In the US, crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) are also on the rise. In August 2020, the United Nations issued a report showing that more than 1,800 racist incidents targeting AAPI people were reported during an eight-week period, from March to May 2020. More recently, nonprofit social organisation Stop AAPI Hate published a report detailing 3,292 recorded incidents in 2020; 68 per cent were towards women. On 16 March 2021, eight people – including six women of Asian descent – were shot dead at three spas in Atlanta, Georgia.
Fresh out of school and enrolled in the Fashion East programme, Charlotte Knowles and her partner Alexandre Arsenault never got time to fully formulate their brand’s identity before its stratospheric rise. The pandemic allowed the pair, who split their time between Devon and south London, to hit pause, reevaluate the business and to strategise. The original brand name, which suggests a solo project and caused issues in the US, no longer felt representative of their growing pool of collaborators, and mission to become a fully-fledged luxury house.
“[The name] needed to be concise and cryptic, while embodying the whole studio practice,” Arsenault tells British Vogue of the decision to become KNWLS. The redesigned compact logo, which Knowles says is “sharp, futuristic and sexy”, is better suited to product labelling and gives the autumn/winter 2021 collection a slick sense of precision and purpose. The starting point for the edit was born out of a more diverting kind of self-confidence, however.
Shot by British photographer Nigel Shafran in Gloucestershire, Moss fronts Self-Portrait’s campaign for the first time in her career. “I’ve always respected Self-Portrait and how Han [Chong] runs his business,” she says of the London-based brand. “I’m impressed by how it’s so instinctively driven, it’s about wanting to make women feel great without having to spend a fortune. I think that’s really important, especially at times like these.”
When is the Met Gala 2021 and the Met Gala 2022 set to take place?
Following last year’s Met Gala cancellation due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Costume Institute has announced a two-part Met Gala for 2021 and 2022. This year’s exhibition is called In America: A Lexicon of Fashion, and will open on 18 September. Pending government guidelines, a slightly smaller celebration is planned for 13 September 2021. The second part, entitled In America: An Anthology of Fashion, will fall on the first Monday of May in 2022 (5 May). Both shows will run through 5 September 2022.
What are the Met Gala 2021 and Met Gala 2022 themes?
The theme will celebrate American designers, as well cultural, political and social events that have occurred during the pandemic. “The main one was the fact that the American fashion community has been supporting us for 75 years, really since the beginning of the Costume Institute, so I wanted to acknowledge its support, and also to celebrate and reflect upon American fashion,” Andrew Bolton, the curator in charge of the Costume Institute, told Vogue. And he also felt it needed to be revisited (American Ingenuity in 1998 was the last big exhibition to cover the theme).
Tonight, the 2021 British Academy Film Awards—best known as the BAFTAs—are underway at the Royal Albert Hall in London. The ceremony, which honours the best performances in British and international film, is a two-day event. More technical prizes, such as best production design or best special visual effects, were presented last night, and the buzzier categories, like best film and best actor and actress, are being announced this evening. One star we’re sure to see onstage this evening is presenter Priyanka Chopra Jonas, who walked the red carpet with husband Nick Jonas in an embroidered red jacket and white skirt. On her Instagram page, Chopra Jonas also debuted a second BAFTAs look for the occasion—and the elegant ensemble actually has a sustainable twist.
Striking a pose in Ronald van der Kemp couture, Chopra Jonas wore the label’s black silk mikado jacket embellished with hand-painted, beaded, and pleated butterflies. She paired it with a plissé skirt that allowed the intricate jacket to shine. The total look is from the designer’s fall 2020 couture collection, which aimed to make a statement about overconsumption and overproduction. Van Der Kemp’s entire collection was entirely made by reusing pieces from his previous seasons, fashioning them into striking new garments that you would never guess are made from repurposed materials. Thinking sustainably is a rising red carpet trend. Zendaya, Billy Porter, and Saoirse Ronan have all looked to vintage or upcycled garments recently, as a way to champion giving old garments a new life. Chopra Jonas’s look, styled by Law Roach and accessorised with Bulgari jewels, proved that thoughtful style always wins.
It’s a winter evening in east London for me, but my laptop screen is lit up with the brilliant blue sky of a New Mexico morning. Regina King, the much-lauded actor enjoying a new era in her multi-chaptered career, is sitting on a balcony up in the Santa Fe hills. She wraps her zip-up hoodie tighter around herself, a pair of her trademark gold hoops swinging in her ears as she does so. “It’s not warm,” she assures me with a throaty chuckle, as I almost visibly salivate at the sun-filled scene some 5,000 miles away.
At 49, King’s creative powers are irrepressible. The past few months have seen her win – yet another – Emmy for her role in neo-noir series Watchmen and, more than three decades into her career, become the most talked-about new director in Hollywood for the upcoming film One Night in Miami, an adaptation of the Kemp Powers play of the same name. King has impressed critics with her ability to bring a cinematic quality to a story that – save for a handful of scenes – takes place within the same four walls, with four male characters. What’s more, it is her first time in the film director’s chair.
