Since its inception, The Gentlewoman has built something of a trademark around simple, striking covers that are notable as much for what they lack as for what they display. No headlines, no titillating wordplay, no teaser for what’s inside other than a stark black and white portrait front and center, accompanied in the most recent issues by only the name of the cover star printed below. The cover photographs themselves read more like fine art than a commercial grab for attention. Lea Seydoux in a clean black dress. Inez van Lamsweerde wearing a beard. Images from Adele and Beyonce that lean toward iconic. And Angela Lansbury wearing Terry Richardson’s glasses, a juxtaposition so off-the-wall that it’s nearly perfect.
The Spring / Summer 2014 cover is no exception. Vivienne Westwood, shot by Alasdair McLellan, framed in white on a red background. That’s it. It’s notable enough that there’s a 72 year old woman on the cover of a fashion magazine, even if Westwood is a style icon and The Gentlewoman is a noted quirkfest (see also the photo spreads on coat pockets and nude yoga in this issue). But a fashion magazine trusting that they will find readers by committing to restraint in the name of aesthetics, unencumbered by the promise of “99 Coats You Need This Spring” or “8 News Ways to Work It,” is something worth celebrating. So for that reason, The Gentlewoman is our Cover of the Month for March. - SD, WATM