The competitive would of print mags leaves no room for platitudes about not judging things by their covers. And in Australian newsagents, despite the apparent demise of print globally, the section reserved for fashion glossies is especially crowded. In recent months, we’ve heralded the arrival of Miss Vogue Australia as well as the local version of Elle.
The cover of the first was a resounding triumph – only the most dedicated pessimist could find anything to dislike about the holy Spring/Summer trinity of pretty pink flowers, a beaming Elle Fanning and that Givenchy bambi sweater. But Elle Australia’s Gabbby Westbrook-Patrick cover has people a little more divided.
Firstly, Gabby still flies relatively under the radar. Two forum commenters mistook her for Tahnee Atkinson, who’s known mainly known for defeating Cassi Van Den Dungen on Australia’s Next Top Model four years ago. Cicciolina was "expecting someone who was more recognisable," adding that it looks more like an image from a shoot inside rather than for the cover.
There’s also a lot going on clothes-wise for an October issue shot on sand dunes. Forum member Greenway calls the accessories "overpowering." YoninahAliza adds, "I could do without the scarf, it’s making me feel disgustingly hot just looking at it with that desert background." Other commenters dig the retro 90s vibe but were expecting more from a debut issue cover.
Elle’s choice of cover star is unexpected, but it makes sense the more you think about it. Spring 2014 has definitely been Gabby Westbrook-Patrick’s season, with the 17-year-old cropping up on the runways of Kenneth Cole, Ralph Lauren and being booked as an exclusive for Versace. The ‘New Modern Australian’ theme would seem a bit incongruous if it printed next to a household name like Miranda Kerr or Elle Macpherson.
Do you think Elle Australia’s cover is eye-catching enough for a debut issue?