While I was walking down the magazine aisle at CVS the other day looking for a great editorial spread (actually, I was looking for a great substantial magazine besides Vogue), I picked up the May 2009 issue of Teen Vogue, which I don't usually read, since I think it's too unmature, childish and girly, but I did anyways to see the content (and it has nothing to do with Miley Cyrus, who happens to be in the cover), while flipping through the FOB and beyond I find the first page of the main editorial spread titled "World Traveler" and I immediately recognize the background and I go - Are you serious, this is Peru!!!. I was literally stupefied when I kept looking at the continuing pages. I couldn't believe the editors at Teen Vogue chose Cuzco (southern region of Peru) to shoot their editorial, I mean, I'm sure there were lots of options besides Peru, they could have chosen any other South American country with similar landscape such as Bolivia, Ecuador or even they could have done the shoot at home.
To be brutally honest, Peru is not a big fashion place and by saying that, I don't mean to put my country down in any way, shape or form. The average native peruvian who resides in Peru does not take fashion too seriously for different reasons, and one being the economy. As a third-world country, you can imagine, their top priorities are not fashion or style, but the economic status and the education level that's being offered there. Of course, I wish things were different. I wish there was a Peruvian fashion week, where top peruvian designers and craftsmen show their talent on the runway, museums or at trunk shows like in New York or Paris, and editors and celebrities from everywhere were sitting front-row and everything else but the truth of the matter is - a bit delusional.
In the other hand, though, let's look at the positive. The spread was shot specifically at Macchu Picchu, which is one of the seven wonders of the world (if you didn't know) and I love the fact that the spread focuses on the culture as well as the fashion. Cuzco is a huge tourism spot for travelers around the globe and it has a super rich culture, architecture and food. I feel that this spread is somehow trying to communicate an unequivocal message - fashion is universal, it exist everywhere, maybe in places you never been or heard before, it's international and is composed of not just fabulous clothes but also people who you may not consider fabulous, it's not just external but internal as well, embrace the change.
The spread was shot by Arthur Elgort, styled by Havana Laffitte and feature up and coming model Jessica Cline. Pictures from teenvogue.com