|The September 2009 issue of Vogue Australia has beaten off fierce competition to be hailed as winner of The Maggies: Magazine Cover of the Year. The cover beat titles across all nine categories, including Better Homes and Gardens, Who, Wildlife Australia, Waves and donna hay to be crowned overall Magazine Cover of the Year, as well as winning the Fashion, Health & Beauty category.
The fashion title, known for epitomising the finest in fashion, design and journalism, enlisted the help of fashion illustrator, David Downton, to produce four different illustrations of Blanchett for the 50th Anniversary Collector's Edition
Downton said of his sitting with Blanchett, "The whole thing was beautifully unhurried and beautifully handled. In fact, it was like being a 'master of fashion illustration' for a whole day."
The illustrated cover was a bold step for the fashion magazine whose tag-line is 'Before it's in fashion, it's in Vogue'. Downton said, "Maybe this award, and the fact that the magazine sold out, will help [convince more magazines to use illustration on the cover]. We are a world saturated by photographic imagery; everyone with a camera phone is now a 'photographer.' But illustration tells an alternative story of fashion, one that is highly personal and just as valid."
Vogue's Editor-in-Chief, Kirstie Clements, said of the accolade, "It's lovely to be recognized. I'm very proud of this cover. It was our art director Ella Munro who came up with the idea of commissioning David Downton. Melding the tradition of fashion illustration with a modern actress wearing current fashion was a visual summation of the magazine's history. We were celebrating the past, with an eye on the present."
Initiated by online subscription company, iSUBSCRiBE, and sponsored by Australia Post, the covers entered in The Maggies were shortlisted by a panel of industry heavyweights, Chaired by Ita Buttrose. This shortlist was then put to a public vote, where over 75,000 votes were cast during a five week period.
The judges agreed that the September cover met the shortlist criteria in that it 'possessed a high standard of imaginative design, photography, illustration and sales impact; successfully balanced the image with the coverlines, and encapsulated the brand with something unexpected that grabs the attention of the consumer.'
Buttrose said of the winning cover, "Vogue Australia's 50th Anniversary issue cover is in a class all of its own. Glamorous, elegant, supremely confident - as you'd expect from Australia's top-selling fashion bible - but daringly different, with Cate Blanchett portrayed in a way not usually seen on magazine covers and only one cover line. Brilliant choice of celebrity; brilliant execution of a cover."
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