Top 10 Fashion Magazine Covers of 2012

As TIME Magazine connotes, one magazine cover can echo a thousand words, but not all has the makings of being one so arresting.

“The best photographs don’t always make the best covers. It takes a smart concept, a meticulously executed image, smoothly integrated typography, and the combination of all those factors to create an immediate and lasting impact.” ~Kira Pollack, Director of Photography, TIME

There’s much to say about the reasons that we love glossies, the least not being the covers. We love how a striking cover of our favorite star or a fantastic styling draws us to a copy. But what we love most is the treat of seeing our Hollywood idols take on a surprising persona, and how that transports us to some fantasy land, just like a whole-length film. So as 2012, a beautiful year in fashion, comes to a close, we present a round-up of our top 10 fashion magazine covers of the year to honor some of the best works in the industry.

10. Vanity Fair JULY | Kristen Stewart

Okay, so it has pretty much become obvious that we’ve more than warmed up to the notoriously bad-ass K-Stew (excuse our language). We think we love her already. We specially love her on this July cover of Vanity Fair, photographed by Mario Testino in one of their photo shoot locations across Paris. This cover is among the first indications of her finding her sense of style. This cover and the spread that follows allow us to see her in ultra high fashion, completely dolled up, yet still her mysterious very individual self.

“I have been criticized a lot for not looking perfect in every photograph. I’m not embarrassed about it. I’m proud of it. What matters to me is that the people in the room leave and say, ‘She was cool. She had a good time. She was honest.’ I don’t care about the voracious, starving shit eaters who want to turn truth into shit. Not that you can say that in Vanity Fair!” Kristen Stewart tells Vanity Fair contributing editor Ingrid Sischy in July’s cover story

9. Vanity Fair MARCH | Rooney Mara, Mia Wasikowska, Jennifer Lawrence, Jessica Chastain, Elizabeth Olsen, Adepero Oduye, Shailene Woodley, Paula Patton, Felicity Jones, Lily Collins, and Brit Marling

Shot by Mario Testino, this cover features 11 of the most beautiful up-and-coming Hollywood actresses in pastel satin dresses, styled in 20′s boudoir, lounged across a tri-panel fold. Very Golden Hollywood-esque. What more is there to say? –Jawdrop.

8. Wonderland MAY | Dakota Fanning

Ex-child wonder Dakota Fanning looks every inch a lady in this cover of Wonderland. In the photo shot by Cedric Buchet, she sports an Emporio Armani black and white button-up and a matching hat. She is styled with cropped wavy hair and make-up in dark shades –not her usual. We adore how this cover portrays her quirky side, with that faux white mouse crawling out of her hat, and all.

7. Tatler MAY | Christy Turlington

As a welcome break from the usual glamorous covers and such, we include in this count-off, this cute and funny portrait of supermodel Christy Turlington on UK Tatler. She and the magazine purposely went for the look of a typical male director –sporting a straw hat, a vintage camera, and! a thin mustache –as an ode to Ms. Turlington’s passion for film directing.

6. Numero OCTOBER | Alexa Chung

Wide-brimmed black felt hat and a pretty Valentino lace dress in a garden setting make this Numero cover featuring Brit style star, Alex Chung, a perfect Fall highlight. Did she wander into a labyrinth? Capturing such an easy-breezy feel is photographer Angelo Pennetta.

5. Vogue FEBRUARY | Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift wears an oversized knit sweater and a floppy felt hat, and peers fiercely into the camera on her first ever cover for Vogue. For the entire spread she gets a make-over from her usual sequined gown, getting plenty of boho chicness in fringes and prints. The photo shoot is lensed by Mario Testino; and we believe that by far, this is the best capture of Taylor Swift –not the pop princess, but the country rock star.

4. Harper’s Bazaar SEPTEMBER | Gwen Stefani

On the opposite side of the spectrum from Taylor Swift is stylish rocker chick Gwen Stefani. She gets a rad “make-over”, too, for her Harper’s Bazaar cover where she gets dressed in head-to-toe pink couture. Yes, pink. How many times do we get to see that? The lucky person to capture that on film is photographer Terry Richardson.

3. W Magazine NOVEMBER | Keira Knightley, Scarlett Johansson, Mia Wasikowska, and Rooney Mara

For the 40th anniversary issue of W Magazine, photographer Steven Klein gets to capture on lens Keira Knightley, Scarlett Johansson, Mia Wasikowska, and Rooney Mara who get a cover each.

Each actress was styled in Fall 2012 pieces meant to represent one of the last four decades: Mara channels the ’70s in patterned Prada and an oversize Albertus Swanepoel hat, Wasikowska is utterly ’80s in snakeskin-printed Balenciaga, Johansson is the picture of glam ’90s in black Dolce & Gabbana, and Knightley — almost unrecognizable with slicked-back blond hair — is a vision of the 2000s in sculpted Chanel.”

2. Vogue JULY | Emma Stone

This is also Emma Stone’s first ever Vogue cover, and we say it’s about time. She wears a flimsy Nina Ricci lace dress, and is photographed by Mario Testino for the shoot. The usually covered-up Emma bares some skin coming up with an ultra-feminine and sexy portrait. A blockbuster, again. Better get a good look out for this one.

1. W Magazine DECEMBER | Marion Cotillard

An absolute masterpiece, shot by Tim Walker, this cover photo starring French actress Marion Cotillard is selected by TIME as one of the “Best Photographic Magazine Covers of 2012″ for its artistic value. We don’t question why.

“Marion Cotillard is hands down, France’s most delectable export.” ~Lynn Hirschberg, W Magazine

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