The Return To The Cover: “Iconic Supermodels” Gracing “Harper’s Bazaar”

A Return To The Cover Of Harper's Bazaar: Linda Evangelista & Christy Turlington/ 1992 & 2013
A Return To The Cover Of Harper’s Bazaar: Linda Evangelista & Christy Turlington/ 1992 & 2013

A return to the cover. Linda Evangelista and Christy Turlington. Recalling the iconic covers of 1992. 21 years ago. Iconic style repeats with Iconic Models. Iconic “Supermodels”. Certainly, when the iconic images of Linda Evangelista and Christy Turlington grace a magazine cover, it perhaps lends itself to a “sense of occasion”. A celebration of the very art form that returned them to the cover: The Art of the Model

1992’s Harper’s Bazaar had at its helm a force in fashion, legendary Editor in Chief, Liz Tilbris. With the goal of promoting modern elegance, Linda Evangelista would grace the cover of Tilbris’s first issue, the 1992 September issue, with her distinctive, short bobbed hair style. Modern elegance paired with minimalism in design, indeed. Christy Turlington would grace the cover of the 1992 October issue. Beginning with Evangelista’s cover, one can certainly not give credit to this iconic cover without the mention of photographer Patrick Demarchelier paired with the vision Tilbris had. Evangelista alluded elegance paired with a stark, clean background. Turlington’s issue followed. Profound style. Understated simplicity. And of this profound style? Models. Models of iconic status, for certain.

Fashion Force:  Liz Tiberis (1947-1999), Editor In Chief, HARPER'S BAZAAR  (1992-1999)
Fashion Force: Liz Tiberis (1947-1999), Editor In Chief, HARPER’S BAZAAR (1992-1999)

Perhaps the 1992 issues vividly harken back the era of the “Supermodel”. Alas, I recall the days well. I lived them. Indeed, my age goes before me. I share the age they each have earned. The reign of the “Supermodels”. The age of the “Supermodel” heyday. And it was wonderful. The glory days of when models continually “took” the cover of the fashion magazines. All of them. And then it changed. The era of models on the covers of the glossy fashion magazines are said to have come to an end when Anna Wintour claimed Vouge as Editor in Chief. Alas, the world of Hollywood and “pop stars” were permitted to take over the “runway” of the world of fashion and become the faces that relentlessly seemed to be given the cover. Seemingly month after month and year after year. Yes, passionate am I about the return of models to the world of fashion and its glossies…

“The generation that followed the supermodels shield away from that sort of fabulosity and scrutiny” Wintour is documented as having stated. “For models to have the same social and commercial clout as Hollywood stars, they will have to want to live that sort of ‘fishbowl’ existence; they will have to be up for living a glamourous and public existence”. Wintour would also state: “The public interest in models these last few years has not been as it was during the early 90’s when Naomi (Campbell) and Linda (Evangelista) caused so much excitement. And until models become celebrities again in their own right, I can’t see them selling as well on magazine covers as actresses”. Oh, here I go. My own personal editorial that I now feel I must share. Decades later. Compelled to expound. I have always disagreed. Fashion is about the model. Modeling is an art form. Hollywood’s craft is acting. Model’s are visual artists. How is it that actresses are models and must now face the pressures of presenting model-like appearances? Can it be that “Star Power” has replaced the most basic visual form of fashion? Yes, I am passionate. This is a topic that has been swirling within me for years. Post the disappearance of the models from the glossy covers, I had turned away from the newsstands. Alas, when models were replaced with Hollywood to spike newsstand sales I had personally revolted by not purchasing or subscribing to the glossy magazines I had once eagerly awaited. Eagerly awaited when once fashion magazines were pure fashion. Am I part of a rare breed that does not swirl around the world of Hollywood or rising pop stars? For certain, I appreciate the artistry and craft of actresses and musicians. However, it is their replacement of fashion’s models that I am in disagreement of. Of course, there have been an occasional cover returned to the model over the years. That I cannot refute. I am also realistic in the fact models can not always grace the covers and the spotlight rightly can shine on iconic individuals within our evolving and changing world. But, as a whole, where, oh where, did fashion for fashion’s purpose and function go? The art of the model?

And of the return? The “Art of the Model” returned iconically, on the covers of two of this year’s Harper’s Bazaar. Credit is bestowed to Glenda Bailey, the current Editor in Chief and the fashion force behind one of the leading American fashion magazines, for the vision to return these two icons to its glossy cover. In fact, I “tip my hat” to the Bazaar covers, as they are artistically the best in my opinion. That said, Bailey writes in her “Editors Letter” in this month’s issue: “While fashion is famously looking for what’s next, Bazaar also places a premium on celebrating what has come before. I cannot help but link the cover image of Linda Evangelista to these words of celebrating what has come before. Timeless. Bailey also adds: “There is one thing I never tire of, and that’s celebrating women who live life to the fullest. I can’t think of anything more inspiring. So I’m thrilled with the array of stylish, accomplished ladies gracing the pages of Bazaar’s October issue”. Certainly, Evangelista included. And in the earlier Summer issue, Turlington. Thank you for the iconic return, Harper’s Bazaar!

