Pages: 496 (34 fewer than last year)
Hits: Tennis player Andy Murray pays tribute to his badass coach: his mom. Chris Hemsworth’s charming, self-effacing Q&A proves that the “Thor” star is truly Hollywood’s best Chris (bye for now, Mr. Pratt). The ELLE 25 decisively breaks down every book, TV show, movie and art show you need to consume through the end of the year.
Misses: Alicia Vikander is one of the most beautiful and stylish women alive, yet she’s wearing what looks like a glamorized hospital robe on the cover and snooze-worthy minimalist outfits inside. There’s a three-page feature in the front-of-book celebrating body diversity on the runway, yet there are no plus-size or curvy models in any of the editorials.
News you can use: Millennials are taking adulting classes. How to live a sustainable, trash-free life. According to style oracle Alexa Chung, we’ll all be wearing cargo pants, jelly shoes and turtlenecks under everything in six months — the apocalypse may indeed be on its way.
Glamour: ★★ ¹/₂
Pages: 216 (88 fewer than last year)
Hits: This is what America looks like. Glamour consistently features the most diverse range of bodies, races and ages on its pages, and this issue is no different. Love the spread featuring up-and-coming model Khadijha Red Thunder, of Native American descent, wearing a mix of designer and traditional clothing. And one of the alternate covers has Miss Minnesota contestant Halima Aden, a Somali-American who was born in a refugee camp and made waves when she appeared at Yeezy’s last Fashion Week show in a hijab.
Misses: The Blake Lively feature feels skimpy — it’s a two-page Q&A with just three outfits. In fact, the whole magazine doesn’t have the literal heft one expects from a September issue.
News you can use: Stylish clothes you can actually afford, like a disco-fabulous velvet gown from Banana Republic for $128 and an emerald Forever 21 slip dress for $12. There are quite a few cool plus-size options here, too. No-makeup makeup for women of color. What it’s like working at a Planned Parenthood clinic.
Harper’s Bazaar: ★ ¹/₂
Pages: 474 (110 fewer than last year)
Hits: Noted wit Simon Doonan pens a delightful ode to eccentric fashion for a shoot inspired by the Netflix series “Stranger Things.” Iceland’s Blue Lagoon serves as a moody, romantic backdrop to fall’s crimson hues and modernist shapes. The Old West-themed shoot is pretty, but why the random essay on Southern style by Reese Witherspoon smack-dab in the middle?
Misses: Oof. The cover shoot, featuring a jumble of musicians (Grimes, Courtney Love, Miranda Lambert) and models (including an unrecognizable Adriana Lima) wearing almost exclusively black and white, is a dull, confused mess. And the story that’s supposed to anchor it consists of a few scant paragraphs about the Weeknd with emailed quotes. Why bother?
News you can use: Fanny packs are now chic — that is, if you call them “belt bags.” (Helps if they’re Gucci.) Sacré bleu: Carla Bruni vapes and watches “Downton Abbey.” She’s just like us!
InStyle: ★★★ ¹/₂
Pages: 440 pages (52 fewer than last year)
Hits: Every photo shoot in this issue is fun, vibrant and fresh. Selena Gomez wows in an array of bright hues and sumptuous dresses. Newcomer model and Long Island native Dilone has so much personality and verve that she makes oversize trousers and Muppet-like faux furs look like the easiest things in the world to pull off. Marc Jacobs showcases his 1970s-hip-hop-inspired collection on rap icons such as LL Cool J, Salt-n-Pepa and Kurtis Blow.
Misses: It would be nice if some of the stories went beyond a page before forcing readers to flip to the back of the book to finish. (The Internet hasn’t ruined our attention spans that much — yet.)
News you can use: Funnyman Stephen Colbert talks filming his show in Russia. Katie Couric schools us on how to ask tough questions. And it turns out that lust is good for your health!
Marie Claire: ★★★
Pages: 294 (22 fewer than last year)
Hits: Eighty-five percent of women who have difficulty getting abortions say it’s because of the cost. That’s why the reported feature here about abortion-fund hotlines is so vital, and heartbreaking. Who doesn’t love Emma Stone, who discusses her new movie about tennis star Billie Jean King with Sarah Silverman? Trans model Hari Nef looks fetching in hand-painted vintage-style daguerreotypes.
Misses: Haven’t we already heard that Paris Hilton is a stealth mogul? Psst: It was covered in The Post’s ALEXA back in March.
News you can use: Want lustrous locks? Try an apple-cider-vinegar rinse. Clear skin? The face-mask finder will help you out.
Pages: 774 (26 fewer than last year)
Hits: It is Vogue’s 125th anniversary, and the magazine has pulled out all the stops. Jennifer Lawrence, looking like an old-school movie star, poses for four covers, including a Dutch-masters-style portrait painted by John Currin. This month’s issue looks to Vogue’s past, featuring several of its most iconic covers (Nicole Kidman by Irving Penn; Kirsten Dunst as Marie Antoinette) and favorite interview subjects, including a moving tribute by Iman about her favorite photos with her late husband, David Bowie. Profiles on controversial figures Megyn Kelly and trans Army WikiLeaker Chelsea Manning, who was photographed in a retro red swimsuit, are sure to rankle some fans, but they add excitement.
Misses: A multipage feature of designers wishing Vogue a happy 125th birthday is a cute idea, but most of these are just ads masquerading as “congratulations.”
News you can use: People are now illegally brewing psychedelic drug ayahuasca as tea to de-stress. Seventy percent of all cosmetics contain palm oil, and it’s wreaking havoc on our environment.
Pages: 318 (96 fewer than last year)
Hits: Njideka Akunyili Crosby’s collage paintings celebrate the African diaspora — and they’re glorious, as are her rich, colorful outfits. A shoot featuring animal prints atop animal prints in front of crazy printed wallpaper is a dizzying delight. There’s a short story illustrated with photos featuring a chimpanzee in a minimalist Tadao Ando-designed Malibu home. I have no idea why it’s here, but I’m glad it is.
Misses: Katy Perry looks great on the cover of this special collector’s issue, but the shoot inside is dark and muddied, and like a thousand other W magazines editorials.
News you can use: Why won’t 1990s cult designer Helmut Lang make a comeback already? The lowdown on what’s likely to be the most romantic film of the year, “Call Me by Your Name,” featuring Armie Hammer.
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