This article is an analysis of Vogue cover pages for issues published between January to December, 2016, throughout my research I will look at the main discourses Vogue magazine is trying to convey through the headlines of it magazine covers.
When examining the lexical use of words in the headlines we find some stand out more than others, mainly focusing on words such as “Change”, Revolution” and “Next Wave”. Giving a closer look on the published cover issues the following were observed:
The January issue has as its main headline “BE YOURSELF” and another that states “FASHION’S NEW FREEDOM”, early on in 2016 Vogue magazine is setting what it will stand for throughout the year, that is, women empowerment by emphasizing expressing true self which is in-line with Millennial’s aspirations, which I believe the magazine’s target readers. The February issue headline “Spring Hit List 109 – STYLE CHANGING PIECES”, although using the verb “Changing” however, the context is still about fashion, after all Vogue is a fashion magazine so they can’t deviate away from their core subject, but it’s evident that they are employing words that implies aspiration for adjustment and challenge the status quo.
The March issue shows the magazine’s political desires at its most, its support for Hilary Clinton, the democratic candidate for the United States election in 2016.
Using the words such as “Next Wave”, “Revolution” and “Change” were very consistent. If not stated candidly they were conveyed through quoting celebrities who are being interviewed, examples include; quoting Amy Schumer in the July issue “I DON’T WANT TO PLAY THE GAME, I WANT TO REDEFINE IT”, also quoting Lupita “I WANT TO CREATE OPPORTUNITIES FOR PEOPLE OF COLOR”. One would’ve thought words such as “Revolution” and “Change” can be used when commenting on political or serious articles addressing culture and opinions, but the editors and writers at Vogue used them brilliantly to reflect Fashion issues. Other examples include the April’s issue headline, “Fashion’s NEW WAVE”, and “BRAVO! A TONY’S SALUTE TO HAMILTON AND BROADWAY’S REVOLUTIONARY YEAR” in the June issue, we can give notice of using the word “Revolutionary” when talking about a Broadway show, another headline reflecting the same, “THE RIGHT-NOW REVOLUTION – RALPH LAUREN’S NEW FRONTIER” in the October cover issue.
The September issue, one of the most celebrated issues by vogue, shows only two headlines, one of them states, “Generation K – KENDALL JENNER – THE FACE THAT LAUNCHED A BILLION LIKES”, giving center stage for the celebrity featured in the issue, the issue reflects pure direction towards fashion.
As examined we can see Vogue magazine in its 2016 covers tried to insert political meanings to its articles and also reflected a call for change, although the magazine extended its political aspirations throughout the year, and due to the outcome result of the U.S elections, we can conclude its endeavors didn’t succeed. However, this is an excellent example that shows when one publication steps to other areas away from its core purpose and that what Vogue magazine did and I believe it continues to do to this day.