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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Magazine Covers

I've been looking back at a lot of my old magazines that I have piled around my room and I have been noticing the covers and how brilliantly they set the tone and the mood for the magazines and promote the individuality of their respective publications. I went through and found a few of my favorite covers from some of my favorite publications.  Each selection of covers is preceded by a quick description. 

To me, these covers are about the people as characters. They are either captured with a prop or in a moment as someone else. Like the New York Times Screen Tests, the portraits are direct and communicate a sense of emotion and truth, whether that truth is real or fabricated. I love the notion of revealing the celebrity because you never know if you are getting a character or the actual person.  

 The New York Times doesn't always feature people on the cover of their Style Magazine and here are two examples of covers that are a bit more whimsical and are about bringing the viewer into a narrative, a fashion editorial, that blends story with style. 

I just threw in these covers because I loved the contrast that they present between the image and the text. I love that instead of using bright popping colors and women showing way too much skin to draw readers in, the publications rely on their strong images and a more subdued and elegant feel because of the low saturation and black and white of the images for their covers. Perhaps my favorite thing about these covers is that the images are stand out images used on the front of the magazine. Instead of seeing a sexy and relatively boring image on the cover of Glamour or Cosmo for example, we are seeing high fashion, gorgeous, and powerful images on these covers of Elle, Harper's Bazaar, and Numero.

Interestingly, V is a magazine that uses bright, saturated, intense colors on their covers. The logo of the magazine is always a consistent V that takes up the majority of the cover so as to make the magazine recognizable and is a nice departure from the logos of Bazaar and Vogue, which feature the title of their magazine centered and at the top of the cover. The covers are flashy and bold and present the fashion industry in a serious and no-bullshit kind of way. The women on the covers are strong and confident and are edgy and full of attitude, whether they are models or actresses.The magazine is full of attitude and is completely reflected by the covers.  The first three covers here feature top models and actress Natalie Portman is in the 4th image down. I like that they feature models on the covers whereas most of the well known publications like Harper's, Vogue, Elle, and Vanity Fair feature celebrities because they are more popular and therefore sell more magazines. 

Harper's Bazaar is great at telling a story and bringing you in to the make-believe fairytale world of the fashion industry. They are able to relate the cover to the fashion and is something that isn't always done. For example Vogue's covers are all about the person because the covers usually are closeups or tighter in on the model. Harper's pulls away from the face and is able to capture a scene, a moment, the person, the location or whatever they want to highlight and are able to still relate it back to the clothes. In the first image the model is photographed against a white background and is the only thing in color while the biggest headline is about minimalism. The simple outfit and the fact that nothing else besides the model is complicating the cover really emphasizes the theme of the issue. 

One of my absolute favorite things about Harper's Bazaar is that they have two different covers: one for subscribers and one for newsstands. Editor-In-Chief, Glenda Bailey, describes her reasoning behind this in an interview with New York Magazine

You were one of the first fashion magazines to create separate newsstand and subscriber covers in 2004. How did that idea come about?
Well, I started it with the January issue in 2004, and then February 2004 was the first time that we did two completely different cover concepts. I'm ashamed to tell you that it took me 16 years of being an editor-in-chief to work this out, and we were the first. For magazines like Bazaar, there's a very loyal subscriber base who knows all that Bazaar stands for as a fashion magazine and prefers a more artful image on the subscriber copy. And then for the newsstand, you're attracting new readers who don't necessarily know all about the content of your magazine. So therefore, you're producing a poster to catch their eye amongst all the competition. This has been such a successful formula, and at the time I was very criticized for doing it, but now many magazines have started to create this themselves, which I just think is the greatest form of flattery.

Other magazines such as Elle also feature separate subscriber and a newsstand covers. 

Vogue is one of the most, if not the most, iconic fashion magazines in the world. Their covers need to reflect the new and emerging trends of the fashion industry as well as appeal to the masses and the average consumer. The cover models are presented as relatable real women and appeal to the feminine demographic. These first three American Vogue covers highlight the celebrity by photographing the subject relatively close up and having a very neutral and plain background color. We can tell that the images weren't photographed in a studio and this fact helps to soften the tone of the cover by using natural light and featuring the model in some sort of real world location. The models are always looking at the camera (the consumer). 

What I love about Vogue covers is that they don't bombard us with fashion. The Penelope Cruz cover (3rd down) is so close up that we can hardly see anything she is wearing. The cover and the image are all about her as a real woman and I think that Vogue covers, unlike the NY Times Style Magazine covers, really try and showcase the actor as a real person, and who they really are as opposed to them as a character. I know that these images by no means depict the actors without styling, hair or makeup, but generally I think the mood of Vogue is to appeal to the femininity of the consumer. Vogue is known for being the most important fashion magazine and they certainly know this, so by toning down the in-your-face fashion and making it more about the person on the cover, their demure and reserved covers expertly acknowledge their status while not rubbing it anyones face. 

Images taken from

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Summer Fashion Film Preview - Day #2

Today we wrapped our second and last day of filming on our fashion film shoot. Here are a few more preview stills. Thanks again to our beautiful model, Deana LeBlanc, and our fabulous stylist, Josh Turk. Keep an eye out for the film, which will debut soon in the next few weeks. Filmed/Photographed on a Canon 5D Mark II at Ithaca College. 

Images © Mathea Millman 2011

Friday, May 20, 2011

Summer Fashion Film Preview

Here is a little preview of stills from the first day of shooting a short fashion film. Thanks to Josh Turk for styling and our beautiful model Deana LeBlanc. Filmed/Photographed on a Canon 5D Mark II at Ithaca College. 

Images © Mathea Millman 2011.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Shows in NYC

There are two huge exhibits up in NYC now that relate to the fashion industry that I can't wait to check out: the retrospective of the late Alexander McQueen at the Met and Danziger Projects' "The Kate Moss Portfolio and Other Stories" at their gallery at 527 West Twenty-Third St in Chelsea. Check out the links for more information about the shows.

Danziger Projects - Kate Moss Show Preview

Danziger Projects Show Review at

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Sneak Peak of the McQueen Exhibit

Alexander McQueen's "Plato's Atlantis" Film, Interview and Show

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Series of Pairings

Came across clusters of photos that just seemed to work together. Each grouping is numbered so as to differentiate from the ones either in front of or behind it and is self contained. 







Images taken from

Friday, May 6, 2011


Pulled an all nighter with my friend Matt last night. Initally inspired by Sam Cooke's "A Change is Gonna Come" from 1964, our playlist was about soul, light, friends, singing, momentum, sunrise, cigarettes, love, tea, the Beatles. This is my visual playlist of our night.

Images taken from If you have any picture credits please let me know.


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