16.01.14 Magazines, Vogue

Lena Dunham For Vogue US February 2014


Lena Dunham – the New Queen of Comedy, according to American Vogue – lands her first Vogue cover for the publication’s February 2014 issue, which hits newsstands January 28.

Looking slightly perturbed, the actress wears a red-and-white polka-dot Burberry Prorsum shirt and heavy sixties-style eye makeup on the cover, wearing Prada, Rochas, Alexander McQueen and Dolce & Gabbana for the rest of the editorial, shot by Annie Leibovitz.

She talks to Vogue about dating, her privacy, on being popular as a child and why ‘Girls’ is different from other shows.

Here are some extracts from her interview. Read more over at

On ‘Girls’ being different from other shows: “There was a sense that I and many women I knew had been led astray by Hollywood and television depictions of sexuality. Seeing somebody who looks like you having sex on television is a less comfortable experience than seeing somebody who looks like nobody you’ve ever met. Critics said, ‘That guy wouldn’t date that girl!’ It’s like, ‘Have you been out on the street lately?’ Everyone dates everyone, for lots of reasons we can’t understand. Sexuality isn’t a perfect puzzle, like, ‘He has a nice nose and she has a nice nose! She’s got great breasts and he’s got great calves! And so they’re going to live happily ever after in a house that was purchased with their modelling money!’ It’s a complicated thing. I want people ultimately, even if they’re disturbed by certain moments, to feel bolstered and normalized by the sex that’s on the show.”

On being a private person: “No one would describe me as a private person, but I actually really am. It’s important for me to have a lot of time alone, and to have a lot of time in my house by myself. My entire life sort of takes place between me and my dog, my books, and my boyfriend, and my private world. To me, privacy isn’t necessarily equated with secret-keeping. What’s private is my relationship with myself.”

On her young self: “I thought of myself as relatively unpopular. It wasn’t anybody’s fault—I didn’t go to high school with mean kids—but I didn’t feel part of it. . . I didn’t really start to feel like I had friends in a real way until I graduated from college and became engaged with the people I’d be engaged with professionally.”

Credit: Annie Leibovitz for Vogue

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47 Responses to Lena Dunham For Vogue US February 2014

  1. Enrico January 18, 2014 at 7:58 am #

    Some of you people are really disgusting.
    The views you hold and opinions you voice through the safety of the internet show how uneducated and BASIC you are.

    Fashion Critic you should be ashamed to have such cretins as your audience.

    Regardless of what she wears on the red carpet or what you think of her style Lena Dunham is a positive role model.

    Vogue celebrates what is happening in culture NOW and it is admirable that they are celebrating an actress who is young, accomplished and relevant.

    • EmmaWoodhouse January 18, 2014 at 10:27 pm #

      Not that everyone has been responding appropriately, but I think it is possible to respectfully question whether a person who has consistently performed poorly on the red carpet should be on Vogue (this wasn’t really my issue, but some others expressed it) or to believe that Lena isn’t a good role model. I have no problem with her on Vogue, since she is “current,” but I don’t think she’s a positive role model. Just my opinion. I agree that no matter the perspective, it’s important to be respectful.

    • Kaz January 19, 2014 at 6:27 am #

      I’m not going to weigh in on the debate about the merit or otherwise of Lena’s cover as it has been discussed at length, but I will say that I think it is completely out of order for you to criticise Fashion Critic for the comments people make on the forum. It’s a forum for people’s opinions which Catherine has no control over.

  2. EmmaWoodhouse January 17, 2014 at 3:28 pm #

    Jumping in on the debate…I strongly dislike Lena, her show, and her red carpet style–but I see no problem with her being on Vogue, due to the fact that Vogue does not only choose people for their fashion cred. The cover is good, and the Celine coat inside was a good choice. The McQueen is ok; the other shots are terrible. I am not a fan of the shoot in general, think her pretty styleless, but putting my feelings for her aside it’s good to see someone of a more normal shape in a big magazine.

  3. Fiona-Brasil January 17, 2014 at 3:22 pm #

    “To each their own!” I buy Vogue magazine for the fashion articles and if I wanted to see people relevant in the entertainment world purely I would buy Vanity Fair.So for me this is definitely a step in the wrong direction.

