Eleven months ago, we published our first digital issue with Taylor Russell, followed by three more, graced by Lily Collins, Halsey, and Jamie Chung. Every single one was shot in the middle of lockdown. Seasoned teams of creatives—photographers, videographers, fashion stylists, hair, makeup and nail pros, our own editors—were tasked with capturing inspiring images in new, nearly impossible conditions. COVID tests replaced air-kisses as the first item on each day’s agenda. Boxed lunches took the place of buffets. Indoor studios with strict safety protocols became the sets of choice over luxe locations.
So, as the state of the world seemed to be advancing this spring, we planned our issue-versary with celebratory eyes: Joey King at the Chateau Marmont for the Reentry Issue. We got Joey (and one inspiring cover story). Shot her at the Chateau. But that optimistic theme? Well, two out of three, as Hallie explains below. Instead, our Fall Issue hits on the emotions we’ve been writing about for a year-and-a-half too long—anxiety, fear, frustration, pain—written through the lens of strength, fortitude, and growth, which we’ve garnered in varying degrees during this time. As we continue to be in this thing together, we hope our fifth issue inspires some reflection on how far we’ve all come—and how much closer an actual reentry truly is.
-Leah Wyar, SVP & General Manager
To be transparent, our original theme for this issue was "reentry." We started the planning months ago and, at the time, it seemed like we were on our way out of this thing. We were getting ready to head back to the office in the fall. We were allowed to walk around without our masks on. We were fantasizing about lipstick and party outfits and what it might feel like to reach the "after" times. We shot our cover star, Joey King, at the Chateau Marmont with a champagne glass in her hand. Then, that all changed. Mask mandates are back and the Delta variant is bringing COVID cases up again. Danger is still in the air and we're all left somewhere in the in-between.
Instead of reentry, this issue highlights that confused, hopeful, scared, patient, in-between feeling when we don't exactly know how to feel. It's our fall issue, which is relevant both seasonally (in that the launch is between summer and winter) and in the alternative definition of "fall"—i.e. a sudden and uncontrollable descent. We've all lost our balance.
Here, you'll find stories about all of it: progress and languishing, social anxiety, the neuroscience of gratitude, the cost of pain, and our realizations through every ebb and flow of this pandemic so far. We have things to do this fall from a distance if you need to get the hell out of your apartment. We have all the beauty looks and clothing pieces we can't wait to wear once we're finally on the other side. We want to romanticize our commutes again. We're not there yet, but in all the fear and relentless stress, comes cautious optimism and hope for brighter days. We want maximalism. We want impracticality. And, mostly, we just want to stay safe and fulfilled in our lives as we wait for what the future holds. I hope some of these pieces make you feel supported—or at the very least like you're not alone. There is a sliver of peace in that.
-Hallie Gould, Associate Editorial Director