Inside Vogue: A Diary Of My 100th Year, Alexander Shulman
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this diary by Alexandra Shulman, of her centenary year of Vogue. Prior to reading it, I had no expectations of what it was going to be like and whether I would enjoy it. I hadn't read any reviews on it. I just knew that I had to read it.
It details her life at Vogue at a particularly stressful time - organising the 100th celebrations is no easy undertaking - with a few snippets of her personal life thrown in. There is a really good balance. Obviously it was written to give the public an insight into life at Vogue and so is predominantly based on this but every now and again she'll share something on a personal level, nothing too revealing, just enough to let us know that she is human and despite the glamour of attending Milan Fashion Week she still has to think about what bin needs to go out that week!
It runs at quite a quick pace, which is very apt for the diary format of the book, with quick snippets of information on interviews with designers, fashion shows, trans-atlantic flights, fashion shoots and what's happening at home. I smiled more often than I expected to reading this book, either because it was funny (amusing is probably a better word due to her way of describing things) or because of her brave and honest comments about people that you knew would read it eventually. I imagine her style of writing to reflect her personality.
This book and the BBC documentary gave me an insight into the personality of Alexandra Shulman that I had never known before. She is undoubtedly blunt, confident to voice and hold her true opinion (regardless of who it is about), very matter-of-fact (but not in a rude way) but somehow she still appears to be of warm character (perhaps more so if you didn't work with her). She gains the utmost respect from her team and knows exactly how to treat them without overstepping the line (in either direction). She doesn't try to be their friend nor their enemy. And when she talks about personal matters, you can imagine her at home as a loving mother and partner. She is somewhat more relaxed (and again confident) about her own personal appearance, which I respect in her. I like Alexandra Shulman.
When it comes to Vogue, she knows what sells and she doesn't get drawn into the fashion world or pretty photos to the extent that she loses focus on her main goal, i.e. the sales of her magazine. I guess they knew what they were doing when they hired her as Editor-in-Chief of Vogue.
This book is a fun and insightful read into a world most of us don't get to see.