  4. Kathy January 17, 2014 at 3:03 am #

    I find the argument that Lena doesn’t deserve to be on the cover because she’s not particularly into fashion to be absurd. Plenty of celebrities who’ve been on the cover are clueless/disinterested when it comes to fashion, such as Jennifer Lawrence and Rooney Mara (who actually confessed that dressing up for the RC was her least favorite part of the job), but for some reason they get a pass? Lena is very intelligent and, if nothing else, sparking an interesting conversation with her TV show. One gets the sense that she’s going to create quite a cultural impact in the future, and that reason alone makes her more deserving to be in Vogue than many other previous cover stars.

    In terms of the actual images, the expression on the cover is a bit awkward but it surprisingly works. The editorial is slightly forced, but I love the picture of her standing in the subway station and the one on the sidewalf. Very interesting settings for the shots as well.

  5. cherrysoftness January 17, 2014 at 1:38 am #

    Next, they should make her the new face of Dior. Let’s see how people feel about that. Will it also be “refreshing, real, commendable”?

    I do find Lena charming and funny, and I feel that being nominated for a Golden Globe award is a wonderful way to celebrate her talents, whereas a Vogue cover is patronizing and inappropriate. Anyone who thinks this is a step towards giving Vogue a more approachable standard does so precisely because they think Lena IS a lower than usual standard. So, in choosing her over all the other beautiful models and actresses who push themselves to look beautiful for a living… should I thank Vogue for throwing something in to lower the average grade?

    • Kathy January 17, 2014 at 2:52 am #

      “Anyone who thinks this is a step towards giving Vogue a more approachable standard does so precisely because they think Lena IS a lower than usual standard.”

      Actually, seeing Lena in Vogue is refreshing and real because she doesn’t look like most of the other people who’ve ever been featured in the magazine, not because putting her on the cover is catering to a so-called “lower standard”. It’s about time some diversity was brought into the fashion industry, and this is a step in the right direction. I doubt anyone else who is happy to see Lena here feels this way because she’s somehow below other celebrities/models. “Approachable” doesn’t mean “lower grade”…I think that’s just your interpretation.

      • cherrysoftness January 17, 2014 at 10:13 am #

        “because she doesn’t look like most of the other people who’ve ever been featured in the magazine, not because putting her on the cover is catering to a so-called “lower standard”.”

        And these other people look, how?

        This is not my interpretation of Lena. I’m just stating that, if people think she adds diversity, they must think she looks different from the norm. In what way, may differ. You may think that she deserves to be in the cover of Vogue for a lot of wonderful reasons, but not everyone is happy to see this “real” woman in the cover for the same reasons. I’m just addressing an issue that for me is equally unhealthy. She is a person and not a symbol of us, “real women”. And I’m not saying that approachable = lower grade. I’m saying that, that’s what it sounds like coming from other people.

        Thank you for your reply though, I definitely appreciated how respectfully it was written compared to the person below.

    • Giras January 17, 2014 at 8:18 am #

      Are you blonde?

  6. Elisabeth January 17, 2014 at 12:11 am #

    I’m working so hard to love Lena, but she’s just a disaster. I love that she’s not that skinny girl and I basically love everything she stands for. It seems like she doesn’t care, that she’s making a total mess out of herself on the red carpet. That’s fine, but DON’T GET NEAR VOGUE! Please.. Did Anna really approve this?

  7. Lina January 16, 2014 at 10:22 pm #

    Finally some realism in the fashion world! To be honest I think the whole cast of girls is a breath of fresh air, you notice by their apperances on the red carpet that they are real people trying to adapt to an unrealistic world.

  8. pipsqueak January 16, 2014 at 8:18 pm #

    I’m appalled by the negative reaction to Lena’s cover. She’s much more accomplished than some of the dumb blondes that have been put on the cover. Frankly, Jolie doesn’t have a better sense of style than Lena, but she just has a far better body. Vogue has always favored strong women in recent years. Lena is the right choice. I love photos inside. The moody color palette and indie film sensibility suits Lena so well. It made Vogue more intellectual than just pretty.

  9. Paulo January 16, 2014 at 4:47 pm #

    Of course Lena isn’t a size 0-4 so her Vogue cover just had to be a headshot! Anyway, I don’t like her expression on the cover, as if she’s trying too hard.

  10. Rebecca Z January 16, 2014 at 4:42 pm #

    Very interesting discussion. I don’t like the show and I rarely like her appearances on the RC, but I am impressed by the quotes above–she is clearly a thoughtful woman who knows what she is trying to get across and is working the worlds of media and entertainment expertly to do so. The photos are much better than I would have expected–whether it is photo shop or great styling I wouldn’t presume to suggest. For me, this works.

