Saturday, April 13, 2024

Vanity Fair Blinks: After 2 Diverse Covers It’s Back to Blonde Basics with Elle Fanning, Hounds on the Cover


Vanity Fair blinks this month.

After two diverse covers in a row– Viola Davis, then Breonna Taylor* — the magazine for someone no one can remember has gotten back to basics.

Elle Fanning, blonde and 21, is on the cover, with hounds. If you didn’t know better, you’d swear it was Town & Country. The byline is Rolling Stone veteran Jancee Dunn, which reflects the influence of the Entertainment Weekly crowd that came in to revive VF’s Hollywood status. It also guarantees a nice People kind of cover, with no revelations. I was sort of hoping Jancee would ask Elle and Dakota Fanning about being sisters competing for acting roles. This could have been Olivia deHavilland and Joan Fontaine 2.0. Alas, crickets.

The new Vanity Fair cover has cut lines about royals, Richard Avedon, and Vera Wang which is code “It’s safe to read this now that Ta-Nehisi Coates is gone.”

Will Elle and pals revive VF’s readership? Who knows? Right now they’ve partnered with Astra Zeneca to produce a pandemic vaccine that will guarantee an Oscar party on April 25, 2021. Knowing the mag, they will arrange with the city of Los Angeles for their guests to be inoculated first before all other SoCal residents.

*PS that Breonna Taylor issue had a very short lifespan on sale, didn’t it?


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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