As fall approaches, the fashion world is abuzz with excitement for the coming fashion month and September issues. Each magazine produces its thickest issue of the year, stuffed with advertisements from every luxury brand and retailer. The product is overwhelming — 700 pages of gorgeous images and top editors all trying to say that jackets are important for fall — so we got Daily Style Writer Mara Maclean to rank them.
5. VANITY FAIR: Though Taylor Swift’s cover story was not the most jaw-dropping or influential, her shoot with Mario Testino captured a different layer of strength and beauty that can get lost amid the constant #squad instagrams and red carpet moments. The writing was more of a standout in Vanity Fair than in the other September issues (as it should be for this magazine), which leads to its lower ranking. Our rankings are focusing on the quality of editorial shoots, and many of this issue’s insights weren’t worth mentioning. Still a powerful voice in fashion, VF was essential to include in the top five. There was a nice story about Gigi Hadid’s social media power, but again, nothing truly ground-breaking.
4. ELLE: Similar to Vogue, Elle released The Elle Look, a definitive listing of fashion’s brightest stars with their muses. It was fascinating to see who inspires some of the greatest talents in the fashion universe. Alexa Chung jumped around with Erdem Moralioglu and Diane von Furstenberg posed with actress Allison Williams — it was an interesting take on Vogue’s who’s who. Cover star Keira Knightley looks out from the pages in eye-popping colors in her “Everything is Illuminated” spread. Paola Kudacki and Holly Millea show us just how beautiful, talented, well-read, opinionated and fashion-forward the actress is. Next, Elle walks us through fall’s crazy textures — fur, brocade, chiffon, lamé (yes!) — in “Road to Marrakech.” Like many other issues, Elle touched on the bright colors and wild prints to come in “Mad Max,” highlighting fashions turn towards maximalism. Their pastel editorial, “Beyond the Pale,” just couldn’t compare to the similar spread seen in Porter. Finally, to end on the dopest of notes, Elle spotlights the modern woman at age 30 for their 30th anniversary. Basically a catalogue of every power woman, Elle lists every outstanding comedian, musician, novelist, athlete, actor and politician who portray the strength of 30.
3. VOGUE UK: Vogue UK set the tone for their September issue with another powerful choice in cover star — Emma Watson. In “Voice of a Generation,” Violet Henderson and Josh Olins try to capture everything that is Emma Watson. The images are soft and feminine, while the clothes show the strength and powerful voice that is synonymous with the UN ambassador; the images were just as intriguing as the story. Vogue UK’s strongest editorial, “Fade to Black,” showed the color of fall in sculptural silhouettes, crazy wools and graphic hardware. The stark shots emphasized the interesting shapes and lines that can be created with the classic color. Immediately following, in “No Debutante,” primary colors and splashy prints popped off the page in an ’80s shoot. In “The Witching Hour,” Vogue UK showed their greatest strengths in the portrayal of delicate lace and wisps of chiffon in dark, eerie shots — a look not mentioned by fashion’s other players. Overall, this issue was solid, as always, but not at the editorial level of Porter and U.S. Vogue.
2. PORTER: The only reason Porter holds the number two spot is Vogue’s ability to reach a wider audience. Overall, the editorials and fashion insights reached an entirely new level in Porter’s Fall 2015 issue. The excellence begins with the cover star, Daria Werbowy. Fashion’s favorite rebel, known for her incredibly closed off personal life and modern femininity, poses in the most striking editorials to date. Mikael Jansson captures the supermodel in two very different stories — “True Grit” and “Soft Focus.” Porter, known for its innovation and commitment to the finest production, shows Werbowy among the dirt and grease, in powerful shapes and colors; then, transitions into a world of pastels and delicate lingerie. The contrast is overwhelming and insightful, and Porter claims its rightful place as one of the leading voices in the fashion industry. Read on for more glamorous shots and sensational editorials, all thrown together with incredibly well-written cultural and human-interest pieces.
1. VOGUE U.S.: For anyone who has seen “The September Issue,” it is clear the Vogue team sets an incredibly high standard for this particular month’s edition. September 2015 was the greatest example of this constant pursuit of excellence. To begin, the fashion bible spelled out who’s who in the fashion industry with “Forces of Fashion.” Over a 37-page spread, fashion’s top influencers were spelled out from Phoebe Philo of Céline, to Uniqlo and Novak Djokovic. Vogue decreed Victorian influence was a fall essential — embroidered florals and old lace — in a gorgeous editorial Hustle & Bustle. The standout among the 700+ pages was the season’s coat feature, “Into the Woods.” One of the most stunning editorials ever to be published, folkish models roamed through a fairy-tale forest. The patchwork and bright red coats popped against the brilliant blue and green mossy background. The only small disappointment of the entire issue was Beyoncé’s cover story. B’s shots were as gorgeous as ever, but Margo Jefferson’s letter dictating the definition of Beyoncé was slightly lackluster. Redemption was found, however, in the form of exclusive insights into lake life with Cindy Crawford and her equally beautiful children. And to finish on the strongest of notes, the cast of “Empire” was shot sporting the most spectacular clothing — reds, silvers, sequins and sparkles.