Saturday, July 2, 2011

When models were in Vogue

I have every edition of American Vogue dating back to Anna Wintour's premiere issue as Editor-in-chief in November 1988. I fondly recall spending a large part of my adolescence pouring over the pages of American Vogue, searching for the names of the models, make up artists, stylists and photographers. The late Eighties and Nineties were a magical period. Each month I would hunt down the latest issue of American Vogue at news stands all over my hometown in Sydney Australia, anxiously anticipating who would be that month's cover model. 

An appearance on the cover of American Vogue was and still is, the very highest accolade that a model can achieve throughout her modelling career. It was during this period that photographers such as Arthur Elgort, Peter Lindbergh, Patrick Demarchelier, Herb Ritts and Steven Meisel collaborated with a select group of young women including Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, Tatjana Patitz and Linda Evangelista. Many of the images that would appear on the cover and within the pages of American Vogue are now iconic and at the time set a new standard for fashion photography.

With the advent of the internet and the cult of celebrity, models now seldom appear on the cover of American Vogue. Models have since been replaced by actresses as cover subjects and unfortunately the covers of US Vogue have become banal and predictable, with an endless stream of covers featuring the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Aniston and Nicole Kidman. I miss the spontaneity, grace and astounding beauty that models bring to the fore as cover subjects and now find myself pouring over newsstands in Berlin where I now reside, searching for the latest edition of Paris Vogue and Vogue Italia. Below is a selection of my all-time favourite American Vogue covers.

Niki Taylor, Stephanie Roberts & Audrey Benoit
US Vogue - January 1991
Photographer - Patrick Demarchelier

Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Christy
Turlington, Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista,
Tatjana Patitz, Yasmeen Ghauri, Niki Taylor,
Karen Mulder & Elaine Irwin
US Vogue - April 1992
Photographer - Patrick Demarchelier

Kara Young
US Vogue - October 1989
Photographer - Patrick Demarchelier

Carre Otis
US Vogue - March 1989
Photographer - Patrick Demarchelier

Michaela Bercu
US Vogue - November 1988
Photographer - Richard Avedon

Linda Evangelista
US Vogue - June 1990
Photographer - Patrick Demarchelier

Naomi Campbell
US Vogue - September 1989
Photographer - Patrick Demarchelier

Claudia Schiffer
US Vogue - August 1990
Photographer - Patrick Demarchelier

Cindy Crawford
US Vogue - July 1990
Photographer - Walter Chin

Tatjana Patitz
US Vogue - August 1989
Photographer - Arthur Elgort

Christy Turlington
US Vogue - August 1992
Photographer - Arthur Elgort
Karen Alexander
US Vogue - January 1989
Photographer - Peter Lindbergh

Naomi Campbell & Christy Turlington
US Vogue - February 1992
Photographer - Arthur Elgort

Judit Masco, Niki Taylor & Karen Mulder
US Vogue - April 1991
Photographer - Patrick Demarchelier

Stephanie Seymour
US Vogue - February 1995
Photographer - Steven Meisel

Nadja Auermann
US Vogue - September - 1994
Photographer - Steven Meisel

Kiara Kabukuru
US Vogue - July 1997
Photographer - Steven Meisel

Carmen Kass
US Vogue - May 1999
Photographer - Steven Meisel

Gisele Bundchen
US Vogue - July 1999
Photographer - Steven Meisel

Karolina Kurkova
US Vogue - February 2001
Photographer - Steven Meisel

Liya Kebede
US Vogue - May 2005
Photographer - Steven Meisel


  1. great post Neill, I totally agree. And thanks for putting up those gorgeous covers

  2. Those were the day's my friend...<3

  3. I miss magazines with models on the covers...