The Best Fashion Magazine Covers Of 2011

Just because we’re blogging all up on the internets doesn’t mean that we’ve COMPLETELY forgotten about those beautiful, printed, glossy things that you can hold in your hands called “magazines.” In fact, we love ’em! Every month we’re inspired by covers and editorials—from the art direction to the styling to the startling transformation of a celeb into someone so glamorous or ethereal that they’re virtually unrecognizable—the work that goes into creating such a moment is admirable. Let’s look back at the year through the most memorable magazine moments to hit the newsstands.


Beyoncé on the cover of ’Dazed and Confused.’
Photo: Courtesy of ’Dazed and Confused’
Styling: Karen Langley; Photography: Sharif Hamza

We’ll never forget the moment we spotted Beyoncé’s strawberry ice-cream/leopard-print nails, head-to-toe custom Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci outfit and teal-lined lids on that June cover of Dazed & Confused—it reflects everything that makes Bey Bey. She’s down-to-earth yet glam and oozes sex appeal without ever looking salacious. Her summery shoot inside a trailer park was also the setting for her “Party” video that filled us with envy (we like to partaaaay). Man, everyone’s clothing on that set was LEGIT. Probs the camera crew, too.


Lady Gaga on the cover of ’Vogue,’ ’i-D,’ and ’Vanity Fair.’
Photo: Courtesy of ’Vogue,’ ’i-D,’ and ’Vanity Fair’
I-D: Makeup: Billy Brasfield; VANITY FAIR: Photography: Annie Leibovitz

Lady Gaga covered sososo many mags this year it was hard to pick just ONE from Mother Monster’s collection. After careful deliberation, we narrowed it down to a triptych that shows different sides of the Gags—a romantic Haider Ackermann draped dress with a pink, pastel, blunt bob on the March issue of Vogue; an edgy (literally), barely-there black leather Mugler ensemble for the “Exhibitionist” installment of i-D; and a swirling, festive, crimson Atelier Versace situation for the January 2012 cover of Vanity Fair (which we counted as 2011 because it hit stands in December and melted our faces clean off). A major beauty theme of all three? ZERO EYEBROWS.


Kreayshawn on ’i-D.’
Photo: Courtesy of ’i-D’
Styling: Elgar Johnson

Kreayshawn’s beauty game KILLED. IT. DEAD. on the “Pick Me Up Issue” of i-D. Double eyeliner, two-toned hair, star-sprinkled eyelashes, colorblocked leopard nails—do we seriously need to keep going? This cover solidified Kreay as a bonafide style icon thanks her fun and fearless approach to fashion. #WERQUE


Chloe Moretz, Elle Fanning, and Hailee Steinfeld on ’Love.’
Photo: Courtesy of ’Love’
Hair Stylists: Ashley Javier, Luigi Murenu; Makeup: Lucia Pieroni, Kirstin Piggott

We hate to see three of the most promising young ladies (Chloë Moretz, Elle Fanning, and Hailee Steinfeld) in the fashion biz with tears streaming down their faces for Love magazine, but DANG, they look spectacular when they’re sad. Where’s the runny mascara? The snotty noses? The blotchy red face? Oh yeah, that’s right, they are perfect LIVING DOLLS. Love shot a three-way split, each exemplifying an angelic-woodland-fairy-meets-the-’70s-hippie thing, that complements the ladies. The hair was left natural for some serious Pre-Raphaelite action and coupled with high-collar white, lace frocks that gives a beatific appearance. Except for Chloë who’s wearing rhinestone-encrusted Vivienne Westwood devil horns that we want. NOW.


Nicki Minaj on ’Blackbook.’
Photo: Courtesy of ’Blackbook’
Makeup: Day

No one does neon like Nicki Minaj, and she once again proved herself to be the master of makeup with bright blue eye shadow (all the way to the brow!), fuchsia lipstick and hot pink blush on the March issue of Blackbook. She sported an angular black curly bob with a Jean Paul Gaultier suit and Alexis Bittar triangle pin for a late-’80s vibe that no one can hate on (except for people who are dead inside). Plus, um, seriously who ELSE can give an angry side eye with her mouth wide open and still be cover-worthy? Yeah, that’s what we thought.


Rihanna on ’Rolling Stone.’
Photo: Courtesy of ’Rolling Stone’
Stylist: B. Akerlund, Photography: Mark Seliger

Rihanna’s bright red hair will always stand out as an iconic beauty moment of 2011, so it’s only right that when she sported a giant ’80s perm on the cover of Rolling Stone it would make it into our top covers of the year. But we’re pretty sure her hair didn’t steal the show in this cover photo—two words: dat butt. Girl is HURTING ’EM with her barely there (possibly painted on?) metallic denim shorts (that actually, technically, serve more as a loin cloth) paired with a tied-up Tom Tom Fashions tank. I mean, JEEZ.


Ryan Gosling on ’GQ.’
Photo: Courtesy of ’GQ’
Photography: Mario Testino

This was the year that everyone fell in love with Ryan Gosling, and his January 2011 cover story entitled “How to Look Like a Movie Star” couldn’t have been more fitting for the lean, fashion-forward blond actor. He channeled the Old Hollywood stylings of Cary Grant and Marlon Brando in his Ralph Lauren Black Label suit, shirt, and tie, which he matched perfectly with his storm-colored eyes.


Tavi Gevison on ’L’Officiel.’
Photo: Courtesy of ’L’Officiel’
Styling: Alex Aikiu

Remember when a 15-year-old started her own magazine and then graced the front of L’Officiel DRIPPING in head-to-toe Chanel? Of course you do. Tavi Gevinson is guaranteed for world domination and an apt cover subject for the 90th anniversary celebration of the storied French fashion magazine. Though she appears teeny tiny in an oversized chair, giant bow, and large pink frames, don’t let the ratios fool you. Girl is a BEAST.


Taylor Swift on ’Teen Vogue.’
Photo: Courtesy of ’Teen Vogue’
Photography: Daniel Jackson

Never, ever have we seen a cover that harkens back to such a specific time as this August Taylor Swift cover of Teen Vogue. The soft focus lens, the free-for-all curls, the brown eyeshadow paired with a burgundy lip—it all SCREAMS 1992 in a we-used-to-steal-this-mag-from-our-older-sister kind of way. Her pink and red DKNY cashmere sweater and Christie Martin charm necklace are perfect for her comfy-cozy girl-next-door vibe. This cover should’ve been a Scratch ’N Sniff and smelled like Love’s Baby Soft.


Taylor Lautner on ’GQ,’ Kristen Stewart on ’W,’ and Robert Pattinson on ’Vanity Fair.’
Photo: Courtesy of ’GQ,’ ’W,’ and ’Vanity Fair’
GQ: Styling: Wayne Gross; W: Hair: Luigi Murenu for John Frieda, Lucia Pieroni for Clé de Peau Beauté; VANITY FAIR: Photography: Annie Leibovitz

Another year, another set of Twilight covers! Taylor Lautner smoldered as a throwback to the Rat Pack in a lean suit and slicked hair on the November issue of GQ Australia, while Kristen Stewart also exemplified an homage to retro fashion as a ’60s bombshell on the September issue of W. (Do yourself a favor and look at that cover in a bigger version—it’s a cat’s eye to dream about.) On the opposite side of the spectrum, Robert Pattinson poses with an alligator (um, sure?) on the April cover of Vanity Fair in a very Crocodile-Dundee-meets-urban-cowboy shoot that leaves us with SO many questions: Is that marsh real? Why is Rob’s shirt so wrinkled? Is that crocodile considered an accessory? Is PETA mad? We’re not! Now if only he’d undo just one more button…

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