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Does Mrs Wintour hate Italy?

Milan Fashion Week in chaos after Anna Wintour cuts visit short

Milan Fashion Week has been thrown into chaos after Anna Wintour, the editor of American Vogue and doyenne of the fashion world, said she would be attending only three days of the event.Anna Wintour’s whims worry Italy’s fashion pack. Why is Anna Wintour so powerful?

The world of glossy magazines is not quite as glossy as it was. Advertising sales are in freefall, magazine circulation is plummeting, and yet one woman reigns supreme. Anna Wintour, aka the most powerful woman in fashion (we’re hoping she has that printed on her business card), had the Italian fashion houses teetering around in a high-heeled panic when the news emerged that she’d only be stopping off in the city for a few days between Paris and the Oscars.

As the fashion houses nervously asked the question, “Please Ms Wintour, just how high should we jump?”, the Italian press (the ones not concerned with skirt lengths and heel shapes, that is) got a bit sniffy. “Anna Wintour, the woman who holds Italian fashion in the palm of her hand” tutted Corriere della Sera. Mario Boselli, president of the Italian Fashion Chamber, told the Telegraph, “She’s welcome in Milan but if she only comes for a fleeting visit, perhaps it would be better if she stayed at home.” Bold words to direct at a woman nicknamed Nuclear Wintour – Fashion Statement swears it can actually feel the blast of arctic displeasure sent Iceman-style in his direction.

Rumours and rescheduling aside, all this fashionably dressed panic does raise the question: just how much power can one woman hold – and why? Vogue is outsold by its own stablemate, InStyle – not to mention the rather less chic magazines that you find by the supermarket checkout. Why don’t their readers count? Because, dahling, they are the wrong type of readers.

The truth – like it or not – is that Vogue has an enormous influence, not just on trends but on celebrities, too. When Cheryl Cole was on the cover of Vogue UK, you knew her rehabilition from the days of toilet brawls was complete. The fact that almost none of us can afford the clothes they advertise is – sorry – utterly irrelevant. Not convinced? Then we leave you with a quote from Caroline Weber from the New York Times in 2006: “Vogue is to our era what the idea of God was, in Voltaire’s famous parlance, to his: if it didn’t exist, we would have to invent it.”

Kate Carter and Emma Laurence


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