02/02/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

What's Wrong With Vogue ?

NO one at Vogue, least of all its editor in chief, Anna Wintour, could have been seriously stung by a recent letter from a reader complaining that the magazine was in a rut. After all, Ms. Wintour chose to publish the letter, which chided the magazine for featuring the same women -- "Gwyneth Paltrow, Caroline Trentini, Gisele Bündchen, Nicole Kidman, Sienna Miller, blah, blah, blah," as the reader, Kathryn Williams of San Diego, said. "I could make a calendar of your cover girls, and it would probably repeat year after year." She added: "Let's face it: Vogue is getting a bit stale. It is a pity, too -- because the magazine is still much better than the others."

What is remarkable -- given the rumors last month that Ms. Wintour was going to be replaced by the French Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld -- is that she was able to include not merely a critical view but one that accurately identifies the problem with the magazine. Vogue has become stale and predictable, and it has happened in spite of some of the best editors, writers and photographers in the business.

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