossy snapshots of the details and drama from the world’s fashion stages; the volcanic backdrop at Chanel, the lightning snow at Burberry Prorsum, or the show-stopping shoes at Prada. Interviews this time round include all the hot tickets of the moment; Nicola Formichetti of Mugler and Gaga fame, Victoria Beckham talks trans-Atlantic travel, femininity and squeezing into samples well into your pregnancy, Alexander Wang has transformed from newest face to one-man-brand, and Maria Grazia Chiugi and Pier Paolo Piccioli are the new directors behind Valentino’s iconic label. In an insightful article, Coco Rocha, also a published author in the September issue of the magazine, describes the fine balance models achieve between anonymity and individuality in the character work they do to bring creations to life. Despite focusing on clothes, editors and designers, it is a model friendly edition indeed, 2011 may have been a royal year but it is “Forever Kate” on the cover, a tribute to the princess of fashion clearly closest to Elle’s hearts.
Then there are the quirky bits that are wholly Elle; double page photos with witty taglines on the hottest trends du jour; “The new sexy_It’s the old sexy making a cheeky return”. Fascinating facts peppered with photo editing made fun: which children’s author inspired the Mulberry show? Who ran a marathon right before the runway? Which designer collection do you get if you cross Coco Chanel with Sid Vicious? Louis Vuitton by numbers and the soundtracks to each city, it would make essential reading for a fashion pub quiz. On the last page, a “Where’s Karl?” game lets you find the designer among a mocked up catwalk hosting everyone from birthday boy Michael Kors to some fierce looking French traffic cops. With spreads on the hottest London shows, best shows of the season by look and street style by Tommy Ton, it is both great fun and a wonderfully informative introduction to Autumn Winter 2011. Just don’t ask how we’ll pull off the fetish look without legs like Kate’s…………….