Erotic depictions of women in drawing, painting, sculpture and photography from the dawn of man to the present.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Venus on the Cover: Playboy covers for 2014

It is time to take our annual look at the previous twelve month's Playboy covers in the year the magazine celebrated it's 60th anniversary (actually that was the end of 2013 but, for some reason Playboy count their anniversaries from their second issue from January 1954).  We have to admit to being somewhat disappointed with their anniversary subject as we have never found Kate Moss remotely sexy.  She must have needed a huge amount of Photoshop to make her look presentable as her drink, cigarettes and drug-addled lifestyle has not been kind to her looks.  Perhaps that is why her cover picture and pictorial inside needed two photographers Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott.  The picture itself is fine without being particularly exciting (in any way). 5/10

As the first issue of the year covered two months then the second issue was for March.  Cover model Jennifer Humphrey featured in a lingerie pictorial inside, photographed by Michael Bernard.  The text is a bit distracting as is the tap at the bottom right but there is something slightly retro pin-up about the picture which we like. 6/10

Model Rachel Mortenson from Arizona decorates the  April cover by regular cover photographer Tony Kelly.  Mortenson, now a 29 year old mother of an eight year old, didn't start modelling until she was 26 following an agency casting call in Scottsdale but since then she has fronted campaigns for Frederick's of Hollywood and the Guess! line Marciano.  Nice girl, but not that imaginative shot. 6/10

May's retro looking cover illustrated a pictorial inside called Air Playboy which sort of harked back to the days of the Big Bunny. The best cover of the year for Triple P. 9/10

It looks like it was all done in Photoshop but, in fact, they really did perch February 2014 Playmate of the Month Amanda Booth on the nose of a real aircraft in a Californian aircraft boneyard.

More retro style on the June cover with Playmate of the Year Kennedy Summers looking very sixties.  Inside she was photographed in different styles to represent each of Playboy's six decades.  We like the sixties look so it gets 8/10

The double July/August cover featured a very upfront picture of 30 year old  Bianca Balti who is an Italian fashion model rather than a glamour one.  She has done catwalk shows for many of the big houses and has appeared on the cover of Vogue and Cosmpolitan.  She also appeared in the 2011 Pirelli Calendar.  Apart from the prominence given to her name (did they think she was more famous than she was) they dialled right back on other text for the cover.  Lovely girl but not a very inspiring shot so just 6/10

So it took until September to get the first featured Playmate on the cover, in the impressive shape of Canadian Stephanie Branton.  Over the last ten years or so some of the Playmates have been rather less attractive than in the magazine's heyday but this accusation couldn't be levelled at the utterly gorgeous Stephanie who is world class by anyone's standard.  Almost more Vogue than Playboy 8/10

October's cover was completely text free with the contents of the magazine being cleverly incorporated by the use of sew-on patches on a letterman jacket.  This trailed the pictorial inside featuring the girls of the Atlantic Coast Conference, one of Playboy's regular looks at naked college students.  Very much harking back to some covers of the past and we like the trick with the badges so 8/10.

The focus on the model's prominent bust meant that she was the only cover girl whose face didn't appear on the magazine in 2014.  So here it is, that of June 2013 Playmate of the Month, Audrey Allen.

Dubbed The Indulgence Issue, Playboy went for a rather more sensual approach than usual with Danish model Stephanie Corneliussen being molested by some beautifully red nail-varnished hands.  Corneliussen came to prominence in 2000 when she won the Supermodel of Scandinavia contest.  Very nearly our favourite and certainly injecting a bit of much needed eroticism so 8/10

Latterly, she has been winning a number of acting roles in films and TV so it looks like she my go on to be one of the dreaded models turned actresses.

Finally, we have only the second Playmate on the cover of her issue for 2014, Miss December, Elizabeth Ostrander from Florida.  Ostrander is lovely, is showing more skin than most and the icy effect is nice so 7/10

So another good year of covers with the troublesome text of the past well and truly kept under control.   Perhaps they have been a bit more conservative than in 2013 with a lot of straight shots of girls and less attempts at graphic invention.  Before the end of the year we'll take a quick look at some of the girls inside the covers.


  1. Can I mark the passing of French photographer Lucien Clergue? When I was about 17 I bought a paperback photo essay called Nee De La Vague (Born Of The Waves) which showed a naked model emerging from the sea and lounging artfully on the beach before returning to the waves. What impressed me apart from the beautiful non airbrushed body of the model was the way the photos tracked the different times of day throughout the book from morning to evening. I still have it and admire the photos greatly. Perhaps a special feature Triple P?

    1. An excellent idea! I have that book myself. I'll pull something together over the next week!

  2. That Penthouse featuring Lucia St Angelo was one of the first I bought new. I may still have it in in storage somewhere.