‘The Brit Pack’, a portfolio shot by Mario Testino celebrating all that England had on offer, appeared for the first time in the January 2002 issue of Vouge UK. It featured the biggest girls of the moment, looking much more relaxed in demeanor than was common at the time, draped in short, snappy silhouettes promoting their native lands. The images alone were enough to make you want to apply for British citizenship.
Funnily enough, the ostentatiousness of displaying such blatant national pride seems like a much more American concept (shout out to NOT having the Kardashian’s crash the annual Southampton 4th of July parade, please…). Of course, AngloMania is very much alive and thriving in America while, in my experience, our reputation across the pond is more for our preference for red solo cups and denim cutoffs. It’s no wonder that when the US edition of Vogue put together a similar spread in November 1999 (below), most models came from abroad.
Equally jarring is the fact that many of the models featured still top every ‘most-in-demand/most-powerful/hottest…etc.’ list 12 years later. Whether that has to do with their personalities, experience, or even the slow broadening of industry standards is hard to determine. The girls’ combined aura of being cooler than anyone you’ve ever possibly come into contact with certainly has something to do with it. But whatever the case, all I want to do is slap on a Union-Jack-covered blazer and start yelling ‘God save the Queen.’
Vogue US November 1999: