Article by Ceri Wheeldon
The June edition of Vogue has Dame Judi Dench grace its cover. This is a regular issue – not an ‘age’ special…and it is the main cover – not an advertorial supplement.
Well done to Vogue for taking this step. Could it be in part a reflection of a shift in changing values as we all reassess priorities during this time of stress and imposed lockdown? Ironically Dame Judi who has not let her age define her career, is in the very group where because of her age lockdown may be her reality for longer than most of us.
Dame Judi has always come across as authentic. She has embraced her age as her career continues to go from strength to strength. She did not (as best we know) go down the route of Botox and fillers, but simply chose to age gracefully , in her own way. Her style has remained constant – flowing kaftan-like dresses and tunics. Not a slave to fashion.
Substance over image
In light of the current crisis, perhaps seeing Dame Judi on a Vogue cover is just what we needed to see. A bit like the Queen, Dame Judi exudes a sense of calm, dependability, likeability, authenticity, longevity. A sense of hope and a signal of being able to achieve at any age, winning her first Oscar in 1999 at the age of 64 (although she has had seven nominations). Dame Judi is one of the most appreciated actresses of our time. She represents sustainability – she is an actress rather than a celebrity – the opposite to the concept of ‘fast fashion’. Substance over image.
It will be interesting to see if other publications follow Vogue’s lead – and also what Vogue will do in the future. Will they revert to their more traditional covers, or will they continue to reflect the changing mood of the nation?
Meanwhile, let’s celebrate both Vogue and Dame Judi’s landmark cover.