We really love Vogue Italia‘s decidedly strange September cover starring a pierced and scissors-wielding Stella Tennant. But the styling choices weren’t random — the cover was inspired by one particular woman with a penchant for the surreal.
As we noted, Tennant’s waist appears impossibly small in the Steven Meisel photo, albeit not in a “let’s make this model really, really skinny” kind of way. HuffPost Style reached out to the mag to inquire about the body oddity:
So we chatted with Vogue Italia to set the record straight. While the cover looks extreme, it is because Tennant is channeling a very specific woman with a very unique look. The cover’s inspiration, Ethel Granger, had the smallest waist in (recorded) history, measuring a mere 13 inches. And she didn’t come by it naturally.
Um, yeah, 13 INCHES. That is totally insane! At the urging of her husband, Granger underwent a lifelong waist modification via the use of corsets. She eventually whittled her middle down to 13 inches from her naturally tiny 24. Granger also had a whole bunch of piercings, which further explains the cover.
Vogue Italia has photos and a bio of Granger over on its site, and we’ve included some pics below. Do you think the mag’s cover does Granger justice?
this is some kind of spaceship or something.