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Paloma Elsesser, Jill Kortleve And Precious Lee Are British Vogue’s April 2023 Cover Stars
The arrival of a major new face in modelling is always a thrill to behold. Runways become re-energised, editorials fizz with new immediacy and a fresh mood can sweep fashion as someone tilts the very notion of how we want to feel – sometimes, even, of who we are.
From Twiggy to Jerry, Naomi to Gisele, past decades have certainly had models as lightning rods. Rarer still is when three stars collide. The last time it happened in such a definable manner was, of course, “The Trinity” of the late 1980s and early 1990s, when Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell and Linda Evangelista united to become the fun-loving, fast-living, impossibly magnetic embodiment of fashion itself. Later joined by the likes of Claudia Schiffer, Kate Moss and others, their energy and beauty ricocheted through the end of one century and into a new one as they became a byword for style itself.
And now, some 30 years on from that inception moment, modern fashion watchers will be aware that the past few seasons have brought another trio to global attention. With a shared mission born from friendship, and squarely plugged into the more revolutionary energy of the current zeitgeist, this month’s cover crowns the rise of three extraordinary models.
Paloma Elsesser, Jill Kortleve and Precious Lee are three exceptional women whose beauty is only one building block in the powerful space they now hold in the fashion industry. From catwalks to campaigns, for designers such as Donatella Versace and Marc Jacobs, they have become the go-to faces when it comes to resonating with modern women the world over.
Their ascent to the pinnacle of fashion is right on time. After returning from the recent autumn/winter 2023 fashion shows, and seeing countless catwalks where diversity of beauty, and of bodies, had taken several steps back, I couldn’t be happier to take this moment to celebrate this trio. This cover was not conceived as a statement. To me, they simply are the supermodels for a new generation. Yet it seems the world still has some catching up to do. On top of setting trends and inspiring creatives, Jill, Precious and Paloma are leading the way.
So what does this new modelling trinity have to say about our times? What ephemeral combination of identity, beauty and personality have combined to make them feel so very now? Writer Janelle Okwodu speaks to the girls of the moment for this issue, while photographers Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin join forces with fashion editor Gabriella Karefa-Johnson to create a series of stunning fashion portraits. As Lee puts it: “How often do girls see a [US] size 16 brown, chocolate girl jumping through the air on a Vogue cover or being called a supermodel? None of us aspired to a title [per se], but inspiring others on this level is powerful.”
Elsewhere, the joy of spring is in full effect, from Irina Shayk showcasing an easy seasonal style on the streets of Manhattan to actor Emma Corrin and friends indulging in the best red-carpet looks under the watchful eye of stylist, and current prince of premiere dressing, Harry Lambert. Recent Nobel Prize winner Annie Ernaux takes us on an erotic and emotional trip down memory lane, while Vogue has an exclusive audience with the UK’s new emperor of rap: the one and only Central Cee, a true modern poet. Enjoy.
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