Unlike most issues of the magazine, the May issue of Vogue is hotly anticipated. The reason? There be models. On the cover. A whole passel of them. And we think we know who they are.
Vogue's May issue is in honor of the Met's annual Costume Institute Gala, a to-do that editor in chief Anna Wintour always supports. This year, the Costume Institute's exhibit is all about the model as muse — and for months now, rumors have been flying about a multi-model Vogue cover exploring the model/muse theme. It is said to celebrate Wintour's picks of the current top girls, and be shot by Steven Meisel.
Kind of like the November, 1999, cover, which featured Kate Moss, Lauren Hutton, Iman, Gisele Bundchen, Naomi Campbell, Stephanie Seymour, Claudia Schiffer, Amber Valletta, Christy Turlington, Patti Hansen, Lisa Taylor, Paulina Porizkova, and Carolyn Murphy. The photographer was Annie Leibovitz, and I have to say, the image has aged rather well.
The last time Vogue did a models cover, for the May, 2007, issue, an image of it leaked in early April, which rather dulled the suspense, if not the excitement of seeing Hilary Rhoda, Doutzen Kroes, Lily Donaldson, Sasha Pivovarova, Coco Rocha, Chanel Iman, Caroline Trentini, Raquel Zimmerman, Agnyess Deyn, and Jessica Stam together under the tagline "The World's Next Top Models."
It's safe to say that this time, Condé Nast won't mistakenly upload the cover early to Style.com, or do anything else to let its secret out of the bag. And so American Vogue, the commercial monthly that perceives boundless reader enthusiasm for what Cathy Horyn called "the 'villa in Tuscany' story," natural home of the humiliating beauty writer first-person piece, originator of the suggestion that we prick our body fat with needles, overall the safest and plainest of the world's fashion tomes, finds itself the object of a fever pitch of fashionistas' speculation. Anna Wintour, this is not the Twilight Zone. This is merely what happens when you pick good models and good photographers, and trust them to do good work.