Lessons Learnt from Vogue’s Kitchen

For the second year in a row, Vogue’s Kitchen very quickly became a sold out event, and for good reason.

This inspiring and stylish luncheon starring Vogue Australia editor-in-chief Edwina McCann continues to be a highlight of the AFF Program, especially considering the audience this year included Vogue Australia and Adelaide ex-pat Christine Centenera, Vogue Australia Fashion Editor Pip Moroney, and leading Australian stylist Lana Wilkinson.

Set at the very suitable Sean’s Kitchen in the Adelaide Casino, an intimate group of guests gathered to hear from not only Edwina, but the Creative Director of Vogue Australia and GQ Australia, Jillian Davison as well.

Together they entertained guests with an insightful behind the scenes look at just what goes into the makings of the incredible photo shoots we see on the pages of Vogue Australia each month.

While guests enjoyed an exquisite menu designed by Sean Connolly – including a beautiful roast baby beetroot salad, slow cooked ocean trout and of course, Sean’s Orgy of Mushrooms – Edwina and Jillian discussed some poignant photo shoots from both of their times with Vogue Australia.

The Story Behind the Story

Talking about Adelaide and its emerging fashion industry, Edwina explained that what sets Adelaide’s Vogue readers apart from the rest of Australia’s, is that we are so interested into what goes into the making of the beautiful imagery we see on the pages.

Jillian touched on how she approaches each photo shoot, explaining that the images start with stories that are unique to Australia. The spirit of Australian women is what she loves to capture in her shoots.

Edwina informed us that each shoot entails an enormous amount of work. It starts with her and the Vogue team attending fashion shows at the major fashion weeks around the world, seeing the collections and then breaking these down into trends. They create trend books, or ‘bibles’ as Jillian explained, which they use to decide which trends will be relevant to the Australian audience.

While they create many of the Vogue Australia fashion shoots in New York and the US, they frequently work with many Australian creatives, and adapt the photo shoots into Australian stories.

“We look through the prism of what’s relevant to the Australian audience” – Edwina.

Creating a Vogue Australia fashion story is no mean feat either. Edwina explained that all of the clothes are flown in from all around the world, and often the designers have only created 1 version of a particular look. On any occasion there may be 6 Vogue’s from around the world wanting the look for their shoot, so it may be flown into New York and used in several photo shoots in one day.

Creating a Cover

A cover story is a different story in itself as well. Edwina and Jillian both discussed the reasons that celebrities – as opposed to models – are put on the cover of not only Vogue Australia, but most magazines around the world. While a primary reason for this is to grow readership numbers, Edwina also told us that increasingly the Vogue Australia audience is so interested in the story behind the person they put on the cover. Especially now, with the accompaniment of video content, social media and the like, audiences can get a unique insight into the cover stars.

A Social Responsibility

Throughout their talk, Jillian and Edwina continued to return to the notion that all of the fashion stories in Vogue Australia centre around a particular story. However, they’re finding more and more now that the stories they are telling are about the issues women are facing today. They’re addressing the #MeToo movement, gender diversity and gender fluidity, and a lot of issues that are important to their readers.

Edwina believes it’s Vogue Australia’s social responsibility, considering the extraordinary influence that they can have on audiences, to address these issues on the pages of the magazine.

“We can address these issues, but we can do it in a really uplifting way” – Edwina.

It was once again an incredible afternoon of food and fashion, and we can definitely say that we took away so much from two of the most influential women in fashion and media.