Vogue US: Vogue has been doing quite a lot of ocean, seaside covers, haven't they? Just last month had Charlize Theron emerging from the water. Obviously I love it, but that's a lot of repetition. Meryl Streep looks lovely by the water. The cover in general is very elegant.
Vogue UK: I am blown away by this cover. The blue, red hair and gold looks so well together, the quality of the photo is sultry and dreamy, and Florence's eyes and makeup look perfect-- I just can't get over it! Mario Testino does it again. The way her body is positioned makes my eyes go straight to her eyes and hair, then down to her low-cut dress which is very Florence-esque. I'm not a fan of magazines putting celebrities in outfits that are totally not their style. It just feels so fake. So good job British Vogue!
WINNER: Vogue UK.
Cosmo US: I find this cover to be pretty unflattering for Scarlett Johansson. That purple lingerie is so unforgivingly skin tight, and Scarlett is a full-figured woman, with an especially muscular upper body. That with the mess of red hair (I prefer her as a blonde), and her strange half smile, I'm just not a fan. Also, the shade of pink makes me gag just a bit. I understand Cosmo is supposed to cater with a certain demographic with their design and color scheme, but I'm not sure if that's a good enough excuse...
Cosmo UK: Better, but pretty crowded. There are a lot of dominating lead lines, and the fact that they all are different fonts doesn't save it. I do like the how they used varying shades of pink in the color scheme, in comparison to say, hot pink and deep purple.
WINNER: Cosmo UK.
3. GQGQ US: Love GQ. Love Matt Damon. But he looks like an extra on Saved By The Bell. The straightforward grin, preppy polo, clean-shaven face, hand on the hip... That being said, it's clean, bright and a classic GQ cover.
GQ UK: In comparison to the left photo, this one has a very scruffy, manly-looking Daniel Craig haunting the camera with his intense blue eyes with dusk brewing in the background. I would absolutely love this cover if the text wasn't all up in my face. So much BOLDING-- it's very distracting. If they just cut out half of the words there, chose a new consistent font besides arial bold or whatever it is, we might have a winning cover on our hands.
WINNER: GQ US.
Glamour US: Ohmigod the Kardashiansss!! Bleh. Actually this cover is pretty nicely designed. It's designed differently for the New Year, or at least it deviates a bit from their normal layout. Three people on the cover, the dominating lead line is centered with consistent sans serif but still varying in boldness and color. It's these great little details. And those Kardashians are just so damn photogenic.
Glamour UK: I don't know who Tulisa is, but she is so pretty! And what a great cover by Glamour UK. Usually they are pretty spotty in performance (or at least in my meaningless opinion), but the orange and blue is a beautiful combination, there is ONE dominating lead line, and everything else is nice and small. Plus, I love her outfit.
WINNER: This is difficult. They are both really great, but I'll have to give it to the Kardashians.
InStyle US: Really, very cute. Perfect for January with the super cozy sweater. It's quite vertical with the three columns: text, Jennifer Garner, text, but it still works.
InStyle UK: Reprint from InStyle November 2011 issue. Lame.
WINNER: InStyle US.
6. ELLEElle US: Lots of text, lots of boldness. However, a classic outfit (black and white is always a favorite with me), and CUTE shag haircut on Katherine Heigl.
Elle UK: This magazine blows it out of the water--again. It's sad to say, but they design like a men's magazine design. Nothing ever boring or watered/dumbed down for the female audience. It's beautiful, edgy, high fashion, artsy, but mainly just cool-looking. (A great technical term, I know.) They know placement of text, minimalism, color schemes, fonts, balance, etc. I would love to work for them someday... They know that simply "GAGA" is all people need. I love the netting eye mask (reminiscent of Kirsten Dunst's black mask from Sophia Coppola's Marie Antoinette), bright exposure, choppy hair and yellow, light green, and blue together. Very electric.
WINNER: Elle UK.
Esquire US: I like it. Clever. It's a creative taken on their standard "wall of words" with George sitting down on some steps. I wonder how they get his shadow to translate ONTO the text and large words. That is a photoshop skill I must learn.
Esquire UK: It's good, but that sequined blazer is really throwing me off. Maybe it's the not great quality of the photo, but I can't help thinking of cheapness. And I'm sure it's something designer and worth more than my car. One element I really enjoy here is the arrow pointing to his right shoulder-- it's small and hard to see, but I think it's an element Esquire UK could really take advantage of. And perhaps I say that because the rest of their redesign really resembles GQ US.
WINNER: Esquire US.
8. HARPER'S BAZAAR
Harper's Bazaar US: HB did one of those issues where it counts for two months: so this issue was also last month and January as well. I believe last time I put the subscriber's cover (whoops), so this is the newsstand version. Of course I like the other one better... because the word fashion is in 100pt font like it is every month.
Harper's Bazaar UK: I'm not a fan of Rosie Huntington-Whitley, but I love this cover. Even though the cover has more text than Harper's Bazaar UK usually has, it's done right. It's spread out and most of it is super thin. I can still see Rosie's body perfectly and I'm not distracted. It just looks beautifully clean.
WINNER: Harper's Bazaar UK.
9. MARIE CLAIRE
Marie Claire US: People really like to take REALLY CLOSE pictures of Angelina Jolie's face. For some reason the world is obsessed with her and Brad Pitt (who went to my college, nbd.), maybe because they are both beautiful. I really love this cover because honestly, Angelina is genuinely, naturally beautiful-- and we can see that. We don't need flashy outfits or obvious photoshopping. I envy her hair and especially her eyes. And like I said up in the Glamour UK one, blue and orange is my favorite.
Marie Claire UK: Apparently Kelly Rowland is extremely popular in Britain. I think she is a judge on the X Factor over there. I wonder if they know that that fame did not translate over in the states... Lukewarm cover for me. Lots of grey, and for some reason the serif font is just not working for me here, or maybe any women's magazine. Not sure why. I need to look into that.
WINNER: Marie Claire US.
'twas close, and I had some trouble on some of them...
Here is my favorite for this month, shot by Mario Testino of course. And seriously... just check out these photos, they are gorgeous. What a beautiful concept calling the piece "Siren Song" and dressing her in these transparent, light gowns.
(click to enlarge)