I’m stealing this from Jessica’s theoretical next batch of International Vogues for a couple reasons, one of them being that I am STILL struck with how little I recognize Ariana on this cover. I genuinely, truly, thought this was Whitney Port. Yes, of The Hills and The City. And yes, I was therefore genuinely, truly perplexed about why a former reality TV personality — who’s been largely out of the public eye for the last several years, never gained any traction as a fashion designer, and only worked at Elle briefly and for show — had landed one of Edward Enninful’s coveted cover slots on the UK Vogue. It was very puzzling. But then of course it turned out to be Ariana.
And, honestly, I LOVE IT. This is so much more arresting and mature and lovely than the infantilizing cat-ear, cat-eye, merry-widow stuff she wears most of the rest of the time. She looks like an adult, a serious person, one who even might spell “sometimes” correctly on her own Instagram captions. (Alas.) I think it’s fantastic, and I think Ariana — being inexorably tied to the UK after Manchester — was a perfect choice, and I would buy that and read all about how she’s coped with the last year because she really did disappear from the public eye and I suspect that imprinted on her more than we realize.
And the freckles. They are perfect. Even here, as the open-mouthed sex kitten, I take her more seriously than I do when she’s whipping around the high ponytail.
But, I did say I stole this from Jess’s future Vogue post for two reasons, and here is the second: Can we talk about Ariana and Pete Davidson? They’ve been dating for, Vulture believes, about 25 days, and yet they’re reportedly engaged, he has already inked various things onto himself as a tribute, and now people say he bought her ring as early as May? Listen, I want true love to prevail, and I know the lightning bolt does strike early and always for some couples out there. But they’re both only 24 and fresh off breakups, they’re in tough industries, she’ll be touring eventually, she’s coming off a traumatic experience, and they’ve both struggled with things — she talks in this interview about anxiety, and Pete’s been open about his own mental illnesses and attempted sobriety (I thought he’d sworn off drinking, but he appears to be cradling a red wine in this Insta) — and are now barreling REALLY FAST down this road. It’s weird and it’s juicy, and it’s sudden and it’s probably very passionate and maybe a little blurry… Can this possibly end well?