Although Vanity Fair's 100th Anniversary issue cover does have an appealing vintage feel which fits the centennial occasion, there's nothing like seeing Kate Upton styled as Marilyn Monroe (photographed by Annie Leibovitz) to make my eyeballs go shooting into the back of my head. It could have been any bosomy blonde bombshell having a "Happy Birthday Mr. President" moment and it wouldn't have helped matters because: Monroe herself has risen from the grave three times since 2008 to grace the cover of Vanity Fair. Furthermore, the publication was criticized for what was seen as an opportunistic decision to run a photo of Princess Diana on the September cover, to correspond with the Royal Baby birth. Upton may be an especially unfortunate casting choice for this concept because the whole of her celebrity is predicated on an implicit comparison to Monroe — but, whatever.
WWD's Erik Maza notes that Vanity Fair itself was revived after a fifty-year hiatus in 1983 by Condé Nast, so the whole conceit of a centennial anniversary issue is a little bit of a joke to begin with. Still, the issue has been under development for over a year and is expected to do well at the newsstand.