Image by Max Abadian
What does power mean to you?
When I was 10, I had a dream one night about my future adult life: I lived in New York in a cavernous exposed-brick loft apartment with a white grand piano and an equally grand chandelier. I dressed in hot-pink power suits and pointy-toed stilettos. I never came home until after dark, and I’d unwind standing at my floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the twinkling city lights. When I woke up, I felt on top of the world and described the scene to my father, who, concerned, asked why I’d been working so late at night and why I lived alone. Had I even eaten dinner? (Oh, dads.) He didn’t get it. In my dream, I felt happy. Fulfilled. And I probably had a Pizza Pocket in a rhinestone-bedazzled microwave waiting for me. (Yes, my impression of power was highly influenced by Jem and the Holograms and Janet Jackson’s Control video, but I was a child of the ’80s. I can’t be held responsible for that.) The point is: I felt in command of my life.
This season, designers like Jacquemus, Marni and Balenciaga are exploring what dressing powerfully means – and it looks a lot like my childhood reverie: strong, commanding shoulders, bags to be carried across the hip so hands are free and unburdened, silhouettes injected with volume to unapologetically take up space. If our Spring/Summer 2017 Trend Report doesn’t inspire you to embrace living large, then our cover star, Winnie Harlow, certainly will. Her confidence is infectious. When we met, I connected with her instantly. She’s someone I wish I had been friends with in middle school, when all I wanted to do was hide everything different about me and just blend in with everyone else. She refuses to be put into any box and isn’t afraid to say so.
In my new role at ELLE Canada, I’m thinking a lot about the power we have as women and the power we still need to fight for. So many of us were taught to fit in. Stay quiet. Don’t make a scene. But not in the pages of this magazine. I promise that, through free-spirited and intelligent conversation, we will continue to inform, challenge and excite. Our stories on fashion, beauty, culture, career, love and life will help you to take control – because we’re all in this together. My childhood vision has matured. Now, I wear a lot of black. More importantly, I’m never alone. I’m surrounded by strong, insightful women who want to be brave, speak up, take risks and live large. I’m so happy to have you join us.
Vanessa Craft Editor-in-Chief
This article originally appeared in the February 2017 issue of ELLE Canada.