Cover: X-Ray Spex frontwoman Poly Styrene, Smash Hits cover 1979 (the year I was born!) – RIP Poly (a tribute here)

Magazines are one of my all-time favourite things in the world. I have my mum to thank for that passion. She always taught me that reading was important; she taught me it’s a great way to learn about things, people and places and it can be a form of inspiration – a nice way to spark ideas that can kick start you dreaming of life’s possibilities. She especially loved profiles and biographies of entertainers and humanitarians (maybe it explains in part, my own lifelong affinity for the two). Magazines and books were a huge part of our household. When I was young I’d sit with her at all hours of the day and devour glossy page after glossy page – mostly women’s magazines, culture, food, lifestyle, travel and true crime. No grocery trip to the store was ever complete without picking up at least a couple of titles off the rack and no newsagent could be walked passed without popping in for a look.

I’ve always been fascinated with who, what, why, where, how and when – magazines (along with books) sated a lot of these curiosities—for a little while. I always wanted more—always thirsty for knowledge, always excited to fawn over pretty pictures. It was a given that I’d end up working in the publishing field in some capacity. It makes sense that today (for the past 14 years actually) I write for various publications and self-publish (I’ve been doing that for 17 years this year).

A favourite thing about magazines besides the features, accompanying pictorials, smell of the paper and luster of the pages is: the cover. I love a great cover! I’ll be honest and say sometimes I do buy magazines just because one of my favourite entertainers or humanitarians etc. is on the cover regardless of what’s inside. Yeah I get suckered in, LOL. If I ever see Gwen Stefani, Angelina Jolie, Courtney Love, Brody Dalle, Santogold/Santigold, M.I.A. or anything to do with/or inspired by Frida Kahlo I’m a goner! I’m also a huge fan of illustrative covers and covers which seem like their covered in handwriting scrawl. Each year, I keep a folder on my laptop desktop devoted to my favourite covers that I come across—to me a great cover can really be a beautiful piece of art.

Below I’d like to share with you some of my favourite covers from last year, 2010. The 2011 folder is still taking shape but I will share that in due course too – I haven’t come across many things that have blown me away as yet. If you see something AMAZING please send it my way, I’m always on the hunt for new titles (especially with incredible covers). Right now some of my favourite magazines out there are Nico, Dazed & Confused, Venus Zine and Interview. Some of you may be surprised to find out that I don’t really enjoy music magazines these days a whole lot. I find most are written and designed for teenage guys. I ask, don’t intelligent, thoughtful adults enjoy music too? I also enjoy the art that is Vogue Paris. Carine Roitfeld, VP’s editor of 10 years until recently, is one of my favourite editors she has consistently delivered great envelope pushing covers and content. Whether or not VP continues to be a favourite now she’s gone remains to be seen.

I found 2010 had a theme: women musicians/performers. I observed though, that the covers I’ve chosen (bar two – Rolling Stone Germany and Uptown Strut, also from Germany) weren’t solely dedicated to music. I for one would like to see more female musicians featured on actual music magazine covers (and not in the semi-naked to naked way they’re usually styled either).

Enjoy lovelies!

Lily Allen – Harper’s Bazaar (Australia)

Erykah Badu – Uptown Strut (Germany)

Nicki Minjai – Out Magazine (US)

Kelis – Trace Magazine (US)

Vogue Paris (France)

Katy Perry – Harper’s Bazaar (US)

Alicia Keys – Fabulous (UK)

M.I.A – Complex (US)

Dita Von Teese – Genlux Magazine (US)

Lady Gaga – Vanity Fair (US)

Madonna – Interview Magazine (US)

Sade Adu – Rolling Stone (Germany)

Here’s also a few other covers I’ve loved featuring female musicians from year gone by:

Brody Dalle – Inked Magazine (US)

PJ Harvey – i-D Magazine (UK)

Santi White – Anthem Magazine (US)

Gwen Stefani – V Magazine (US)

Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain – Sassy (US)

Have a wonderful day friends…