A long, long time ago, the only way you could get a model to smile was to tickle her. And even though today catwalkers may still stomp the runway stoically, a new crop of magazine covers make it seem like the straight-faced era is taking a turn for the smiley.
Arizona Muse followed up her cheerful grin for the cover of November's Vogue Paris with a big, hammy smile on the February cover of British Vogue. The November cover was charming and chic, but the latest pic is campy to the max. The model's new short cut is a major unfavorite in the TFS forums (Arizona debuted it in Fendi's Spring campaign and showed it off again—along with a smile!—for Isabel Marant), but the back-combed 'do is the least of her problems on the front of British Vogue. I'm all for smiling all the time, but even though Arizona's catalogue-style mug and Pollyanna pose might match the retro styling—the gingham dress, the thick powder-blue shadow, cherry drop earrings—it's pure kitsch.
Via the TFS forums (left) & Art8Amby (right)
But that doesn't mean Vogue UK isn't on to something when it hails its cover image as a "new look." Vogue Italia played up the old-school satire for its January 2012 cover, which starred Caroline Trentini, Daria Strokous, and the Ford model Paula Patrice. Lampooning the visual language of catalogues and home shopping networks, Vogue Italia styled Paula (nicknamed the "lady in red" when the cover made the rounds online) in an ultra-feminine, retro red suit, backcombed her short hair, and chose a shot which shows her hamming it up with a giant smile.
Both Vogues went for the same kind of parody of traditional femininity, but the British fashion bible's version isn't funny: it's as bland as its source material.