Don’t get me started on modern magazine cover design. Instead let’s hark back to the days of 1937 old, when, more often than not, magazine covers had an image on them, a title on them, and not much more.
This is one of my favourite magazine covers and one of my favourite Vogue covers. It’s also one of my favourite fashion illustrations. It all adds up to be a little bit of graphic heaven from where I sit.
This is a US Vogue. I don’t really collect them, preferring British editions. But it’s a rare cover bought in the earlier days of eBay when old Vogues were still almost affordable. And it is in beautiful beautiful condition. In the first half of the 20th century the same covers often graced both US and British Vogue, and probably French Vogue too. I always wanted to research this and see if it was always or ever in the same month. Thinking about the commissions, the artists, the editors and how it was all negotiated.
However it was negotiated, those Vogues were beauties. The cover title often integral to the illustration. And hardly any trite copy to mar the impact of the cover image. This illustration is by Eduardo Garcia Benito, an old friend to Vogue covers. His style was mutable as perhaps a proper commercial artist’s should be. But more often than not his paintbrush was loose and he used just enough strokes, and no more.
And this July 1937 cover is some of the best of that. I love the back of the model (with just a flash of red lipstick) and the dog, looking out to sea. The sense of space, peace, privacy and inimitable, effortless chic.