By Claire Kalikman
A cover should be eye-catching, beautiful, and inventive. It should evoke a fantasy, and give a glimpse into the character of the person featured, all while enticing the passive viewer into buying the magazine. These were the covers of 2017 that accomplished these lofty goals.
The December 2017 cover of British Vogue seems to be a hallmark of what the magazine is calling “#NewVogue”. Aware that the institution of Vogue is becoming outdated, Vogue offices across the world have clearly been attempting to appeal to younger audiences. Recent issues have included more political stories, slightly outdated slang, and women of color. This cover walks the line between new and old. Adwoa Aboah is an increasingly popular model of mixed-race, and is supposedly a face of the new digital age, with her online platform Gurls Talk. With that, the cover also looks distinctly like one from the 80s, as pictured on the right. The blue eyeshadow, glossy lips, and pouty face add to the vintage look. All this contributes to a striking cover that makes you look twice while in line to buy your groceries, and that’s what the magazine industry needs.
There were two covers to the March 2017 issue of Nylon, each one as eye-catching as the other. They both feature Soko, a multi-hyphenate It Girl. The cover on the left is quite clever, featuring the names of the other personalities featured as if they are embroidered on the the dress. The off-center image and tilted perspective also give a sneaky glimpse into the interview with the cover star, who is distinctly off-kilter. The bra top with an affirmative message counterbalances the voluminous skirt, and the cutesy beret is made less feminine when paired with the black and white platform sneakers. The cover on the right seems to be the very image of spring itself. The hat clearly evokes the image of a flower, while the olive green cargo jackets seems to be the stem. The orange background is a nice contrast to the blue one in the other cover, and does justice to an oft-derided hue. The orange is echoed in the makeup, which is soft and lovely. This cover confirms that Soko is Renaissance woman in and out.
The December 2017 issue of US Vogue was as wonderful as its British counterpart. It features Meryl Streep in an outfit reminiscent of Sharon Stone at the 1998 Academy Awards, in an open white blouse and couture skirt. It is a dignified portrait, doing justice to a woman with a long-celebrated acting career. It’s also somewhat ironic to note that one of the best roles in Streep’s storied career was when she portrayed a magazine editor who many believe to be based on Anna Wintour, the editor of Vogue. Streep has appeared on the cover of Vogue many times, dating back to the early days of her career, but she is still a relevant actress, making headlines for her roles and speeches. The portrait looks as if it nearly belongs in the National Gallery. The cover evokes glamour, but also an everyday simplicity; it is a celebration of what Vogue is and was.
title image via Nylon