PHOTOS: The 15 Best Magazine Covers Of 2011
How will we remember 2011? Probably as The Year When All That Stuff Happened. There was no shortage of scandal and intrigue, public unrest and famous people dying. But there were also weddings, births, record-breaking auctions and amazing clothes presented on every catwalk. Which is why we’d like to remember this year’s best moments in fashion — as a reminder that when the rest of the world talks, the fashion world listens, responds and grows.
Magazine covers are mostly designed to sell magazines, but this year’s best covers took the opportunity to say something other than “Buy me!” There were times when the newsstands confronted our issues with sexuality, and there were times when they challenged our ideas of what true beauty looks like. But most of all, they just presented us with really, really compelling images. Which is why we bought them. Take a look at some of our favorites, below.
1.Ai Wei Wei for W Magazine
annual art issue, W commissioned covers from a variety of artists, but none of them were as powerful as this one from the embattled Chinese artist and dissident Ai Wei Wei, who recreated the emotion of his own arrest with the help of model Sui He (and designer ). Alexander Wang
2.Vogue Italia's Real Beauty
Sure, this issue had its problems and its controversies (many due to the nakedness of the models
in the pages of the magazine), but it was also undeniably one of the most erotic covers of the year. Belle vere -- true beauty, indeed.
3.Martha Stewart Halloween
She may have been hawking the best ways to carve your Halloween pumpkin, but
this cover is more high fashion than hot glue guns and glitter sticks. Moth eyelashes are going to be the hottest thing on the fall runways in February because of this. Just wait.
4.Kanye West for VMAN
Pretty standard cover, right? Wrong.
Chanel coutourier shot the photo, then had the idea to cut a slit in West's mouth on the subscriber version of the magazine so Karl Lagerfeld V Man staffers could stuff real $1 bills into his mouth, as if to say "Every rhyme this man speaks turns into cold hard cash. Would you like some?"
5.Hailee Steinfeld for LOVE
This collection of crying covers featured some of our favorite people, including model and wunderkind actress Lara Stone Chloe Moretz. But it was fellow actress Hailee Steinfeld's cover that actually made us feel real emotion. We almost wish there was an Oscar category for magazine covers, because Steinfeld would probably win it.
6.Tavi Gevinson for L'Officiel Netherlands
We didn't think a single image of
writer editor blogger style icon generally awesome person could ever be as cool as Tavi herself. And yet, Tavi Gevinson this image captures her girlish optimism, her intelligence and even her wit all at the same time. It's just cool.
7.Anna Wintour for WSJ.
The devil is still wearing
Prada, and she's also still arguably the most influential name in fashion. What better tribute to that straightforward idea than a straightforward cover?
8.Kim Kardashian for Haute Muse
No matter how you feel about
Kim Kardashian, there's no denying that this cover is gorgeous (and so are the earrings on it). It debuted mere days after her divorce from basketball player Kris Humphries was announced, and in it she looks so haunting and pensive and beautiful that it's hard not to ponder what it might be like inside her head. (And that's why you'd bother opening the magazine, isn't it?)
9.Lady Gaga for iD
For something called the
exhibitionist issue, is decidedly covered up. But we're not too terribly disappointed about that -- in fact, her simple Lady Gaga Mugler coat and dark, pointy nails are a refreshing change from high-concept Gaga, and we approve.
10.Andrej Pejic for Dossier
There's something about the tension between the masculinity and femininity of
this image that almost defines what 's short career has come to symbolize: his ability to flow between lines of gender at will is something no one else can do, so as long as he keeps doing it, we're going to keep our eyes on him. Andrej Pejic
11.Katy Perry for Vanity Fair
We'll leave it at this: for all her over-the-top costumes and hair colors and cotton candy clouds,
Katy Perry has never looked better than when she stripped down to a fleshtone bustier for this cover.
12.Lea T for Elle Brasil
This has really been
's year. She's captured the fascination of everyone inside and out of the fashion industry, she got a segment on Lea T Oprah, and ended 2011 with the cover of a high fashion (and rather conservatively branded) magazine. Not bad, Ms. T.
13.Rooney Mara for Vogue
The girl with the dragon tattoo donned a
dress embroidered with a dragon for her first Ralph Lauren Vogue cover. The concept was a little on the nose, but that doesn't mean the image is any less powerful as a result.
14.Damien Hirst for Garage
If there was an award for the most conceptual fashion magazine cover of the year, this one would win it. Artist
Damien Hirst designed a tattoo of a butterfly for a woman's vagina, then had former Dior Homme designer photograph it for the cover of style maven Hedi Slimane 's newest project, Dasha Zhukova Garage magazine. And then he covered it up with a sticker.
15.Sasha Pivovarova for Vogue Paris
We defy you to find us a more glamourous and arresting cover than
this one -- and 's pose and glare scream that that's impossible. Sasha Pivovarova