Simone Ashley Leads British Vogue’s Four December Covers

But what they did to her on this cover... The post Simone Ashley Leads British Vogue’s Four December Covers first appeared on Go Fug Yourself.

I suppose it’s weird to say anyone is “leading” a pack of four equally distributed covers, but at the moment anyway, Simone Ashley seems like the buzziest of the four small-screen stars that British Vogue chose — though that may change in a minute, once The Crown launches and Elizabeth Debicki steps into her moment as Princess Diana (a moment that I fully credit to Jessica, who was shouting for that long before it happened), and then THAT in turn may give way to Yasmin Finney the next season of Doctor Who begins. Ashley, Debicki, and Finney (also of Heartstoppers on Netflix) are joined by Sienna Miller, who has stepped more into TV lately and has an Apple TV+ show coming up called Extrapolations.

One title that Simone Ashley absolutely runs away with here is Got The Most Hosed By Her Cover Shoot. Possibly literally, as she looks like someone dumped cold water on her:

In the story, Simone tears up when talking about her regular hair and makeup gurus: “They understand my skin and the texture of my hair, and when getting ready for events, we find the joy within it. And it’s not a superficial thing – it’s about normalising dark skin and curly hair for girls who need to see that normalised.” What a damn shame British Vogue didn’t use them for this shoot. Look at that stunning woman in the GIF up top, and then look at what the entire styling team did with, or to, her. What a waste of a spectacular canvas. A very generous interpretation might be that it references that scene in Bridgerton where Anthony gets knocked in the drink, but… I genuinely don’t think so. I think it’s just a bad photo. Two bad photos, actually, although at least I like her outfit in this one. On the cover she’s wearing underpants that remind me of the clear white gauzy ones they give women in the hospital after they have a baby.

I didn’t recognize Elizabeth Debicki at first, until I actually clocked her name on the cover, and hers is definitely weird too:

But this one at least feels purposefully weird. There is a vision here. Do I GET it? Not really. And I keep thinking she’s someone else — this last time, I scrolled down and saw Lady Gaga. So that’s not the mark of a successful cover, but at least her makeup works and she’s lit better and, again, the strangeness of the aesthetic at least required some artistic direction beyond, “Add more gel.”

The story is a thorough discussion of her upcoming role as Diana, and this is my favorite bit: “Why am I always playing a sad, lonely, wealthy lady on a boat?” she says at one point, deadpan. Yet it is inarguable. Whether in The Night Manager, the hit John Le Carré television adaptation, in which she whizzed around Majorca playing girlfriend to Hugh Laurie’s arms dealer, or on a superyacht with cruel billionaire Kenneth Branagh in Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, “I’ve cornered the market,” she says. “I’ve no idea how. I’d only ever been on a ferry before.” I think she’s ALSO on boats in The Man From UNCLE, right?

Sienna Miller’s cover is basically the EXACT same post, but minus… everything else:

They’re like a Before and After photo for a gentle makeup-removing cleanser, or something. This is quite beautiful, because the simplicity of it draws you RIGHT into her eyes. Her profile is a cozy read — harder to quote, maybe, but because in a sense it does feel like chatting with your friend. She talks about Chadwick Boseman putting some of his salary toward her getting the right fee for a movie they made together, and about lockdown with her ex and their new partners — who are now former partners, because “the wheels came off and everything went horribly wrong.” Her wry note that this will make an excellent play someday is, I hope, something about which she isn’t kidding. DO IT. You can play yourselves!

And here’s Yasmin Finney, whose cover is lovely and also reminds me a little more of something Allure would do. (None of these really support the argument for Edward Enninful’s creative genius, except perhaps Debicki’s, because it’s so strange and yet arresting.) Yasmin is a trans actress who steps into Doctor Who’s universe next season alongside the first-ever Black Doctor, to be played by Ncuti Gatwa. She talks a lot in her piece about what it was like for her growing up, and it ends on a lovely note of victory: “I just like to know that people are realising that everything I did from a young age, I wasn’t in the wrong. Everything I did was perfectly fine.”


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