As we revealed over the weekend, Taylor Swift is American Vogue's February cover girl. Swift's first-ever Vogue cover story and the accompanying editorial are now live on Vogue.com and we're digging the Brigitte Bardot-meets-Marianne Faithful-meets-Nico vibe. The 22-year-old looks glamorous, but age-appropriate; and sure, her hair is straightened and she's wearing more fashion-y clothes that we're used to seeing her in, but it's Vogue and she still looks like herself.
Most of those fashion-y clothes come courtesy of Rodarte--Swift attended the label's spring 2012 show last September (who wasn't in that front row?) and sat on Anna Wintour's left in a cream dress from the Mulleavys' fall '11 collection, while Vogue's November cover star, Rooney Mara, sat on Wintour's right wearing all black. The Vogue story begins at this fashion show. Jonathan Van Meter make note of the somewhat comical juxtaposition:
Perched here among the professionally blasé, she is all smiley gee-whiz confidence, full of hugs and exclamation points. Strangely enough, her opposite is sitting just two seats down: Rooney Mara, still in Lisbeth Salander mode, wearing all black and looking pale-to-green spooky. An editor sitting nearby jokes that the two could be the good witch and the wicked witch from The Wizard of Oz.
All jokes aside, a significant part of the story is about Taylor Swift's "look." For one, the sub-headline reads, "The country pop sensation embraces a glamorous new look" and the rest of the story sees Swift and Van Meter visiting the showrooms of three of Anna's favorite designers: Alexander Wang, Prabal Gurung and Joseph Altuzarra. However, the photo spread is all about Rodarte.
Swift wears the label in every shot, and not just spring 2012. The Mario Testino-lensed editorial is a veritable look back at the Mulleavys' career with pieces dating back to spring 2008. It's a pretty big coup for the designers and reminds us of Kristen Stewart's Vogue cover story from exactly one year ago. In the February 2011 issue (including the cover), Stewart wore Proenza Schouler exclusively and even posed with designers Jack McCullough and Lazarao Hernandez for one shot.
Like Rodarte, Proenza was a brand straddling the the line between up-and-coming independent designer and established, commercial brand. Later in 2011, Proenza increased their advertising presence (their first ad campaign launched in fall 2010) and Andrew Rosen bought a large stake in the company. Vogue (read: Anna Wintour) surely knew that level of exposure could only help Proenza's business and improve marketability.
We wouldn't be surprised if, with this Vogue spread, Rodarte is being pushed down a similar path. After all, a big investment or acquisition (LVMH was interested back in 2010) means more money for the brand (for whom profitability has never been a strong point) which could eventually result in more advertising dollars for magazines like Vogue.
Click through for a few more shots from Taylor Swift's editorial and head over to Vogue.com for the full spread and cover story.