Kate Middleton is undoubtedly one of, if not the most sought after cover star for magazines–fashion or otherwise. Both the British and American Vogue editors have reportedly tried to get her to no avail, but there’s one tactic they may not have considered: just slapping her image on the cover by way of a photorealistic illustration.
No, it’s not a late April Fool’s joke. Kate Middleton has made her glossy cover debut on Marie Claire South Africa’s August issue. A very lifelike rendering of the Duchess of Cambridge wearing South African designer Clive Rundle is described by the magazine as a “fan art tribute,” of which there are four more inside, all done by local illustrators.
But is it a little misleading, not to mention weird? And perhaps unfair to Marie Claire SA readers as well as the Duchess herself? The illustration of Kate, which Marie Claire SA describes as “hyper-real” in a blog post about the cover, really seems like an attempt to look like the magazine actually scored KMidd for the cover. “Kate Middleton is, without a doubt, the world’s new style icon,” says Aspasia Karras, editor of Marie Claire South Africa. “We have honoured her with a fan-art tribute, dressing her up in clothes by South African designers and placing her in all sorts of fun, everyday situations.”
As much as Anna Wintour would love to have K-Midd gracing the cover of Vogue wearing her favorite American designers, we doubt she’d let anyone other than Mario Testino take the photo, let alone resort to a fabricated illustration. Though it’s not the first time Middleton has been subject to a questionable portrayal in a magazine. There was the time last year when Grazia photoshopped Prince William’s arm out of a photo of Middleton in her wedding dress, making her waist significantly smaller in the process. And just last week The New Republic photoshopped her teeth to appear stained and rotting for their cover.
Maybe Middleton should just give us a real cover so we can stop imagining through Photoshop or illustration what one might look like. Alternatively, maybe celebrities should stop posing for magazines altogether–it’s not like these “hyper-real” illustrations look any less real (or more photoshopped) than what we’re used to seeing on glossy covers. What’s your take?