    The other thing I want to say is that fashion and art are not always about beauty. There are some majorly fashionable women who view fashion as an opportunity for self-expression and succeed who are not beautiful–Sarah Jessica Parker comes to mind–she is not beautiful, but she knows how to work what she has to great advantage. It will be interesting to see Ms. Dunham’s relationship with fashion develop over time–I am guessing a positive response to this shoot and cover will encourage her to make better choices.

    • SilentVisitor January 16, 2014 at 5:06 pm #

      SJP is not beautiful according to your “standards”. What do people usually say: beauty is in the eyes of ….
      They are all beautiful……..

  11. SilentVisitor January 16, 2014 at 3:34 pm #

    Wow for once, no overboard photoshop. Lena is perfectly recognizable. I think it is a great vogue cover.

    • Leeann January 17, 2014 at 10:57 pm #

      Please see as they show the extent of the photoshopping was quite extensive

  12. Anna January 16, 2014 at 3:19 pm #

    I completely agree with nicoletta. I think beauty comes in more than one size or shape. Not only a bone structure which is carved in what we define fashion by our standards (which might be defined completely different in a different part of the world. I like the choice of Vogue putting Lena on the cover. And I like Lenas statement/answers to the questions. She has something to say, it is interesting and not the same…well I’m in shape because I only eat cucumber or I just have it in my DNA. What Lena say about Girls being a different show also explains why Lena is discussed so controverse…it is less comfortable to see reality than some perfect image of it to which you can’t relate. But reality is so much more interesting and it is this in what we are living. So thumps up for Vogue…if I would live in America I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this issue.

  13. Serenity January 16, 2014 at 3:14 pm #

    I rather like the Dolce shot, she looks great. The Prada and McQueen dresses look really good as well. I guess I’m not particularly concerned with the ‘politics’ or reasoning behind her being on the cover. All I know is, it feels esteem-building for me to see someone on the cover of a major fashion mag, as well as see her looking beautiful in designer clothes, and think, ‘I could be her. I could wear that.’ Seeing endless images of perfect models and enhanced celebs has never made me feel good about myself-to say the least. This actually feels real, and identifiable. It’s refreshing, IMHO.

    • SilentVisitor January 16, 2014 at 5:04 pm #

      Probably a weird or even stupid question: Esteem-building from a magazine cover? which is only read by 1% of the US population?(I only mentioned the US to have 1% otherwise it is read by 0.000000….01% of the world population)

      • Kathy January 17, 2014 at 2:45 am #

        With all due respect, who are you to question someone else’s source of self-esteem? If a woman sees Lena Dunham on the cover of Vogue (an independent, hard-working actress who defies traditional standards of beauty) and feels better about herself, why is that a bad thing? Does it matter how many other people read Vogue? (BTW, I’m sure you just made up those “percentages”.) It’s refreshing to see someone like Lena in a fashion magazine, period, because these magazines are known for displaying a very specific kind of model. Serenity specifically said that she usually doesn’t feel this way about other people featured in magazines, which means this is an exception. She doesn’t regularly “build esteem” from magazine covers, hence why Lena’s is a big deal.

        • SilentVisitor January 17, 2014 at 5:28 am #

          I did not make up those percentages, I probably overestimated the number of readers. There is no point in arguing when a point is misunderstood

  14. Mel January 16, 2014 at 2:28 pm #

    surprised to hear all the hate for lena being on the cover of vogue. i understand this is a fashion blog, but beauty and elegance don’t revolve entirely around clothing choices. i loved the photos. i think vogue did a great job making a typically poorly dressed celeb look fashionable – which makes vogue an even more credible fashion source in my opinion. i love the choice. give me a lena dunham cover any day over a supermodel whose name i don’t know.

  15. Cookie January 16, 2014 at 1:44 pm #

    Who styled this shoot? The clothes don’t suit her, don’t tell a story and look terrible anyway. The Dolce dress is nice, but wasted opportunities with the Rochas feathered mules and Prada dress, which are really fun and kooky pieces on their own.

  16. Alina January 16, 2014 at 1:34 pm #

    I just can’t understand why she is on the cover of Vogue.

