Kate Upton for ELLE Magazine

Posted on August 08, 2013

It Girl of the moment Kate Upton gets a chance to ditch the bathing suits and serve up some 21stC Jessica Rabbit realness on the cover of Elle:


Kate Upton covers the September 2013 issue of ELLE magazine in a Lanvin dress photographed by Carter Smith and styled by Joe Zee.

On people treating her like a “dumb blonde: “People deal with models like they are children. They think they can pull one over on you. It’s actually funny. I’m always like, I’m about to pull something on you, and you’re so focused on thinking I’m dumb you’re not even going to know.”

On the tiny tattoo of a cross on the inside of her finger: “I was at a photo shoot and I was wearing a cross necklace that my mom bought me, and somebody made a joke like, ‘Why are you wearing a cross? Like you would be religious.’ And then they took [my necklace] away. I was really affected by that. The whole thing made me realize that I do want [a cross] with me, at all times.”

On the fallout from her first Sports Illustrated cover: “After my first Sports Illustrated cover, I felt terrible about myself for a solid month. Every single guy I met was either married or about to be married, and I felt like I was their bachelor present or something. I’m not a toy, I’m a human. I’m not here to be used. I am a grown woman, and you need to figure your shit out.”

Now THAT is a lady who knows how to push some buttons.  She strikes us a pretty savvy gal in a pretty gorgeous package. She’s working a high-end pin-up look (provided by T Lo fave & pal Joe Zee) to perfection. Her only weak moment comes from that damn winged fish Gucci gown that every celebu-lady seems destined to wear eventually.

Suddenly she seems to be everywhere. Even after all this time, we’re still kind of fascinated by that celebrity cycle of endless ups and downs.

Louis Vuitton Fall 2013 Collection/Model: Jessica Hart (WOMEN)

Gucci Fall 2013 Collection/Model: Daria Strokous

Dolce&Gabbana Fall 2013 Collection/Model: Manuela Frey



[Photo Credit: Carter Smith for ELLE Magazine, style.com]

Please review our Community Guidelines before posting a comment. Thank you!

  • Nancer

    It’s really starting to crack me up, the ubiquitousness of that fishtail dress! Who will be it’s next fashion victim? Maybe TLo should hold a contest – points to the bitter kitten who spots the dress first! :]

    • Karen Belgrad

      I think we actually need one post, perhaps in a month when the dress has been discarded in favor of the next “it dress”, that showcases EVERY picture of it for easy compare/contrast/mock.

      • MoHub


      • PastryGoddess


      • Jessica O’Connell

        Please, TLo, can we please have such a post? And then can we do a sort of ceremonial burning of the dress? That thing is truly hideous and I do not understand the stylists’ fascination with it AT ALL.

        • decormaven

          I’m bringing the matches and stuff to make s’mores. I am officially OVER that dress. Die, dammit, DIE!

          • Karen Belgrad

            Ooooh… have you ever made s’mores with a York Peppermint Patty? Deeeeeeeeeelish!

          • Domo_Konnichiwa

            Officially making a campfire to try that out!

          • DilettanteDeconstructed

            Are you… are you a wizard of food?

            That sounds amazing. :O

          • Karen Belgrad

            My idea of a recipe is “peel back film to vent”… But I have some fabulous guncles who gifted me the idea (peanut butter cups work too)

          • Qitkat

            I had never heard that word before and had to google. Clever wordmash, but it sounds like a horrible disease, or a new species of shellfish.

          • decormaven

            Did not need that knowledge! [scampers off to purchase Peppermint Patties.]

        • http://marshmallowjane.com/ marshmallowjane

          I’m amazed at how popular that dress is among magazine editors and stylists. I’m guess that they like the way the texture photographs. It is a butt-ugly thing. Toss it out.

      • Rand Ortega


      • prismamars

        Yes, please!

      • drdarke

        Works for me, @karenbelgrad:disqus !

        I have to say, I’m also getting a bit sick of That Dress – do they just hand it around….?

    • gabbilevy

      I would have thought the glorious Joe Zee would have been immune to its inexplicable charms. But nope.

      • Imasewsure

        I’m sure his lack of immunity probably has more to do with his contract (and mortgage payment) than his love for the dress (for lack of a better word). SomeONE loves that piece of crap but I’m betting $$ it is not the fabulous JZ

    • DilettanteDeconstructed

      At this point, I am hoping and praying that this dress has a grand finale of appearing on someone like Johnny Depp or Gerard Butler in some magazine, with the reveal that this was all a horrid joke.

