Reading The Magazines: The Best And Worst Covers Of November 2015

This month, fall finally came into itself.

They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but that’s entirely untrue when it comes to magazines. That’s why each month, we dissect covers far and wide using our patented Anna Wintour rating system. It may be too late for the editors to heed our advice, but there’s always next month.

you-are-nobody-anna-wintour

This November is a strong showing with many wins and some disappointing sighs of wasted potential. It’s a tricky month, the May of the fall season—too soon to segue into the full richness of winter looks, and too late to give summer love (despite Angelina’s walk on the beach for Vogue).

Skin is in. Pink is REALLY in. Let’s get to it—the sooner we get this over with, the sooner we get to see Marion Cotillard on a December cover. (Fingers crossed.)

GQ

November 2015 American GQ
GQ
You can’t even see the boat she’s standing on, but you know it has 1000x more curves than this Photshopped T-Swift. Does any man want to be the best version of himself for this creature? It’s not Taylor’s fault she looks like she’s starring in a dystopian SyFy film set in the near future. Oh, wait, that’s the premise of her next album? Someone better call the lawyers.
1-ANNA

Essence

Essence November 2015
Essence
Any questions? Didn’t think so. Though the green type is slightly distracting. *hides from Taraji*
3.5-ANNAS

Marie Claire

Marie Claire November 2015
Marie Claire
Lea Michele, put your clothes back on! And stop doing that weird, coy, Rachel Berry thing. We’ll forget “Glee” if you let us, but it doesn’t seem like you want us to.
1-ANNA

Glamour

Glamour November 2015
Glamour
Sandy’s new film “Our Brand is Crisis” looks like a bad imitation of “Scandal,” and this looks like a bad imitation of a cover starring Kerry Washington.
2-ANNAS

Harper’s Bazaar

Harper's Bazaar November 2015
Harper's Bazaar
Lena Dunham you are not Audrey Hepburn. And I don’t think you’re anyone’s ex-husband, but those cover lines are a bit too close not to read it that way.
1,5-ANNAS

W

W Magazine November 2015
W Magazine
You’re right, W. We’ve never seen Jessica Chastain like this before. And we love it. This image embodies everything that is great about the full editorial. The uncomfortable, inviting glint in her eye, the authority implied in the exact way her hand is kinked, the almost indifference express by the finger in her mouth – someone showed up to work this month with a true fashion image.
4-ANNAS

Esquire

Esquire November 2015
Esquire
“Let’s pick the least flattering photo of Emilia to prove how sexy she is no matter what.” – Esquire decisionmaker
“We did shoot her in a kick-ass sedan too in case we didn’t like these.” – Esquire photo producer
“No this is great, let’s just be sure to over Photoshop every part of it.”
And it’s even more remarkably wince-inducing in contrast with it’s British counterpart.
NO-ANNAS

British Esquire

Esquire UK November 2015
Esquire UK November 2015
Proves once and for all that a British man of “style and substance” is a lot classier and focused than his colonial counterparts. Winslet, 40, is equally stunning in this month’s “Steve Jobs.” (And in this WSJ Magazine cover we missed last month.)
3-ANNAS

Tatler

Tatler November 2015
Tatler
If only because Jennifer Connelly is always worth stanning for. And WHEN THEY WORK (emphasis fully intended), graphic black and yellow combinations are beautiful, especially on paper.
2.5-ANNAS

Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair November 2015
Vanity Fair
That rating is no fault of Rihanna’s. If you’re going to take a “bad girl” (Who’s? Ours? Nobody’s? Yours?) to Cuba, put a bad-ass Cuba photo on the cover. This image could’ve been shot anywhere.
2-ANNAS

Vogue

Vogue November 2015
Vogue
Despite all the puns, Angie is stunning as ever. To see more from this shoot, “By The Sea” is in theater Nov. 13.
3.5-ANNAS

Nylon

Nylon November 2015
Nylon
Taylor Momsen, is that you? JK! Elle Fanning, we told you NOT to take that Jenny Humphrey part in Lifetime’s forthcoming “Unauthorized Gossip Girl Story” film because we knew this would happen to you, and you’re really better than this.
1-ANNA

Australian Vogue

Vogue Australia November 2015
Vogue Australia
Like her music, this cover is neither surprising, not shocking. Taylor’s career? Sure. Her music. No renaissance.
3-ANNAS

Elle

Elle November 2015
Elle
There are many covers of Elle’s annual Women in Hollywood issue, but this is indeed a POWER. PLAY. That expression looks directly at the Academy and says, “I’m coming for you, voters.” Damn. Other notable covers of this issue include Kate Winslet (headshot for your life), Alicia Vikander (beginning that “The Danish Girl” campaign right on schedule) and Carey Mulligan, and speaking of Carey Mulligan …
3-ANNAS

Elle UK

Elle UK November 2015
Elle UK
Ta da! Sister publications across bodies of water routinely share cover stars from month-to-month, but rarely in the same month. But there’s only one feminism issue each year, and there’s only one “Suffragette” in a career, so bravo, Elle. Just like that “Landslide” cover in the film’s trailer, this evokes the full slate of emotions, including doubt as to why getting feisty requires an entirely different typeface.
4-ANNAS

Cosmopolitan

Cosmopolitan November 2015
Cosmopolitan
Was under consideration for a zero or even negative rating, but Anna understands the phenomenon of celebrity. (Her legacy is emphasizing it into the pages of Vogue.) But instead of over-indulging the cult of Kardashian, Anna has opted to put members of America’s real first families on her magazine time and time again. So Cosmo, here’s hoping this stunt sold you a lot of issues. Also, there are SIX woman in his photograph, and it is SO lifeless.
1-ANNA

Marie Claire UK

Marie Claire UK November 2015
Marie Claire UK
Here, Claire indeed shows us how to be cool this fall. Meanwhile, on “Homeland,” Claire indeed shows us how to be cray always.
3.5-ANNAS

Details

Details November 2015
Details
Norman Reedus stars in this outtake from the Elle UK shoot with Carey Mulligan. But joking aside, and though Reedus manages to be improbably rising despite leaning on a post, it’s a great outfit for that moment when you’ve happened upon respite from the undead in such a lovely rustic barn.
Communication 16

Out

OUT Magazine November 2015
OUT Magazine
This is so boring. It could almost be arousing, but clearly no one learned a lesson about too many faces from that boring Details September issue. Beardy in the center though is fine.
HALF-ANNA

British Vogue

Vogue UK November 2015
Vogue UK
And last, but certainly not least, British Vogue kicks off the multi-pronged cover attack that Lea Seydoux had this month with this awesome manifestation of this “pastels for fall” trend that only took until November to really, really work.
3.5-ANNAS

French Marie Claire

Marie Claire November 2015
The only thing still chaotic about your life, Lea, are the pink fur details on this coat.
3-ANNAS

Maxim

Maxim November 2015
Maxim
Lower rating if only because of all the skin, and that ain’t Anna. But say-who? Stunning.
2.5-ANNAS