  17. nicoletta January 16, 2014 at 1:33 pm #

    I really love the fact that Vogue has chosen Lena… So, she is fashionable in these shots, I like the outfits, she feels comfortable, she’s ironic and funny. Isn’t it beautiful? And this is much improvement from her redcarpets which have shown some terrible choices (hers or her stylist’s) but I like her very much indeed. She’s real… And perhaps we’re ripe enough to accept that Vouge can put also real people on the covers!

  18. Jonathan Xavier January 16, 2014 at 1:32 pm #

    Red and White polda dot shirt is by Burberry Prorsum SS14

    • Catherine Kallon January 16, 2014 at 4:33 pm #

      thanks a lot

      • Jonathan Xavier January 17, 2014 at 10:32 am #

        You are most welcome and I thoroughly enjoy your fashion blog!

  19. tod January 16, 2014 at 1:24 pm #

    those pics….good ol’ photoshop!

  20. Lee Ann January 16, 2014 at 1:17 pm #

    This cover underscores the need to bring back models . This is why Vanity Fair exists. A picture of Lena D with the words Vogue is a huge oxymoron

    • JJ January 17, 2014 at 2:16 am #

      Agree. I miss when models were on the covers and there was the occasional celeb one.

  21. Yeliz January 16, 2014 at 1:16 pm #

    The photo where she wears the Celine coat is my fave, don’t really like the rest.

    • dee January 16, 2014 at 1:40 pm #


  22. Bianca January 16, 2014 at 1:02 pm #

    epic fail! 🙁

  23. Lil's January 16, 2014 at 12:59 pm #

    Seriously ?! I’m lost for words and not in a good way. How can this girl be on the cover of Vogue US when you know that every of her red carpet appearances are a disaster. She has absolutely no elegance.

    • Caro Chanel January 16, 2014 at 2:56 pm #


      I don’t get it. You can like her for who she is but she has done nothing in the fashion or beauty department to be on the cover of Vogue.

    • irving cares January 16, 2014 at 3:51 pm #


      Can Vogue please raise their standards?!

    • amy January 16, 2014 at 3:57 pm #

      you don’t need to be the most fashionable person to be in vogue. You just need to have a great contribution to the entertainment business and be relevant. Right now Lea has one of the most talked about shows on TV, it doesn’t hurt that she’s got a few golden globes and countless nominations. Blake Lively, Kate Upton, Sienna Miller neither had any of these but still got covers.I don’t watch her shows so I can’t really say I’m a fan but I don’t understand why people think she isn’t worthy of a vogue cover when people with far less achievements have been in Vogue. It’s hard to be more relevant than Lena, Jlaw or Kerry Washington right now.

      • SilentVisitor January 16, 2014 at 4:23 pm #

        Totally agree with you, Amy.

        • Magdalena January 16, 2014 at 7:12 pm #

          I agree as well.

          • Leeann January 16, 2014 at 8:33 pm #

            Sorry couldn’t disagree more. Contributors to the entertainment industry belong on the cover of Vanity Fair. Women of beauty ,style and elegance belong on the cover of Vogue.

            • Lil's January 16, 2014 at 9:36 pm #

              so true ! Vogue is a fashion magazine not an entertainment one. It is famous for being ellitist. I have nothing against her persona as I don’t know her but what I know is that in the fashion department she is almost always wrong. She ruins every outfit she wears not because of her shape but because of her posture, attitudes, hair and makeup. She has no class and sorry if I shock solme people but her yellow teeth are horrendous. There are treatments for God’s sake! If I want to see girls like her it is certainly not on a Vogue cover but on a glamour or Cosmopolitain one.

            • amy January 17, 2014 at 4:07 am #

              Really? I’m sorry but that argument isn’t valid anymore considering the fact that Marion Jones (athlete),Lebron james, the olympic team of 2012, hillary Clinton (who was always heavily criticized for her fashion sense), tina fey, and a lot of public figures who don’t give a damn about fashion got covers. Vogue has always been about more than just fashion. otherwise they wouldn’t bother interviewing women like Marissa mayer or syria’s first lady. My point is Vogue is about relevance in the fashion folks love Lena’s show. so do a part of the public and the critics apparently. I don’t why it’s such a big deal,honestly.

    • JJ January 17, 2014 at 2:18 am #

      Is she even into fashion? Why would someone not into that be on tue cover of a fashion mag?

  24. Christine January 16, 2014 at 12:27 pm #

    I like some of the photos in the editorial but this photop business need to stop.

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