      • drdarke

        Or Miss Piggy – for the humor-challenged, @dilettantedeconstructed:disqus !

        Of course, she would totally rock that dress – style icon that she is….

        • demidaemon


    • pop_top

      Blake Lively is on the cover of something in the same version as Kate.

  • FashionShowAtLunch

    KILLING that Dolce & Gabbana look.

    She’s not bad, she’s just drawn that way.

    • MaggieMae

      Right? She looks MILES long.

      • Lucía Gavello

        I was thinking the same thing! She’s all leg and (glorious, I must admit) rack!

    • HomeOfficeGirl

      She makes me think for a split second someone could actually wear the D&G for….something? A Megan Drapper cocktail party?? I dunno… I hate it on the model, I love it on Kate.

      • RebeccaKW

        I think if I looked like Kate does in that D&G, I would wear it EVERYWHERE.

    • FrigidDiva

      She fills out the DG, on the runway model it looks like a sack. I love Kate’s proportions, she actually looks healthy amd happy.

  • Karen Belgrad

    She gives me a total Kathy Ireland-vibe.

    • Squareface

      Yass. I can easily see her luxuriating on a Raymour and Flannigan sofa.

    • Kristin McNamara

      I’m not sure I’ve actually ever seen this Kate Upton woman before, and my first thought was that she reminded me of young Brooke Shields in Blue Lagoon.

  • MaggieMae

    “I am a grown woman, and you need to figure your shit out.”

    Love. it. I’m going to have to use that one day.

  • mjude

    i love the louis v. look

  • Tatiana Luján

    I don’t think Jay-Z did such a great job here.
    The jewelery on the cover looks tacky.
    The second look is bland and she’s showing her bra
    The dodo dress not only is terrible, but makes her boobs look like fat rolls. Besides, the hairstyle doesn’t make her any favors combined with the bussy neckline.
    She looks great in the third look, but fabric diapers are not outfits, it doesn’t matter how expensive they are.

    • Karen Belgrad

      Jay-Z? That’s fashion blasphemy! J-o-e Z-e-e

      • Tatiana Luján

        jajajaja,imagine this styled by Jay – Z.

    • Jacob Bowen

      THANK YOU! I HATE the diaper on the Dolce & Gabbana outfit. I want to like it cause from afar it is cute, but looking closely it is WAY too diaper-ey.

      • Tatiana Luján

        Joe Zee has used diapers in all his works I’ve seen lately here in TLo. I hate that he has done so.

  • MilaXX

    She looks good but that darn Gucci Dodo bird dress must die! I also saw a picture of Blake Lively wearing it on a magazine cover somewhere.

    • RedRaven617

      My thoughts exactly.

    • Little_Olive

      Of course Blake Lively had to be in on the action. I wish I didn’t know that.

  • Donna Tabor

    A girl never knows when she’s going to need a cross to vanquish a vampire, ya know?

    Love that she uses her blonde power to dazzle ’em!

  • Rand Ortega

    “You need to figure your shit out”.
    Words for the ages. GO, MISS LADY!

    • StellaZafella

      Drag rule # 42: Low ceilings + ankle high camera angle + an extra 9″ body height.
      And now i want the D&G with “You need to figure your shit out” beaded into the waist band.

  • PaperPusher2

    She looks good here. She’s been in Vogue I think twice and I swear each time I thought someone at Vogue must really, really not like her because they went out of their way to put her in outfits that were very unflattering.

  • Joanne Abrams


  • Sweet_Fashionista

    That Fish dress is like Flat Stanley – making the rounds :)

    • Kimbolina

      That’s for sure. I wonder, especially for such a detailed dress that probably required a high level of workmanship, the designer probably only has one to hand around to the stylists. So is everyone literally wearing the same dress, passing it around? (Ok, so the same two… this gold one and the blue/green one). If so… ew… And especially for a dress like this that requires going commando…

  • http://dontmakeitlikeimdumb.blogspot.com/ annabelle archer

    Oh my god y’all, this is like when Sparkle with stealing all the ideas from Poise. Jenna Rink is behind this, I know it.

    • JLH

      Please come be my best friend and watch movies with me.

      • http://dontmakeitlikeimdumb.blogspot.com/ annabelle archer


  • lbl

    That Gucci is like that fugly Stella McCartney that was showing up all over editorials and red carpets a few seasons ago.

