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Vogue Australia’s September 2020 Cover Features the Work of Indigenous Artist Betty Muffler

We have encountered our fair share of magazine covers featuring various types of artwork during the global health crisis. Like Vogue Italia’s covers drawn by children and American Vogue showcasing the works of Kerry James Marshall and Jordan Casteel. Following Vogue Australia’s collaboration between artist Fiona Lowry and Cate Blanchett for June/July, the magazine hops back on the illustrated cover bandwagon with the unveiling of its September 2020 issue. The publication relies on indigenous artist and traditional healer Betty Muffler’s Ngangkari Ngura (Healing Country) to evoke a sense of hope during the age of COVID-19.

Vogue Australia September 2020 by Betty Muffler


For our forum members, however, the cover projects everything but hope. “Oh good more political messages, just what we want from our September fashion covers said no one ever. All the editions of Vogue need to get over themselves,” said HeatherAnne.

“Agreed, I would love to see such content in the magazine, but putting it on the cover doesn’t make sense and I am 100 percent pro inclusivity and social and political change,” replied Urban Stylin.

“Good god, just when you think it’s finally over…” added aracic.

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“I HOPE this trend stops immediately — I want models,” declared ThickGlossies.

Kiyoko wasn’t impressed with the outcome, either. “I admire, understand and applaud this cover as I feel it invokes the spirit of Australia, but when seen on the newsstand it is very dull. When are these editors going to realize that their covers need to POP.”

In the same frame of mind was Benn98: “The painting looks good and interesting from afar, but I don’t think the detailing works for a magazine cover. At least not online.”

“Not the worst Vogue cover featuring artwork that I’ve come across over recent months, I can admit that. Also lovely to see Vogue Australia support local talent!” proclaimed vogue28.

Are you a fan? Check out the contents of the issue and join the debate here.