The September 2019 issue of Vogue Italia brings two covers into the world of fashion speak and imagination. "Peace" is the guiding idea of Mert & Marcus’s image of Vilma Sjölberg, while “Couture” inspires Paolo Roversi in his Adut Akech cover.
Jane How styles Vilma in a Mohair sweater, Egypt poplin shirt and Prada authentic embroidered skirt while Ibrahim Kamara (Ib Kamara) styles Adut in an embroidered dress in woolen natté and French lace, also from Prada.
Also read the texts by Michael Cunningham for the September covers of Vogue Italia signed by Mert & Marcus and Paolo Roversi. Note that this text is taken directly from the Vogue Italia . AOC finds it a tad confusing, as international translation always struggles with s(he) pronouns in Google translator. Reality is that this issue of Vogue Italia is focused on the importance of words, adding a note of irony to this modern word editorial focus. Always looking for the good in a situation, I first attributed the excessive use of ‘he’ to Google translator.
Reading the Vogue Italia website translation of Farneti’s editor’s letter, it seems that the extensive use of ‘he’ is intended., that the male pronoun is dominant, in which case AOC is pretty pissed off. After all, the history of Rome is even worse than the fall of women’s influence and power under the Greeks. Italy put the nail in the proverbial women’s rights coffin.
The Parkland generation has a strong argument in their push for gender-neutral language. This debate has been going on for 50 years now, but the butchery of Google translator may advance the strong preference among many for gender-neutral pronouns and key words like actor vs actress just might gain momentum. This topic is relevant far beyond the topic of gender fluidity ~ Anne)
Cover tests by Michael Cunningham
When he left the city
in search of an inviolate elsewhere, he
took with him only what was necessary.
A bag with a mirror inside to be lifted up
so that the world wouldn't forget itself;
needle and thread
to sew the earth more tightly to the sky.
Rose to have company when she worked
When she left the city
for whatever wilderness remained,
she took only what she needed.
A bag that has a mirror to hold up
so the world might remember itself;
a needle and thread
for the land more firmly to the sky.
Roses to keep her company while she worked.
Every time he dreamed,
a rose poked up somewhere on his body.
Cream-colored roses for dreams of love,
red roses for dreams of fear and envy,
pink roses for dreams that escaped
He's still dreaming, night after night.
Look at it now,
before only the roses remain of her.
With every dream,
a rose sprouted somewhere on her body.
Cream-colored roses for her dreams of love,
red roses for her dreams of fear or envy,
pink roses for the dreams That defied all
She's still dreaming, every night.
Look at her now,
before she's made entirely of roses.
In his editor’s letter, Vogue Italia editor-in-chief Emanuele Farneti underscores the idea that “words count”.
They have always counted, but they count more than ever in a historical moment in which, on the one hand, our vocabulary shrinks alarmingly, and on the other they are increasingly taken hostage, emptied of meaning, used as weapons, bent to short-range, small and petty interests. The most acute observer of the Italian reality, the sociologist Giuseppe De Rita, said it recently in an interview with the Republic: in our country «the most urgent thing is to re-educate the language. It is a question that concerns the entire ruling class, not only politicians but also authority presidents, carabinieri commanders, journalists: we should all rediscover the measure in speech, the ability to speak without falling into a "lost" language ".
In an effort to re-instill some of Sozzani’s DNA into Vogue Italia — as many of us have NO IDEA what the magazine is about these days with Franca Sozzani (as we knew her) confined to sending bolts of goddess insights and divine inspiration from the universe — Farneti turns his focus to key topics in the fashion universe: diversity, inclusiveness (and the difference is???) and sustainability.
Reading the English translation of Emanuele Farneti’s editor’s letter, on his own website, the almost exclusive use of the word ‘he” with the rare ‘she’ has our blood boiling. We need to move on with our day, but AOC will be digging into the archives shortly, to share our responses to Emanuele Farneti’s circumscribed vision of gender-influence in today’s world.
If he actually intended to use the pronoun ‘he’ almost exclusively, we should see his sexism as it exists right in our faces. If Farneti was too cheap to pay for a human translation of his message — relying on Google translator — shame on him, as Google translator makes everything he. Give up an expensive lunch and hire a human.
On the assumption that Emanuele Farneti speaks English quite well, he is responsible for the words — both Italian and English — that appear as his own editor’s letter. And even if he doesn’t, he should be clear about the translations. As Vogue Italia’s head editor reminds us: words matter.
Years ago, I challenged myself to choose more high impact words, rather than lazy ‘he’ and ‘she’. Words like ‘leader’ or ‘wanderer’ are gender neutral. I also remodulated my voice, because members of my Victoria’s Secret design team and other colleagues thought I disliked prototypes and ideas, when that wasn’t reality. We joked that I had “gone to charm school.”
Listen to Bill Gates, and you will hear one of the world’s richest and most influential men speak in gender-neutral English. Gates is not alone in learning to eliminate gender-based stereotypes by changing his own speaking style. Farneti could give this idea a try, especially in introducing an entire September issue of Vogue Italia devoted to “Words Matter’.
In fact, the superiority of men was a key plank in modernist trends that gave rise to Mussolini in Italy, and we have written about those planks. Today’s rise of the right-wing is as alive in Italy, as in England and America. I certainly hope that Emanuele Farneti is not a part of that club — making him a total rebuke to Franca Sozzani.
AOC detests PC responses around identity politics, but also know when to raise our voice in protest.
I’ve learned to assume nothing about men and their intentions in 2019. AOC will pursue this inquiry with disappointment, because the September 2019 Vogue Italia covers are wonderful, and AOC didn’t expect to be writing a hit piece about Emanuele Farneti in sharing them with our readers.
Still, now is not the time to remain silent, and AOC has no history of biting our tongues, as women have been admonished to do for centuries. Franca Sozzani would not want silence from us. And neither do Rihanna or Beyonce or the great Parkland student activist Emma Gonzalez. ~ Anne