  • steeg of their own

    Why? Why did they have to pull out the damn Gucci gown? Every single version of that dress should be burned. No one else is allowed to wear it, magazine editors. It is done. Finished. Pining for the fjords. An ex-bird dress.

    Other than the dead parrot gown, she looks good. She’s better than the runway models in the D&G and the Vuitton.

    • unpious

      The bird dress round-up post that Karen and others are requesting should be titled The Choir Invisible. 😛

  • marlie

    I don’t know that much about her, but I like how she’s trying to defy the dumb blonde stereotype. And, she has a KILLER figure.

  • http://stylishsass.blogspot.com/ Terri Smith

    Gucci Fall 2013 dress. DRINK!

    • Julie

      Are you suggesting a drinking game for that Gucci dress? Because we’d all be on the floor by now….

  • http://angrynerdgirl.net/ Jessi03

    Love love love love LOVE HER! And I wish I could look nearly as sexy in my spanx as she does in that last shot.

    • Not applicable

      lmao– well I wear spanks too, so actually laughing my ass off is a dream…

  • Imasewsure

    I hearing bitchy and entitled rather than savvy but I guess that’s on me… love bread for the photo sandwich but not the nasty stale and distasteful middle

  • Not applicable

    So… that’s the same dress that Sarah Jessica Parker was wearing in her recent shoot, no? TLo called it- that we’d be seeing more of that dress. Looks very different on her!

    • somebody blonde

      We’ve already seen it on SJP, Chloe Moretz, JLo, and Olivia Wilde. I’m sick of it, personally. It worked for SJP and JLo and not so much for the others, I think.

      • Melanie

        Nina Dobrev in Cosmo, too, just the other day.

  • d4divine

    I like that fish dress…#postworkouthaze

  • alyce1213

    “I’m always like, I’m about to pull something on you, and you’re so focused on thinking I’m dumb you’re not even going to know.”
    She seems a bit childish to me, not savvy. Other than a voluptuous figure, I don’t get her appeal at all.

    • starrika

      Agreed, and her voluptuous figure is often more the product of photoshop than anything else, if you look at candids (not intended as any sort of body commentary). She’s a thing right now, but I don’t think it’s really from her own savvy. She’s come across in more than a few things as entitled and immature, rather than someone who’s really owning the game.

  • Amy909

    i don’t mind the dodo bird dress on her… definitely not sjp level though. i saw another picture with blake lively wearing it on the cover of a magazine. blake lively just looks lost!

  • sekushinonyanko

    The photo shoot overall is kind of high class hooker to me. Like these are all photos Belle du Jour from Secret Diary of a Call Girl might have Ben take of her for her website.

    • formerlyAnon

      I think it’s the emphasis on breasts! and legs! rather than a high fashion strut/lean.

  • Chartreusite

    Girlfriend telling it like it is. Massive props to her for being that open about her personal feelings regarding things. This is one of few interview passages that actually make me want to read more; she sounds like a very engaging individual.

    Also she works the clothes, so there’s that too.

  • kmk05

    The designers are trolling the masses. That’s the only explanation. THAT DRESS. ARGH.

  • nannypoo

    She looks like she’s on stilts in that last picture. I read an article in which she discussed her boobs, so I am not inclined to be impressed with her printed comments.

    • Bexxx

      Wait…what’s wrong with her discussing her boobs?

      • nannypoo

        Not a thing, unless she makes herself sound like a superficial nitwit. Her comments in the article above make her sound admirable, smart and tough. The comments I read made her sound like she had boobs for brains. I prefer the person represented in this post over the person whose career is base on tits.

  • Judy_J

    Aiiieeeeeeeee! That dress is the Harold Stassen of the wardrobe department. ( google it, young ‘uns)

  • DilettanteDeconstructed

    I’m starting to get irrationally angry every time I see that dress. Like, I just had to talk myself out of punching my monitor angry. Kate looks stunning, particularly in the librarianeque sweater – that’s a great color for her. And this interview really makes her likable.

  • olsonam

    TLo, you need to make a tag for the Gucci dress. I feel like I could make a montage or something. Or we can all come back in a year and laugh at all the editorials.

  • conniemd

    Well that damn fishtail Gucci dress finally brings home to me what Nina Garcia means when she says a look is “editorial.” Apparently it means that nobody could actually every wear it, but magazine photoshooter will like it for it’s impact and poseability on gorgeous women to show off their bodies.

