Often, when a celebrity doesn’t quite look like themselves on a cover, you wonder why the magazine chose it. This, however, works so well — yes, it’s Margot Robbie, and yes, you can see it, but it’s also evocative to the point that it makes you stare to figure out who else it resembles. The beauty inspo was apparently Jane Birkin, but my first thought was Jean Shrimpton. All of it — the vibe, the gilded monochrome, the flat light and colors, it all creates a great hazy, languid summer mood. There’s a story here, or at least the feeling of one.

And there is of course also an actual printed story, the gist of which is: Margot is cool, Margot works hard, Margot’s mind is always moving, Margot has the next Suicide Squad movie coming out July 30 and so we’re going to get her at some premieres. I do wonder if Margot wishes her famous “I wrote to Quentin Tarantino” story wouldn’t chase her forever — I am not a fan, and one imagines many women in his orbit might agree with me that the more he talks, the deeper he digs himself — and I wish she had not worked with David O. Russell because THIS story is really fucking bad and unsettling. But she’s hardly the only person to have worked with him since that came out, and I guess… celebrities maybe need to start Googling their prospective coworkers sometimes? Mostly, I’m surprised that story didn’t chase him very hard, which is about him and not her, so I’ll stop this digression now.

Oh, and speaking of retro, they even got her a sports Walkman:

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Retro from a different era than the rest of it, but an amusing touch nonetheless. Oh, how I coveted one of those little yellow rectangles. That one might just be a radio, but remember the devastation when your cassette started to slow down in the middle of a run, and you knew it meant the batteries were about to go? Oh, how we lived on the edge.

[Photo by Lachlan Bailey; the August 2021 issue of British Vogue is on newsstands now]