It’s a case of back to the future past with the second of Emmanuelle Alt’s Vogue Paris covers hitting newsstands – and bearing a striking resemblance to the magazine’s October 1997 cover (also starring Kate Moss). Sure, the more recent of the two has some male hands reaching purposefully into the frame, but there’s little hint of the fantasy that seemed to sparkle around the edges of everything her predecessor, Carine Roitfeld, put her hand to.

Benjamin Kanarek’s blog has a great read by Anne Enke about Emmanuelle Alt wanting to “feature a girl who looks like she belongs in real life”.

I don’t need Emmanuelle Alt to show me women’s everyday reality; I need her to show women a way out of it, expressing with reassurance what French women know about living, loving and pushing the sensual envelope at every age – because they really do.

vogue paris covers 1997 and 2011

I find Anne right: what Vogue France had under Carine Roitfeld was a point of difference. And not just any point of difference; a cultural one. One Roitfeld herself embodied. One that sits flush with the lifestyle outlook of the French as they are at least perceived by those outside the country.

And the key word in Anne’s quote is age: every age. Any magazine can point out how great something looks when draped across the limbs of a perfect 18-year-old body. And we don’t have any issue with that. But Roitfeld really did show that sensuality goes beyond age and physicality.

Emmanuelle Alt may turn it into something utterly purgatorial or something completely inspiring for the everyday woman – but either way, by presenting the mainstream view of fashion, something so many other titles already do quite well, Vogue France will simply fail to stand out.

You can view a larger version of Kate Moss’ May 2011 cover after the jump.

kate moss emmanuelle alt

Hat tip to Fashion Copious.

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