Dame Judi Dench on the cover of Vogue
As a fashion editor at Good Housekeeping magazine, I regularly featured Dame Judi Dench on my pages as a style icon. And quite rightly so. Now she’s on the cover of British Vogue. What took them so long? The fashion publishing industry is renowned for its elitism, snobbery and lack of diversity, and back in the day there was always a sense of pigeon-holing – of who belonged where and what clothes they should be wearing. All very narrow-minded and tiresome. It’s great to see Edward Enninful breaking down the barriers.
Of the Vogue cover, Dench’s daughter Finty Williams says, ‘It meant an awful lot to her. This age thing, I think, affects very much how she feels about herself and this gave her just that little boost of confidence to make her go, “Oh, maybe I’m still OK. Then of course after the photoshoot, she came back literally thinking she was Beyoncé.’
Currently furloughed from the film industry and in self-isolation in the Surrey countryside, at 85 Dame Judi Dench is the oldest woman to appear on the cover of Vogue. There’s a lovely accompanying interview written by Giles Hattersley, and an online video with 18 of the award-winning actor’s most famous fans. Dench who suffers from macular degeneration and no longer appears on stage describes ageing as ‘horrible’. But when asked if she has any plans to stop acting, fires back:
‘Retirement? No, no, no, no. Don’t use that word. Not in this house. Wash your mouth out!’ Then quoting Dylan Thomas, adds, ‘”Rage, rage against the dying of the light” – never was a truer word spoken.’
Read the full Vogue June 2020 ‘Retirement? Wash your mouth out’ feature HERE