I had to go with nuclear physics for Anna Wintour. Not just for the puns on “nuclear Wintour” (one of her more well-known joke names), but also for a lot of the metaphorical underpinnings of processes in star formation and whatnot. I feel like there’s a lot to play with there.
On the right side you’ll see the "triple-alpha process" whereby heftier elements are fused in a nascent out of the more basic elements like helium. The numbers are the signage that will guide people to the idea of nuclear fusion (it’s common notation to keep track of the numbers of protons in the bottom left and total number of protons+neutrons in the top left). Helium is called the Alpha particle, which is great because Anna Wintour has been such a hard-core “alpha” personality throughout her entire career. By reading her history you can almost see her alpha nature growing (hence the added alpha particles in each step), resulting in a more determined and iconic figure. I’ve tracked the process of her career both on the right side and on the bottom left (which I’ll describe later).
The references to short skirts and expensive shirts are both an homage to her first Vogue cover idea ($10K designer shirt over some cheap blue jeans)—it turns out this was actually a rather haphazard move on her part that has become mythicized into a stroke of genius over time—and an homage to her early inklings and interest in fashion as she got in trouble a lot for breaking her dress code (with short skirts) in secondary school. All of the “OR NOT”s are a reference to one of her more well-known sayings—“you either know fashion or you don’t”—with the arrows both representing potential failures and the high-charged gamma rays that are ejected from nuclei during the process of fusion. The fusion reaction itself is one that fails the vast majority of the time—i.e. the starting materials almost evolve but go back to being their old selves 99.999% of the time—which in a way made me think of how precarious many of her major career moves and life events were. The part at the end there with FANS and ALPHA (same particle, but bringing out the “alpha” that people will think of) show the final transformation of her into the fashion legend that she is today. You’ll note that element 26 is iron, which is pretty appropriate here (and it’s actually the final element in solar fusion too, which is just awesome). The n >> m part is just showing that it took a lot more “alpha” than fans to get where she did—i.e., she didn’t rise to the top because she was so beloved but rather because she took it (it’s also true in the nuclear process).
The graph at the bottom left both graphs out the path of her career in the exact form of a well-known curve in nuclear physics (fusion of elements in the sun again). Literally speaking, the bottom axis is the atomic number (proton count) and the vertical axis is the binding energy of the nucleus. It peaks at iron, as I mentioned earlier. Metaphorically it’s graphing her meteoric rise to fame and power in the fashion world, with dips (yes there are dips just like that in the actual science graph) at larger setbacks for her. The biggest one was probably her being fired from Harper’s Bazaar for being too avant-garde, and I’ve added in her rough relationship with Mirabella (her precursor) and her stagnation during the more bland part of her career that resulted in a “SaveAnna” campaign from some supporters in the fashion world. I put her peak at eating steaks (iron, hehe) by herself, which was a regular habit that became more noticeable the more removed she became from people, and adds a tinge of realism to the whole fame and glory thing.
The top right is a node graph showing her to be the “hub” or “nucleus” of many separate worlds. I branched out at London -> NYC (where she lived and worked) and literature -> film (the whole Devil Wears Prada episode).
The magazine at bottom I just put B2FH (B-squared-F-H) in because that’s the common name (last initials of the authors) for the foundational paper in stellar physics that laid out how all this fusion and element creation happens in stars. The original title is “Synthesis of the Elements in Stars”, which I thought also gave some room for play given that she liked to throw basic clothes on celebrities for her covers and pioneered that look. It’s a super deep reach down the nerd rabbit hole, so I figured the title would at least help, haha.