Friday, April 16, 2010

Cover It Up: A Stroll Through W Lane

Wandering through W Magazine's cover archive brought up so many memories. I can easily trace my fashion development with W's, as we both sprang into womanhood around the same time.

Premiering in September of 2001, at least one reason why its birth is muddled in the haze (this being another), I was but a sophomore in high school, taking baby steps through my first issues of Vogue.

Then this giant, modestly-priced number came along and I slipped into it as easily as Karlie Kloss into a couture bodysuit. Nearly ten years later, here we both are, a little worse for wear, but still actively turning it.

Below, in my not so humble opinion, are the greatest covers in W's short history, year by year.


W's first great cover came a good 9 months into its inception. This was the first cover I actually remember hearing about, though it certainly wouldn't be the last buzzworthy cover for the mag. A post-klepto Winona, tussled hair, punk attitude and all, sporting her own ubiquitous T whose image is weirdly reminiscent of a young Mary Tyler Moore, sans the innocence or Dick van Dyke.


Selma Blair, where are you? Her January 2003 cover is simple and perfect, with those GIANT mod eyelashes (that I would wear everyday if I could) and slightly agape mouth. Meanwhile, Pam Anderson strikes an all together completely different pose, giving windswept 80s sex pot.


Androgyny, always a favorite topic in fashion, is given double exposure via Gisele's (hunching for her life) January 2004 cover and W's "Asexual Revolution" issue later that year.


Karen Elson, MOVE! The Brangelina cover, the issue that really made W's one-letter name, is still one of their best. The 60-page Steven Klein shoot now seems eerily prescient, given the beaten up state of Angie's vagina. He was a bit off on the kids' shading, though.


Probably the best year for W, I had trouble picking only four covers. Usually and openly not a fan of Cammy D, she looks AMAZING in the December 2006 issue. Mostly because it doesn't look anything like her. Meanwhile, Christina Ricci's stunning fur-trimmed hunch caused those uptight PETA assholes to wet themselves. And Meryl's and La Lohan's cover is still HILARIOUS.


Someone I'm also not a fan of, Gwynny Paltrow, has never looked better, or more equine, than in September 2007. A month earlier, alien-robot couple, The Beckhams, had one of the sexiest shoots, perhaps ever and enough cannot be said about Naomi's photojournal. I'm still gagging over it.


Little Orphan Annie Hathaway was about to hop on the Oscar train as a front-runner for her wonderful performance in Rachel Getting Married, and was having a serious moment. Though Hath lost, August cover girl, Pepe Cruz, snatched a trophy with the same delicate hand that's caressing her shoulder.


Madonna and W have always had a great relationship, and thanks to W, the icon got another relationship out of the deal. After spinning her divorce into yet another publicity stunt, she began dating her barely legal co-star from the shoot. Somethings, thank god, never change.


I'm still shocked.

A new era began at W this week, and hopefully more epic covers will follow in the years to come. However, this, will not cut it.

EDIT: Well, apparently W's been around since 1971. Who knew?

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