Has Wintour 86-d Fembot Protégé?

Vogue’s latest Rachel Weisz cover could be subtitled “The October Revolution.” It’s notable not for what’s inside, but rather, what’s missing: the by-now ubiquitous Plum Skyes puff piece. Is Plummy no longer being groomed for Wintour’s Manolos? With rumors swirling about Sykes’ rival Aliona Doletskaya, Russian Vogue ed. in chief, in line for Wintour’s plum spot at Vogue, one wonders if our Plummy can see Russia from her house?


If you missed NYC’s tabloids for the last decade, here’s Plummy 101: Victoria “Plum” Sykes is to the manor born in London, 1969. She alights for New York in 1997, a year after sister Lucy hits Gotham as Marie Claire’s new fashion director. Anna Wintour, a fellow Brit, snatches Plummy for Vogue and the sisters hit the town with a voracity not seen since early Hilton. In fact, Plummy jokes the pair are “Paris and Nicky without the sextape.” Two milquetoast chick lit books in need of a sextape follow.


Nauseous yet, or do you like it when a Brit gets handed New York on a plate? But Gotham gives primarily so Gotham can taketh away. In addition to all this nuclear Wintour, Cold War drama stockpiling around our Plummy, there’s also her August Kate Moss cover. Linda Evangelista always maintained August was a slow month so maybe this issue lies buried in some collective Hamptons dune, but the profile opens with a portrait of the lady nibbling tea cookies. Kate eats! Moss’ publicist must have been thrilled. The piece goes on to become less a profile of Moss than a shill for a Brit retail phenomenon’s latest outpost: Manhattan Topshop.


Sykes goes on to blame Moss’ drug problem on the press. “The frenzied coverage of her failed relationship with rocker Pete Doherty, which the media promoted as a Mick Jagger-Marianne Faithful-style sex, drugs, and rock-‘n’-roll romance, put her on tabloid front pages around the world.” Okay, Plummy, the media done it. The fact that Moss took a shot at America’s Funniest Home Videos snorting the linoleum off her kitchen counters is irrelevant.


The San Francisco Chronicle, in one of those fascinating “media profiling media” Q-and-As, described then 38-year-old Sykes as “pencil-thin and three month’s pregnant.” Should we just ring up DYFUS now? The Chronicle goes onto talk about the Vogue spread on Sykes own Alexander McQueen-designed wedding gown, comparing Plummy to Truman Capote. Here’s what Sykes told The Chronicle about her workplace: “It’s the only magazine that writes about their own staff. I think they wrote about me because I had an amazing wedding dress. If I’d gone off and had a slip dress and married in Bali, I don’t think they’d have had a spread.”


Plum Sykes: a thoroughly modern woman. And boy can she spread. Good girl in the press, but unafraid to whore herself to the tabloids. At least she’s also her own pimp. And she’s still on the Vogue masthead, sandwiched between Vogue steadies Robert Sullivan and Jonathan Van Meter, but her next-in-line status is hanging by a thread. Still, that thread’s probably McQueen. And if there’s one thing socialites won’t do, it’s wait in line.


–Tony Phillips





Plummy in her Patrick Demarchelier, natch, book jacket cover shot.

Plummy in authoress mode. This is her dust jacket shot by Patrick Demarchelier, natch.


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