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The Best and Worst Magazine Covers Of December 2015

We read the magazines (for filth).

Each month, we dissect the covers of the biggest fashion mags using our patented Anna Wintour rating system.

Winter's here—even if it’s nowhere to be found in most of the country. Much applause for the magazine for mostly avoiding holiday cliches. Lots of blue, white and gray, though.

But what we’ve got is a W mega hit, a cameo from President Obama and a full range of looks. And that’s saying nothing of the clothing.

W magazine

Once a year, W really embraces what W does best. And it really helps when Cate Blanchett’s on board. (The duo of photographer Tim Walker and stylist Jacob K are fool-proof, too.)

These high-concept images hark back to a pre-celeb, pre-digital era of fashion editorials that required more than a fleeting moment to appreciate. It’s possible someone wouldn’t recognize this as Cate Blanchett, and that’s kind of the point.

Vogue UK

Karlie deserves so much better than a cover with two lens flares.

Cosmo

Thanks to Photoshop, Carrie Underwood never looks like the same person in any two photos. But how can she hope to get flatter abs in nine minutes when rocking this dress inspired by C-3PO’s underbelly?Star Wars is coming and she is NOT going to miss the boat. No FOMO.

Glamour

“You know how, on Project Runway, when they scold a designer for not putting enough structure in a garment after it starts falling off the model halfway down the runway? That’s what we’re going for with this draped lace.”

None of this is your fault, Reese. You look stunning.

Town & Country

Why are there so many words, so many big and bigger and biggest words invading poor Julianne Moore on this cover?!

Is there anything in this issue that isn’t referred to from the cover?! Look how trapped and afraid she looks. It’s one big flashback to Safe.

British GQ

Samuel L. Jackson, on the current state of world.

Harper’s Bazaar UK

Lily refused to smile once they told her they would only be referencing Cinderella, which came out six months ago, and Downtown Abbey, which is on its last legs, in the tease to her interview.

The result was scorn that registers somewhere between Kiera Knightley and Winona Ryder.

Essence

Moneypenny rocking it all here: The dress, the hair, the makeup, the nails! This is way better than all the Daniel Craig covers we (and he) had to endure these past two months. More Naomie Harris, please!

Vogue

Jennifer Lawrence sees you coming for her with all your questions about whether doing another David O. Russell movie with Bradley Cooper is actually bold choice. She just has no time to comment with all the Hunger Games press she still has to do.

Marie Claire

What a year for Amber Heard, from Magic Mike XXL to The Danish Girl.

Here she shows off the most sensible option for any office holiday parties—Johnny Depp not icluded.

Attitude

The only time slut-loving Zachary could squeeze in this photo shoot was right after the Macbeth-themed orgy scene in the Looking movie.

Indeed, the party was not over.

British Cosmo

Poor Ellie Goulding. Sometimes the fashion department just doesn’t show up. It’s just like how no one really showed up to produce her new album. (Oops, that’s the secret.)

Not like there isn’t a trove of other useful goodness to read in this issue.

French Elle

When Penelope had to pull out of the shoot at the last minute, the editors sent the interns frantically searching for solutions. Someone found this outtake from a shoot she did back in the 90s.

A few lines here, some extra distressing there and voila: It’s 2015!

More

This very "In an old house in Paris that was covered in vines, lived 12 little girls in two straight lines ..." dress is totally excused by that captivating, piercing gaze.

Lots of looks going down in the Weisz-Craig household, one imagines.

Elle

Daisy debuts this modern take on the Princess Leia slave costume.

Not sure a Jedi could ever justify such heavy eye makeup, but we’re just happy trends from a galaxy far, far away are being embraced by a fashion pub.

GQ and Out

These two covers are side by side to illustrate the importance of photo choices. The Out cover is so immediate. So personal.

The GQ cover image is maybe the least inviting that Inez and Vinoodh captured of President Obama.

Out

American GQ

Harper’s Bazaar

Ugh, enough with the pink already! We’d all be this happy if we were sleeping (or not) with a Jonas brother, I guess.

British Elle

“You’re going to give style advice every day!”

“Every … day?” Alexa thought, perplexed.

And that’s a wrap!

InStyle

I didn’t realize there was another Hobbit/em>/movie coming out this Christmas.

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