I am delighted to share with you this review of Vogue Paris by our brilliant editor-at-large Dara Block in which she explores the December 2004/January 2005 issue for which Carine Roitfeld chose Sofia Coppola as guest editor. I love Sofia's style and Dara's review, I hope you will enjoy reading it, too. [Editor's note: Perhaps you have already read Dara's review when it was published on I Want To Be A Roitfeld but it is so good that I am reprinting it here just in case you missed it the first time.]
I think if I had to pick a favorite guest editor of Vogue Paris I would have to say Sofia Coppola. I don’t really like to pick favorites with these issues, but there was something so personal and unique about her role as guest editor. Sofia grew up reading Vogue Paris and the magazine remains a constant source of inspiration in her life to this day. Sofia Coppola definitely has the style, the sophistication, and most importantly the incredible eye, she was clearly the perfect choice to guest edit the magazine — almost like a match made in Vogue Paris heaven!
First of all, let’s just talk about the amazing cover! I remember when I first saw this cover I could not take my eyes off of it. The black and white photo was shot by Mario Testino and styled by Carine Roitfeld. I have always felt that Roitfeld and Testino were such a dynamic duo… it's all about artistic collaboration between the two and I love how their styles blend so perfectly together. What is so interesting about Roitfeld and Testino is that they completely understand the power of an iconic image. This cover is quintessential Sofia Coppola. She looks so stunning in that Marc Jacobs dress and I think what I love most is the expression on her face. She appears a little mysterious yet completely chic with those shy eyes smiling back at you. I knew right away from that look in her eyes that this was going to be a memorable issue.
As you open the magazine, you get to peek behind the scenes as Sofia Coppola puts together her issue of Vogue Paris, something you rarely see in the guest editor issues. Notice how Sofia styles her hair like Carine Roitfeld. I love how comfortable she felt in this role, she looks quite natural seated at Carine's desk. I truly believe that if Sofia Coppola had not chosen to become a filmmaker she could easily be an editor of a fashion magazine.
The first part of the magazine is entitled "Les choix de Sofia" and features some of Sofia Coppola’s favorite things for spring 2005. Her favorites include an Yves Saint Laurent caftan, a satin Prada handbag, a 6.15-carat Harry Winston diamond heart pendant, French macarons, and of course an incredibly chic selection of Marc Jacobs shoes… Sofia’s signature!
Personally, I love how quirky and girlie this part of the magazine is… it almost feels like a scene from her film, Marie Antoinette. Perhaps it has something to do with the way she styles and photographs the shoes, diamonds, and macarons; Marie Antoinette features so many moments similar to this. If you take a closer look at these pictures you might see how she could have used this collage as inspiration for her movie.
After Sofia’s spring must-haves comes a little Polaroid bonus section called "Bar Select" which features Sofia, Mademoiselle Agnès, Carine Roitfeld, and her daughter Julia, all modeling various form fitting jackets which seems to be a staple look in Sofia’s closet… I can totally see why, so chic!
Next comes "Les Bibles de Sofia" in which Sofia Coppola shares with readers some of her favorite artists and photographers that have influenced her personal and filmmaking style. She references photographer Helmut Newton and artists Richard Prince and Elizabeth Peyton, just to name a few. I love that she finds inspiration from all types of visual mediums. I don't know why, but I feel that whenever I watch her films I always want to know more about what her main inspirations were for certain scenes... If you are interested in her visual and creative style like me then this section is for you!
Shortly after, we get to see her portfolio entitled "Grande Personne." This editorial features gorgeous photos taken of Sofia Coppola by photographer David Sims. She looks very much like the subject of a Renaissance painting with her semi-nude look and those long hair extensions. I have always admired the look and style of Sofia Coppola’s hair whether it is long or short. Her hair always blends perfectly to the outfit she is wearing!
Following this layout comes "Snap-shots Personnels" which happens to be my favorite part of the issue. This section is truly classic Sofia Coppola. The reader gets to see the secret world of Sofia Coppola captured in pictures and collage. We first look at the creative influence her family and friends have had on her life: her father, Francis Ford Coppola; her mother, Eleanor; and her brother, Roman. Sofia comes from such a cultured and artistic family, it is really no surprise where she gets her talent from...
After, we get to see even more stylish moments from her life. Sofia proudly plays the role of model and we see her pose in her very own classic Dior homme suit which appears to be one of her all time favorite looks. I can see why!
Next, we see her posing in her shoes at the famed Château Marmont in Los Angeles, her hotel of choice and the inspiration for her most recent film, Somewhere.
We also get to see a montage of the women that have influenced her personal style. Some of her fashion icons include Lauren Hutton, Diana Vreeland, and Angelica Huston. I love that Sofia chose women with such distinct senses of style.
Last but not least, Sofia concludes this section with a photo take of her and her best friend and fashion designer Marc Jacobs. I have always loved this photo of the two in bed together, I think they will always be fashion soul mates.
Next comes some sexy shots of Sofia Coppola, photographed by Mario Testino and styled by Carine Roitfeld…. I love that this powerhouse duo brought out the hidden sexy side of her...
Following this editorial comes "Professeur de Désir," a very candid interview through email exchanges between Sofia Coppola and her iconic father, Francis, in which she receives advice on filmmaking. I think it is obvious what an impact her father has had upon her as writer and as a director.
The last editorial entitled "Crinière Wet Look" features Sofia Coppola in a very Bow Wow Wow, soft punk inspired look captured by photographer Craig McDean. I can’t help but also think of Siouxsie Sioux from Siouxsie and the Banshees in this layout. I always love the way Sofia incorporates music in her films and also the way it influences her personal style. She really captures a very cool 80s punk-glam theme in this part of the issue.
The issue ends with an interesting section called "Box-Office." Sofia Coppola asked some of her famous friends like Faye Dunaway, Quentin Tarantino, and Pedro Almodóvar to list and analyze their five favorite films. I always find it inspiring when artists and creative types share the films that have influenced them the most. I think that is what also sets Vogue Paris apart from many other fashion magazines — they understand that style is not only about fashion but film as well.
Overall, I think it is safe to say that Sofia Coppola really brought so much style and originality to the pages of Vogue Paris. I think what I admire most about her role as guest editor is that she brilliantly managed to combine film, fashion, and music into one in this magazine. Her knowledge of style is quite incredible and I love that her issue feels almost as personal as one of her films. There is something very in-depth and intimate about the way Sofia shares her interests... it almost feels like I am having a personal discussion with her about all the things that have inspired her. I think this issue shows that she is not just a style icon but a tastemaker as well. Carine Roitfeld summed it up best in 2005 when asked what it was like to work with Sofia Coppola for the December/January issue: “She could replace me tomorrow. She’s got the right eye. She’s energetic, she’s gifted, and she’s got taste.” Need I say more…
Vogue Paris editorial images © 2004 Condé Nast. All Rights Reserved.
Carine Roitfeld and Sofia Coppola photographs courtesy of Getty Images and Abaca Press