  • Jacqueline Wessel

    What is that last thing she’s wearing? It’s like a blouse and a bathing suit had a baby. Where does one wear such a garment? She does look fabulous in it and I like her attitude.

  • AnniNoone

    I wouldn’t actually sell one of my children to look like that in a sweater, but the thought did cross my mind.

  • Aurumgirl

    And there it is again. I don’t know, I’m actually starting to like the D and G Mutandi di La Bis Nonna, now, faced with the ubiquity of that Gucci dress.

  • Anniebet

    Good grief. That fricking dress again. I can’t even.

  • Trisha26

    These photos are doing a great job at convincing me she’s an intelligent Christian.

    • Joan Wilder

      What does that mean?

    • Bexxx

      ugh, really? what year is it?

  • http://marshmallowjane.com/ marshmallowjane

    I love the shorts and long-sleeve blouse, or whatever that is. Kate looks better than the runway model. They both look fabulous.

  • PaulRin

    Stop making that Gucci shit-ass dress happen. It’s not gonna happen!

    That aside, she works that ugly D&G like a pole.

  • Bexxx

    I like the way she stands up for herself in that last question. It must be REALLY tough to have a career built only on bombshell looks, and I don’t mean that sarcastically. I imagine people don’t treat her very well.

  • stacey

    Whats with the nunderpants?

  • Qitkat

    Sheesh, Gucci, Again? I’m sick and tired of this damn dress. SJP wore it best.

  • boweryboy

    God. That Gucci dress. And it’s not even the same dress! It just hit me that there was an entire collection of these monstrosities.

  • PeaceBang

    At this point, that dress needs its own conspiracy theory. Like, wearing it is a sign that the model has been initiated into the Illuminati, or whatever that cult is that all the celebs are rumored to have sold their souls to. It is literally as ugly as hell.

  • ItsDicey

    That D&G was made for her.

  • http://victoriapavlova.com Victoria Pavlova

    Ah, we need a battle of those horrible dresses. Of course, SJP would win, because she’s the only one not looking totally ridiculous in it, but I would like to see all the poor ladies side by side in that vile thing.

  • Danielle

    She gives me lady wood.

  • Getoverit

    “I’m not a toy, I’m a human. I’m not here to be used.” REALLY? If you don’t want to be portrayed as an object then perhaps the focus should not be on skin magazines, yes thats what I consider SI, and bouncy rides on horses. Puhlease. That being said, shes a curvy bombshell which I think is great. Love to see women with meat & curves, since most of us have those.

    • Sarah Winningham

      She is a human, and she is not here to be used, whatever her profession. Models do not owe you shit, strippers do not owe you shit, porn actors do not owe you shit, sex workers do not owe you shit.

      • Getoverit

        Agreed, she doesn’t owe anyone anything. However, to complain about the way you are percieved when that is what you are selling yourself as makes no sense.

        • J. Preposterice

          there’s a big difference between “I modeled for a magazine cover and that is my job” and “I modeled for a magazine cover and assholes think that is license to treat me like I’m not a person”. She is not selling herself as “not a person”.

  • Kate

    Looks better than the runway model in the first look by about a thousand percent. However, SJP for the Gucci win as of yet.

  • Sarah Winningham

    She looks like she’s in a remake of Niagara in the Louis Vuitton, love it.

  • KateK

    She’s stunning. Kate Upton reminds me of the early ’90s era of supermodels.

  • Sunraya

    I’m confused by this comment:
    “On the fallout from her first Sports Illustrated cover: “After my first Sports Illustrated cover, I felt terrible about myself for a solid month. Every single guy I met was either married or about to be married, and I felt like I was their bachelor present or something. I’m not a toy, I’m a human. I’m not here to be used. I am a grown woman, and you need to figure your shit out.”

    Why was she a bachelor present? Why did she only meet married men? Was she jumping out of cakes. I can’t figure it out.

    Pretty girl, voluptuous body. Practically naked on SI and then she bitches. Yawn. If you don’t want to be sexualized, then don’t sexualize yourself 7/8 naked on a magazine cover. Not too hard to figure out.

  • kimiakay

    She looks amazing in the Lanvin cover, but the Gucci is J Lo’s all the way. She is stunning in the Dolce&Gabbana. I really like the Louis Vuitton, but not on her. The bra sticking out is tacky, in my opinion.

  • H2olovngrl

    Et Tú, Joe Zee?