Cover Girl: Jessica Chastain for Vogue Magazine

Posted on November 11, 2013

Leave it to Grace, Annie and Vogue to finally figure out how to photograph Jessica’s unusual form of pretty.


Jessica Chastain covers the December 2013 issue of Vogue magazine in a Theyskens’ Theory yellow dress photographed by Annie Leibovitz and styled by Grace Coddington.

Flaming June” by Lord Frederic Leighton (1895)


Nailed it, wouldn’t you say? Jessica, beautiful as she is, has a string of not-so-great editorials and covers in her past. We chalked it up to her being one of those attractive people who just doesn’t photograph well. Turns out you just need to figure out what she needs (in this case, a relaxed, aristocratic, but unglamorous feel) and she bursts into life in front of the lens. That’s pretty much the best picture of her we’ve ever seen.




[Photo Credit: Annie Leibovitz for Vogue Magazine,]

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  • Karen Belgrad

    Breathtaking, stunning, gorgeous… and all the other words that have been previously lacking from her comments sections

  • foodycatAlicia

    They should really just stick to the Pre-Raphaelites for her. She can do Rossetti’s Joan of Arc next.

    • Kiltdntiltd

      Imagine her in a Klimt inspired shoot.
      *sighs with happy anticipation*

      • fursa_saida

        Now I’m waiting for a Vermeer version.

    • MishaFoomin

      I don’t know that the fashion industry can be convinced to be more supportive of embracing and promoting fine art like that. Fashion is so trend driven. :

      • Faerie Nuff

        I’m a photographer who majored in fine art. If I ever get into fashion photography, I will make this happen.

    • Danielle


    • cakecakecake

      You hit the nail on the head with that one!

  • Kiltdntiltd

    That is a color that would swallow a lot of women whole, but on her its glorious.

    • Sarah

      Really! It is transcendent on her. I would never have guessed, but it was a masterful choice.

  • Sarah

    SWOON! Art Historical Reference FTW! Sigh. I wish all photo shoots were styled this way. (ETA: Annie Leibovitz doesn’t hurt, I’m thinkin’)

    • Nicholas Paganelli

      I wish she wasn’t “floating” over that dark red background so much. I want the fabulous, fleshy weightiness of the painting…but like #itsVoguenotmyArtHistoryLecture #JessicaChastainwillneverbefleshy

      • Sarah

        Your hashtags say it all don’t they? They had to have that dark red background for their headlines to be splashed across, and as you pointed out, JC is at least, oh, 50# shy of the voluptuosity required to meet Mr. Leighton’s model. But the callback to the motif is worth celebrating, nonetheless, don’t you think?

        • Nicholas Paganelli

          Oh of course. Love me some art historical fashion

  • kawadjan

    Took my breath away.

  • Chartreusite

    That’s the best Annie Leibovitz cover photo I’ve seen in a long time too.

  • International Model

    Grace gets it. I keep recruiting people to watch “The September Issue” so we can talk about how amazing Grace is.

    • decormaven

      “The September Issue” used to be my night-night story, just listening to the dialogue before I would go to sleep. Grace Coddington is a genius.

      • Karen Peters

        I have the September Issue on my ipad and have it on as background on almost every plane flight I take.

        • decormaven

          I’m sad it’s no longer on Netflix streaming. I use many of the songs from its soundtrack for my workout- sort of a Fashion Stomp.

  • Janet B


  • DTLAFamilies

    Dress color is gorgeous on her but the angle of her neck looks painful.

    • Vtg Fashion Library

      And unnatural. She somehow bears a huge resemblance to Julia Roberts here, too. Gorgeous cover at first take, but the more I look at it the less I like it.

      • kimmeister

        I like the pose, but I really don’t think she’s giving her best face there.

  • tereliz

    Perfection. I recognized the reference painting immediately. (See, Dad, my $100K masters degree is worth something!) Love the lighting on the cover—though I’m sure the colors have been saturated and the levels adjusted.

    • Sarah

      Sister! Come and convince my dad :)

  • lbl

    I love the colors, but don’t think this captures er beauty at it’s best at all.

    The concept of the shoot is fun though so I’m looking forward to the rest of the editorial.

  • Bexxx

    There’s something so intimate about this shot. I love it.

  • Nonmercisansfacon

    Yowza. She looks amazing, I would have never imagine yellow would suit her so much.

    • Aurumgirl

      Redheads look great in yellow.

  • marlie

    This is a perfect interpretation of the painting! And that color of yellow is gorgeous on Jessica. Bravo, indeed.

  • MannahattaMamma

    really small quibble: why “flaming june” for a december cover?

    • Aurumgirl

      I wondered about that too. It was probably taken early in the summer, and just now used for the cover.

  • Tanya Wade

    I feel certain Grace is behind this. I will be buying this for the cover alone. Stunning.

  • Vickiefantastico

    I don’t know if this makes sense, but my eyes just eat this up. I could stare at it all day.

  • mmebam

    That gold is giving me LIFE!

  • HobbitGirl

    She’s got a Pre-Raphaelite look anyway, between that hair and her larger-than-usual features. GAWJUS.

  • jjtxgrrl

    Amaaazing!!! Love the nod to art as well.

  • MilaXX


  • Eclectic Mayhem

    That’s extraordinary.

  • jw_ny

    yes…she absolutely “nailed it”. She should take this pic of her, without all the magazine cover words, and frame it!

  • Kelly

    Wow, yes, she’s the perfect Pre-raphaelite. Lovely. I just wish her face could show such gorgeous rich coloring in RC pictures. It works so well with her naturally-pale skin.

  • Introspective

    the gold dress and her copper hair set the picture on fire, and yet the blue of the water is so cooling. the effect together is just such fashion symmetry. well done vogue.

  • KT

    Sorry but I disagree. I love the idea of this, but the execution makes it look like she just woke up from a nap, only to find that Anna Wintour amputated half of her left arm.

  • dorothea_brooke

    Oh, gorgeous. And I’ve always loved that painting. Carried the poster around to all my twenties apartments …

  • Jacqueline Wessel

    She looks fabulous in that color and that’s a hard color to wear.

  • crash1212

    This is beautiful. I’ve always loved that painting…have it on a tile in my kitchen.

  • Jaimie

    She just looks like Macaulay Culkin to me.

  • LesYeuxHiboux

    Sometimes I buy a magazine just to tear off the cover and hang it on my wall (the last one was an issue of Vanity Fair with Emma Stone in a red-and-white striped bikini in front of a turquoise sea, title in red). I think I will be picking up this issue of Vogue.

  • Trickytrisha

    This would be even better if her neck and chin didn’t look cramped and distorted.

    • Gatto Nero

      Terrible Photoshop work. Tell me she hasn’t had stuff done to herself, please.

  • Irish Rodriguez Reyes

    Not as dreamy as the original but still works. Which they had saved it for the spring issue though.

  • MoHub

    Didn’t Irina channel that painting in PR season 6?

  • LaSylphide

    Yellow is a hard color to wear, but she carries it well.

  • bingo

    Outstanding recognition and reference T&L. This is why I frequent your website.

  • guest2visits

    Both the painting and the photo of Jessica – perfection!

  • cheekypinky

    Oh, oh, she is such a Pre-Raphaelite beauty! Nailed. IT.

  • Fred Vaughn

    Can’t complaint here…

  • NYCGlamourpuss

    They got it, all right – spot on! And so beautiful!