Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Best & Worst of February Fashion Magazines?

The February issues are a warm-up for March's big spring fashion spreads. Perhaps realizing that the new season's clothes would be first showcased in one of the gloomiest months of the year, W did a dark, moody Prada-heavy shoot rather than torment us with images of tan people on beaches. Meanwhile, the Vogues gave ample — if contrasting — attention to breakout model star Arizona Muse, who posed with her young son for the American edition, and in nothing but a handbag for the French issue. U.S. Vogue also continued the questionable mania for shooting unified ethnic groups of models. And there were some pleasant casting surprises, including Devon Aoki in her own multi-page Elle editorial, and Adriana Lima in a beautiful spread in Italian Vogue.

Best Editorial - British Vogue
This accessories spread captures a model falling asleep at the airport. Everything else aside, the shoes are just wildly absurd — even Anna Dello Russo travels in fleece pants from Abercrombie!

Best Baby Portrait - Vogue
The first time we met Arizona Muse, she was sitting on the floor backstage at the spring 2011 Marc Jacobs show. This was before she had opened for Prada, become the solo face of Yves Saint Laurent, and been called the next Natalia Vodianova by Anna Wintour. At that Jacobs show, Muse happily agreed to talk to us on-camera about her hair, makeup, and freshly bleached eyebrows. Afterward she gave us her card, and as we contemplated the brilliance of her then-unrecognizable name, said, "Do you want to see a picture of my son?" And flaunted camera phone snaps of him. Now she has something slightly more glamorous to show anyone who asks about him.

Best Dress Shot - Dazed & Confused
Proof that mixing patterns can be a good thing.

Worst Celebrity Portrait - Jennifer Aniston in Allure
The lipstick with that tan and those highlights suggest her stylist has been keeping up with Jersey Shore, but that's not the most bothersome part of this portrait. That would be that Aniston — known to the world as Miss Perma-single — had to pose wearing what looks like a Lady Hefner costume, holding a teddy bear. She looks like a heartbroken cougar, holding on to youth somehow, some way.

Best Model - Freja Beha in British Vogue
Freja got more pages in this issue than anyone else (including cover girl Victoria Beckham) by far, naturally transforming from tousle-haired sex kitten to the model chosen to showcase Sarah Burton's first runway McQueen line.

Best Unexpected Comeback - Devon Aoki in Elle
There was a near-staggering increase in the number of Asian models appearing in fashion magazines this month, which is great. But seeing the 28-year-old, five-foot-five Devon Aoki, who is now pregnant with her first child, starring solo in an editorial for a mainstream American publication was a lovely surprise. Aoki has been focusing on her film career in recent years.

Worst Pose - Brooklyn Decker in Esquire
Is this what men want? Girls who are pickers — just like them! — or something?

Longest Eyelashes - Mila Kunis in W
Avoiding this sort of awkwardness is one reason Mila played the normal crazy ballerina in Black Swan, not the actual crazy ballerina.

Second-Longest Eyelashes - Surface
On the upside, she could dust her kitchen cabinets with those things.

Best Way to Dilute the Fashion Appeal of Yoga - Details
Meet Bikram yoga founder Bikram Choudhury. Details infiltrated one of his $10,900 nine-week teacher-training courses, where students sweat it out in overheated classrooms six days a week, while Choudhury says things like, "You, Miss Teeny-Weeny Bikini! Spread your legs! You, Mr. Masturbation! Until I say 'Change,' you do not move a muscle!"

Most Accurate Spring Preview - W
You know how spring is: March rolls around, you think, "this hideously awful cold weather is just about done with!," and then it drags on until April, and May, and by the first days of June you're still wearing a jacket in the evenings. So spring is really a time of longing, depression, and deceptive sunshine. The moodiness in these pictures captures the season's true gloomy and taunting colors.

Most Questionable Casting - Vogue
The puzzling recent trend for casting models of a single ethnic group in a fashion shoot — Robin Givhan recently called it the "paint-chip problem" —continues this month in Vogue. The magazine shot some all-white groups, an all-black group, and an all-Asian group of models wearing clothes by some of New York's most celebrated designers. The all-black group got to wear Rodarte — vibrantly printed, naturally — and turbans! LOOK! Look at the turbans!

Best Color-Themed Editorial - Surface
There can be no better reason to risk soiling one's outfit on patio furniture than for a picture like this.

Best Beauty Editorial - Italian Vogue
Adriana Lima: still hot.

Most Extravagant Hiking Socks - Teen Vogue
By Yohji Yamamoto, $60.

Best Product Shoot - Nylon
The only thing better than a dog is a cat. And the only thing better than a cat is a glitter-pawing cat.

Best Athleticism - French Vogue
Wearing jewelry is a feat — a feat of brute strength.

Worst Styling Suggestion for a Sweater - Cosmopolitan
This chick has her bra cups almost fully exposed. Cosmo knows exactly what to do when side-boob gets old, don't they?

Best Reason Being on a Reality Show Is As Good As Winning One - Marie Claire
This is Mondo from the last season of Project Runway. He didn't win, but he got a giant feature in sponsoring magazine Marie Claire anyway. Even though he made those pants. So winning on a reality show doesn't really matter! (Real Housewives series excepted.)

Best Use of Male Physique - Surface
That staggering, digitally imposed figure actually makes this coat even more desirable.

Worst Use of Denim - Teen Vogue
Did you know Whitney Port was auditioning to play a nurse in an Internet sitcom who can't seem to do anything right except find inventive things to do with her scrubs? "Oh hell no you're not giving birth while this top is in the room," her face seems to say.

(The Cut)

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