My first thought when I saw Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Vogue cover was, “Oooh, Miss Tyra would go nuts for this pose.” It’s what she and J Alexander used to call “broken-down doll,” all unusual shapes and angles. I should be worrying about whether her shoulder is out of joint, but instead to me she looks like a sculpture or a museum piece, while her face glows like an old painting. The cover is much like Fleabag itself, then, in the end: Unusual, a little bit twisted, and ultimately a cool piece of art.
I am completely thrown off by the font choices; someone on Twitter pointed out that the serif stuff is the British Vogue style, and the non-serif is what’s typical on a U.S. Vogue cover. I can’t imagine Anna intentionally tipping her hat to her UK sibling publication/competitor, no matter who was on the cover, but… maybe? Mostly it looks like a rendering error. I’m also curious what Vogue’s typical lead time is. Phoebe swept the Emmys in September; do we think PWB was on Anna Wintour’s radar in a real, cover-snagging way until all those wins happened? It’s certainly possible, I suppose, but even with the fascination with the jumpsuit and Hot Priest I think Fleabag (and her involvement with Killing Eve’s first season) may have felt too niche for a Vogue cover until she took that awards show by storm. The interview took place about a month after her Emmy wins and I wonder if Anna just sort of rode that wave and made it happen quickly.
The story is a delight. Usually I don’t care for it when a reporter inserts him or herself into the story too much, but this one is very well done because it’s never in service of making the reporter look awesome; it’s always done to bring the reader right into the experience of wandering around New York City with Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and every aside about their meanderings set a mood. Obviously I highly recommend spending the day with them yourself, given that it won’t even take you ten minutes. Savor it.