Lindsey Wixson is our May cover
Lindsey Wixson stars on our May 2017 subscribers’ cover wearing Dior, with jewellery by Nirav Modi. Photographed by Erik Madigan Heck for Harper’s Bazaar
Gardening and fashion might seem worlds apart, but as someone who is immersed in both of these activities, I’ve grown increasingly aware of what they share, rather than their differences. Each is shaped by the seasons, and by the knowledge that change is inevitable, even though a number of hardy perennials will flower anew each spring. Perhaps as a consequence, several of the greatest couturiers have also designed or restored remarkably beautiful gardens: Coco Chanel’s artfully naturalistic landscape at La Pausa, her villa on the French Riviera, where she planted swathes of lavender and transplanted fully grown olive-trees; Yves Saint Laurent’s Jardin Majorelle, a lush, painterly oasis in Marrakesh; Christian Dior’s Provençal paradise, La Colle Noire, filled with his favourite roses and lily of the valley.
Hence my delight in this edition, which is burgeoning with greenery and florals throughout – beginning with our cover story celebrating Lindsey Wixson, whose gap-toothed smile is as charming as her rosebud lips. We also venture into the wilds of Dartmoor for a fashion shoot in Wistman’s Wood, where the most ancient of the moss-clad oaks are 500 years old. Legend has it that the forest is an enchanted home to supernatural creatures and spirits, although in the event, our team encountered a bevy of swans rather than a gathering of ghosts. Elsewhere in the issue, Alex Preston explores the Bazaar archives in our 150th-anniversary year, to discover a story of love, loss and betrayal that was played out in the pages of the magazine in the 1930s between Evelyn Waugh, his wife and her lover. All three were contributors to Bazaar, and despite the deep unhappiness caused by the end of Waugh’s marriage, his extraordinary talent blossomed in this magazine: perhaps most notably with his series entitled ‘A Flat in London’, which was subsequently published (with a darker ending) as A Handful of Dust, that great masterpiece of 20th-century fiction.
Lindsey Wixson wears Simone Rocha dress and Chanel jewellery in the April 2017 issue of Harper’s Bazaar UK. Photographed by Erik Madigan Heck
The interplay of darkness and light is also at the heart of fashion at its most inspired; which is something I found myself considering when I watched Karl Lagerfeld’s latest Chanel Métiers d’Art show at the Ritz in Paris. Having spent many years researching and writing a biography of Coco Chanel, I could not help but reflect on her past life at the hotel – where she slept every night, and died in January 1971, at the age of 87. By the time of her death, Chanel had endured tragedy as well as success; one of the most famous women in the world, she was also lonely – yet still courageously independent, and intent on creating a couture collection that she did not intend to be her last.
And as I write these words, I am also reminded of Robert Herrick’s lines of poetry, composed in the 17th century, yet as true now as in a long-ago spring:
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying…
Go gather, then, but plant too, in the hope of a verdant future, and the summers still to come…
Harper’s Bazaar May 2017 newsstand cover shot by Erik Madigan Hek