Tonight Kirstie Clements is launching her memoir The Vogue Factor in Sydney, and in the lead up to the book’s release the former editor of Vogue Australia spoke to Stephanie Wood of Good Weekend in an engrossing feature titled “The Devil Wears Witchery” in which she discusses her controversial sacking from the helm of Australia’s premier fashion magazine.
A few of the more intriguing take aways from the piece include:
– The insinuation that Clements was an old fashioned ‘editrix’ in the vein of icy bitch queen Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada: There are whispers that, behind her back, some Vogue staff, or perhaps former Vogue staff, called Clements “the devil wears Country Road”… And later: Says a fashion insider, “One minute she’d be all over you like a rash like she’s your best friend, and the next time you saw her she would be an icicle.”
– She’s currently a contributor to the not-especially-chic high street brand Sportscraft as a blogger: “Oh gosh, no,” she replies when I suggest it might be somewhat of a comedown. “No, it’s not Chanel, but I don’t have that snobbery about labels.”
– She claims to have been considered for the editor’s role at the pending Australian version of Elle Magazine that is being published by Bauer Media – the major competitor for Vogue publishing house NewsLifeMedia: She says that, soon after she lost the job, she had talks with Bauer Media about the editor’s gig at the new Elle Australia magazine, launching later this year, but that she withdrew from the running.
– She doesn’t respond to the question of how her successor Edwina McCann is editing Vogue: It can’t be easy for her though; watching former Harper’s Bazaar arch rival Edwina McCann in her old job. Can McCann edit Vogue well? There’s a long pause. “I can’t answer that … can I ponder on that a minute?” says Clements. [Incidentally, I’ve been pretty excited by the work Edwina has done at Vogue, particularly the impressive overhaul of the digital and social components of the brand.]
– Her resistance to ‘new media’ (that she discussed with Pedestrian in length shortly before her departure from Vogue) is a bit of a talking point within the industry: Says a fashion insider of Kirstie Clements’s reign as Vogue editor, “She settled things down but she was by no means a flag bearer for a new era.” And: … by the time Clements and her Gucci bag were shown the NewsLifeMedia door last year, the whispers had been building for a while: that Vogue had lost its lustre, had become workmanlike, safe, beige even. “A very mediocre editor” is one industry veteran’s assessment of Clements. “Everyone in the industry had been saying that she needed to move on,” says another.
Kirstie will get her own back with a full download of her experiences in The Vogue Factor which is released today. Definitely one for next month’s book club.