Let’s set the scene. It is 25 February 1964, Miami Beach. A 22-year-old Cassius Clay has, against all odds, beaten Sonny Liston to become boxing’s world heavyweight champion. Among the fight’s relatively meagre crowd of 8,000 is Clay’s friend Malcolm X – the charismatic civil rights figure and a leading member of the Nation of Islam – who that night throws an intimate after-party for the new title holder at his motel. He invites two others to join them: superstar singer Sam Cooke and American Football legend Jim Brown.
These are the facts. What occurred at this spontaneous celebration for the young boxer – who, two days later, would announce his conversion to Islam and a name change to Muhammad Ali – nobody but those in attendance could know for sure. (Within the year, both Malcolm X and Sam Cooke would be dead.) But decades later, American playwright Powers imagined what might have taken place; what conversations were had by these four men, titans of American culture and sport, at a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement and a turning point in their own lives.
Thandiwe Newton’s British Vogue May cover shoot is a cacophony of bold colour and print celebrating a cross-section of cultures. Handwoven striped Kenneth Ize separates, preserving centuries-old African craftsmanship techniques, sit next to British heritage checked blazers, with vintage brooches pinned to the lapels, by Holland & Holland. Duro Olowu’s brilliant clashing pattern combinations, inspired by the work of African-American artists, are amplified by whimsical corsages from New York’s family-run flower specialists M&S Schmalberg. A glittering Alexandre Vauthier slip dress looks exquisite when teamed with a crystal-flecked durag by self-taught designer Cheyenne Kimora, whose work honours Black history. This diverse display of global talent is par for the course on the pages of Edward Enninful’s Vogue, but for Newton it was imperative that her portraits represent her.
“The thing I’m most grateful for in our business right now is being in the company of others who truly see me,” asserts Newton. “And to not be complicit in the objectification of Black people as ‘others’, which is what happens when you’re the only one.” This has not always been the case, as Diana Evans finds out in the pair’s intimate conversation for the May issue, which took place 22 years after their first encounter, and after several lifetimes’ worth of learning curves for Thandiwe.
Rihanna is solely bringing back street style, and we’re so thankful for it.
Last night, the business mogul and pop star stepped out again in New York City in another sleek dinner ensemble. For the excursion, Rihanna wore a fiery red leather blazer and distressed denim by Gucci, paired with classic leather slip-on loafers from Bottega Veneta. RiRi kept her accessories pared down for the evening, opting for simple layered gold necklaces and the Santos de Cartier watch. Always one to focus on the details, Rihanna even matched her manicure—a cherry-red glaze—to her outerwear for the night.
The pop star has consistently been stepping out in showstopping looks in both New York City and Los Angeles lately, but she has potentially been working away on new music too. The singer even teased a fan last month via Instagram, hinting that a new song could be coming very soon.
The collaboration everyone needed but no one saw coming has arrived: Lady Gaga x Dom Pérignon. The essence of celebration, the pop powerhouse called upon her longtime creative collaborator Nicola Formichetti and photographer Nick Knight, who has been shooting the performer since her Monster Ball days, to make a mesmerising campaign showcasing how Gaga does champagne. The message? “Fantasy is one of humankind’s highest achievements,” asserts Knight of the side of whimsy Gaga serves up with her fizz.
“Dom Pérignon will not make a vintage unless it’s right, unless the harvest lives up to their aesthetic ideal, that sort of determination and exigency is very similar to how hard Gaga will push herself artistically,” adds Knight, who has nothing but praise for the “Stupid Love” singer’s bubbly vision. “She always pushes herself to the maximum, never gives up, and will work until she drops. She has total 100 per cent devotion to attaining the best image; I cannot ask for more than that!”
The energising images of Gaga posing with her Dom Pérignon Rosé within the “Queendom”, her frothy pink universe filled with fabulous candy floss-coloured fashion and exquisitely pale champagne, have already gone down a storm with the Little Monsters, Gaga’s dedicated fan base who have been raising emoji glasses via Instagram. “Nicola describes [the campaign] as the essence of Dom, mixed with me, warped in time,” asserts Gaga of the unabashedly bold way to celebrate the 12-year process of harvesting the pinot noir grape into a truly “magnetic” rosé.
Often, a theme will weave itself through an issue of Vogue almost of its own volition. This month that thread is legacy. Perhaps it was inevitable that, at this crossroads, we would all be thinking more deeply about our priorities and what a well-lived life means today. As the world begins to emerge and reorder itself during this new, vaccine-tempered chapter in the pandemic, I am delighted to see how many of the extraordinary women in this issue demonstrate how one’s personal choices have the power to shape the future for the better.
Take Thandiwe Newton, our cover star. In the 1990s, along with actors such as Josette Simon, she was one of the few leading Black British actresses you saw on the big screen. Beyond talented and beautiful, she went on to transcend each decade that followed, picking up major awards, leading blockbusters, becoming a mother, and working tirelessly for charitable causes. Though it was not an easy ride, and she has often endured racism and abuse in the film industry. Yet, astonishingly to me, she still seems fearless somehow, never flinching from the hard conversations and calling out toxicity wherever she finds it. She tells author Diana Evans how she almost gave up on acting, but has found her way back to herself with a new purpose, to tell the stories that matter, while also returning to using the W of her birth name. We had enormous fun on the shoot in London, where we brought together the duel influences of her Zimbabwean and British heritages. I am so pleased to at last see her on the cover of the magazine.