Glenda Bailey, Editor In Chief/HARPER'sBAZAAR (May 2001-Present)
Glenda Bailey, Editor In Chief/HARPER’sBAZAAR (May 2001-Present)
A Return To The Cover:  Linda Evanglista, Harper's Bazaar October 2013
A Return To The Cover: Linda Evanglista, Harper’s Bazaar October 2013/Liner

The art of modeling has certainly been perfected through the career’s of Linda Evangelista and Christy Turlington. Timeless. Admittedly my favorite models (that will continually appear throughout my posts on fashion) these two icons have lived lives that are real, can be considered fabulous and for certain, have lived lives with a public existence. Although this is not a discussion of the personal lives of these two iconic models, who enduringly possess the art of the model at its best form of non-verbal communication, I am compelled to point out that what they represent to fashion is fashion at its best. Their return to the cover is verification of the goal that the shortened gift of life and vision that Liz Tilberis reinstated so vividly: A return to elegance. A return to grace. “Grace” is termed as “Seemingly effortless beauty or charm of movement, form or proportion” and “a characteristic or quality pleasing for its charm or refinement”. Grace. Both of these iconic models possess grace. And elegance. Poise, elegance, style and grace. Both models and both mothers. Both still “Super”. In this October’s issue, the article “Linda Forever” references the “S-word”. Evangelista’s response? “I don’t even know what that means anymore. Is that era over? Who is a Supermodel now? Is everyone? Is no one?” and she adds “You can call me whatever you want to call me. All I know is this: I’m still here”. Indeed. And delighted are those of us who appreciate her art, and the art that Christy Turlington possess. Enduring.

Iconic Supermodel:  Linda Evanglista /September 1992 & October 2013
Iconic Supermodel: Linda Evanglista /September 1992 & October 2013
"Supermodel" Linda Evangelista/ October 2013 Harper's Bazaar
“Supermodel” Linda Evangelista/ October 2013 Harper’s Bazaar
Iconic Supermodel: Christy Turlington/October 1992 &June/July 2013
Iconic Supermodel: Christy Turlington,October 1992 & June/July 2013
"Supermodel" Christy Turlington/ September 2013 Harper's Bazaar
“Supermodel” Christy Turlington/ June/July 2013 Harper’s Bazaar

A “Model” (from Middle French “Modele” is “a person employed to promote display or advertise commercial products (notably fashion clothing) or to serve as a visual object for people who are creating works of art”. Works of art. That is, in essence, what models are to the world of fashion. Skilled in the art of persuasion. As it is said, communication is the art of persuasion. If fashion modeling is non-verbal communication, then the model is certainly skilled in the art of persuasion. And it is an art. For certain, beyond the 1990’s and the influence of the “Supermodel”, the appreciation of the “Model” is at hand. The art of the model and the grace that they present within their own world of fashion. True fashion endures! Timeless elegance at any age. Twenty plus years later and these icons still possess it. Fashion repeats. Elegance, grace and poise endures…

Consider with appreciation the art of the model. One could continue to expound on the art of modeling and of the gift of these two inconic Supermodels (I must note that there are many “Supermodels” that deserve the same attention). Perhaps I am nostalgic for the energy of the era of the “Supermodel” of the 90’s and the age of the model leading up that era? For certain. Yet I am also simply presenting a repeat performance that was gifted to us from Harper’s Bazaar. Timeless elegance and style endures. Validation that beauty is ageless and that the world of true fashion endures. Perhaps their return can even be viewed as a defiance to the very notion of aging. Yet even with age, the qualities that each of these women possess will endure. Models and Fashion. A perfect union of a memorable and visual craft. A worthy appreciation of the return to the cover, indeed…

Kristin

“Elegance is not about being noticed, its about being remembered”- H. Akande

“Elegance is an attitude”- Longines

5 thoughts on “The Return To The Cover: “Iconic Supermodels” Gracing “Harper’s Bazaar”

  1. I have just read your entire article tonight and let me just start by saying: “Thank you! Thanks for being so passionate about supermodels, about those legendary stars of our industry, they really embody ‘perfection’ in modeling standards, thank you so so much for being so sincere and involved about the art of modeling: which is the amazing combo of posing & sharing feelings at the same time while remaining elegant and giving the right amount of attitude to transform a photo and make it iconic. I modeled for 10 years before switching to enter the world of publishing and magazines and all the way through Linda and Christy were my inspiration, they are fascinating, they are muses and keep up their bright smiles years after years and keep giving us this access to our favorite world: High Fashion. I loved every word of your piece, I’m a magazine addict and I love editorials but articles are equally important for me because they draw the readers in. “Skills”, “Timeless”, “Iconic”, “Supermodels” = all the magic words héhé, thanks for this GREAT article, it’s truly an homage that you’ve given to those legendary women. Thanks & take care.

    1. To respond to your comment is absolutely thrilling. I am honored by your acknowledgement of my words and, for certain, the homage that I attempted to present for the world of modeling and two of the iconic muses that represent that world so iconically. To expound and release my thoughts into the “world” is freeing, yet to get a response such as yours makes it that much more meaningful and worthwhile. Our words and our thoughts matter, indeed. To discover that there is another who, connected to the very world I refer to, finds such passion within this subject is wonderful. Verifying that I am not alone, indeed! I appreciate your words and that you, too, shared your thoughts on the art of modeling and the gift of two icons. May fashion for the art of fashion always endure! And….may we see the “Return to the Cover” again and again. I believe there are many who await the “Return”. Fashion for Fashion. The Art of the Model…
      Thank you for sharing!!!!
      Kristin

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