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Vogue Paris December 2003/January 2004: Catherine Deneuve

I am absolutely thrilled to share with you today's guest post — a dazzling review by Dara Block from Sisters in Black Frocks in which she analyzes the December 2003/January 2004 issue of Vogue Paris featuring Catherine Deneuve as guest editor. Carine Roitfeld excelled at selecting intriguing guest editors for her special December/January issues and Deneuve was her iconic first choice. The inspired issue captures an intimate glimpse of the French legend's life commencing with the seductive cover shot by Mario Testino and concluding with the charming likeness by Sempé. Dara's review makes me feel nearly as if I am looking at the issue myself, I hope you will enjoy her lively and thorough analysis as much as I do.

If I had to decide what I love most about the magazine Vogue Paris I would have to say the December/January guest editor issue. I bought my first copy in 2005, and from that year on it has become an annual tradition. If there was one issue I really regret not purchasing at the time of publication it would have to be the Catherine Deneuve issue from 2004. I remember looking through it, but for some reason I decided not to buy it... what a terrible mistake. Years later after searching on eBay, I was finally able to get my hands on it and what an issue it is! Now with Carine Roitfeld departing Vogue Paris I am really starting to appreciate the beauty of these special collector issues. Catherine Deneuve was actually the first guest editor for the magazine... I think Carine made a perfect choice!

The magazine is separated into five sections. The first, Deneuve à la mode, features images and analysis of iconic moments from her films such as Repulsion (1965), Belle de jour (1966), La chamade (1968), Le sauvage (1975), and The Hunger (1983), to name a few. These film stills clearly illustrate her impact on French cinema through her performances and her sense of style. She definitely knows how to act for the camera. If you are a fan of Deneuve's fashion on screen this section is for you.

The second section entitled Mon blond discusses Catherine Deneuve's iconic blonde hair color. Yes, her hair color. It seems that women continue to be inspired by her signature blonde locks. This part of the magazine even offers advice from hairstylists and professionals on how to achieve that perfect shade of blonde... just like Deneuve herself.

Part three, Deneuve: The Other Blonde of Cinema: A Portrait, is my favorite part of the issue. It features gorgeous photos of Deneuve taken by photographer Mario Testino and a collage of her favorite looks from various Vogue layouts throughout her career. She really is quite astonishing in front of the camera, as both a model and an actress she can take on any persona. I feel so proud to say that I actually own the Lanvin dress that Catherine Deneuve herself is wearing in this montage.

The fourth part of the issue is entitled intimately Deneuve: The Star's Portfolio and collects the things that have inspired her throughout her life, ranging from mementos such as a letter written to her from photographer Bruce Weber, a photo taken of her by Richard Avedon, a cute drawing made by fashion designer and dear friend Yves Saint Laurent, to even the beauty products that she keeps in her bathroom (and refrigerator!) in Paris. It is very cool to discover these small details... that's what I love so much about Vogue Paris... it gets so personal and even a little quirky!

Following the look at her influences is a little bonus section with photos taken of Deneuve in 2003 by Mario Sorrenti. She looks so stunning in these photos with that natural green background. She proves that women can be beautiful at any age.

The final part of the issue is entitled Sempé: The Graphic Artist Moves Into Deneuve; His Neighbor. It is a stylish cartoon about Deneuve in his adorable style that you may recognize from covers of the New Yorker. Clearly she is comfortable making fun of herself and her iconic persona... I love that Catherine Deneuve doesn't take herself too seriously.

I would have to say that the Catherine Deneuve Vogue Paris issue is definitely one of the most intriguing special guest editor issues. It is on par with the issues created by Sofia Coppola and Charlotte Gainsbourg, two of my past favorite guest editors. This issue is more like a scrapbook of memories than a magazine. You get to flash back on Deneuve's career and see her influence on film and fashion today. There is something so personal and unique about this issue, it's almost as if you are having a conversation with Catherine Deneuve about her life and all the things that have inspired her artistically. Yes, this December/January issue has lots of style, but there is also something educational about it, too. I learned about the films she likes, the actors and the musicians she admires, and even more obscure details like her favorite nail polish brand or what she likes to keep in her refrigerator. For sure, I got to see a different side of Catherine Deneuve that I typically do not see in publications. I am quite proud to add this issue to my collection of inspirational Vogue Paris magazines. I guess if I could use one word to sum up this issue it would have to be — Deneuvely!

Vogue Paris editorial images © 2003 Condé Nast. All Rights Reserved.

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Reader Comments (8)

justt awesomee!! i love the post!!! amazing!!! :D the photos are sooo lovely!! beautiful! :)
1 mai 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLilly
Oh Lilly!!!! Thank you very much!!! I feel lucky that Dara was kind enough to share this amazing issue with all of us.

1 mai 2011 | Registered Commenterkellina
Catherine Deneuve is wonderful and your blogs are amazing! Kisses from Brazil!
1 mai 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCaca
Wow, great review!
1 mai 2011 | Unregistered Commentercca.
So bummed I miss this one: Catherine Deneuve is my icon! Thanks for sharing X
1 mai 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnne
It is my pleasure, Anne! She is one of mine too. x
3 mai 2011 | Registered Commenterkellina
Thank you kindly, cca.! So happy to hear from you dear!
3 mai 2011 | Registered Commenterkellina
You are very sweet, Caca!!! Muito obrigada!! Beijos
3 mai 2011 | Registered Commenterkellina

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