The earlier post which mentioned something about a vintage Bazaar cover had us thinking of the glory days of Harper's Bazaar. If you look at the history of the magazine, it was very successful only during the reign of Carmel Snow (1933-57) and Liz Tilberis (1992-1999).
It helped that both editors in chief had strong, creative and brilliant art directors on their side. Snow had the trailblazing Alexey Brodovitch whose layouts energized the fashion magazines at that time. And Tilberis had the minimalist Fabien Baron.
Both Brodovitch and Baron believed that type and photographs are equal in their power. A single letter magnified to the size of a page is just as provocative and inspiring as a photo of a model wearing the latest fashions. Both also believed in the power of dead space - be it black or white. This is something that is missing in a lot of magazines now. The common practice now in magazines is that every space on a page is littered with text and images; there is no breathing space.
If you look at the images and layouts, including the covers, produced by Brodovitch and Baron, there is a lasting elegance to them, a quality that is missing in American Bazaar right now. American Bazaar it seems is confused in its direction: month after month, the covers, the fashion editorials and the stories are weak. Their only saving grace are the photoshoots they do with the designers. They pale in comparison to the UK and Australian editions.