Fabien Baron’s first issue.

PARIS — There’s a full-page photo of the contents of Catherine Deneuve’s fridge in the December-January issue of French Vogue, revealing that the legendary actress eats yogurt, crème fraîche and — lo and behold...



PARIS — There’s a full-page photo of the contents of Catherine Deneuve’s fridge in the December-January issue of French Vogue, revealing that the legendary actress eats yogurt, crème fraîche and — lo and behold — French’s mustard.

But condiments aside, the magazine — the first with Fabien Baron as creative director — oozes elegance throughout. Guest-edited by Deneuve, the holiday issue hits French newsstands this week and marks a sleeker and chicer departure from the edgy, rough-hewn approach of previous art directors, Michael Amzalag and Mathias Augustiniak, better known as M/M.

This story first appeared in the December 5, 2003 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“I think it’s closer to what people expect Vogue to be,” Baron said, describing his new design variously as more journalistic, more classic and yet modern. “I wanted to have a certain elegance, but with a little bit of the French look.”

Among the signature Baron touches — which he’s exercised on everything from Harper’s Bazaar to Arena Homme Plus — are oversize letters, contrasting typefaces and liberal use of white space. The organization of the magazine’s features has not changed, but it’s more brisk.

“It’s the same magazine, but it’s more lively, more up, more luxurious and easier to read,” French Vogue editor in chief Carinne Roitfeld said, giving a sneak preview of the 316-page issue.

Besides opening up her kitchen to the magazine, Deneuve shares her favorite movies, embroidery, gardens and artists. She also chooses some of her favorite songs, which French Vogue compiled on a CD that comes free with the magazine.

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