Apologies, I couldn’t summon up any enthusiasm to write about The Supers’ September Vogue cover. Celebrating the continuing relevance of these exceptional, 50-something models (and the launch of their Apple TV+ series) by Photoshopping them to the max, is completely defeating the object. Missing the opportunity. And, announcing to the world that it’s OK to be in your fifties just as long as you look 30 years younger. As Vanessa Friedman in the New York Times asked, ‘ Do Supermodels age, or just get airbrushed?’
Dropped by Lancôme in her forties for being too old, Isabella Rossellini is now on the cover of Italian Vogue, October 2023 issue. Unretouched. (The beauty company eventually saw the error of its ways and asked her back, in 2016). Now 71, Rossellini looks chic and regal – and wrinkled. An image that’s so much more relatable and charming than the austere, age-defying aforementioned magazine cover. Ditch the ageism, can we not have a more honest depiction of beauty?
On that note, I asked a friend who is a photographer’s agent about the jawline shadowing on the Isabella Rossellini cover and she said she thought it had been done with lighting and (possibly) post-production adjusting of levels.
‘This is precisely what I ask of fashion and cosmetics. I find it very reductive to appear younger than my age and in any case it’s a losing battle. I asked Vogue Italia not to retouch the photos and leave me with my wrinkles. Francesca Ragazzi, who directs the magazine, accepted: the new generations are looking for more modern and intelligent definitions of beauty.’
And it is important for younger women (for all women) to have inspiring role models. Women who defy the pressure to look young – regardless of the unattainable beauty standards in the modelling/ acting/ fashion industries. Viva, Isabella.