My feelings about this are varied and complicated (and LONG, so I apologize), so let’s break them down together. (Or you can skip to GFY Kanye’s take at the bottom.)
[Photo: Annie Leibovitz/Vogue]
1) The look:
The dress fits her nicely. Credit to Kim for putting some zip into her eyes, too, but right half of her face is in semi-sinister shadow, which I LOVE imagining is because Anna Wintour secretly authorized a dash of Evil Shading. The lips and stripe of makeup on her left cheek just look half-assed, though. I’m sure the idea was to focus on the diamond engagement ring and nothing else, for some kind of forced regality, but overall, the lack of any other styling feels boring to me — surely an aesthetic choice to keep things extremely simple, but the result is that it looks like Brides, and not Vogue.
2) The Pose:
If the story is about both of them, it’s bizarre to me that Kanye is relegated to a footnote who’s just sniffing mopily at her neck; I agree with the praise for an interracial couple being on the cover, but if that is truly the achievement, then I don’t know why they couldn’t stand there more proudly as equals. Instead, he is stiffly cuddling the air in front of her uterus while her hands equally stiffly seem to be keeping his at bay. Why put him there at all? This feels like a compromise, as if Anna would only do it if Kanye were present, and Kanye is actively trying to force Kim front and center anyway so that he can call it a win. SPOILER: GFY Kanye agrees with that.