BAZAAR March 2021: The Story Behind The Cover

Before we can forge a new future, we have to take stock of our past. That was the driving thought behind the concept of our March 2021 cover. As Harper’s BAZAAR Malaysia returns to the industry following its unfortunate closure last year—another casualty of the devastating threat of the coronavirus pandemic—we felt it necessary to honour the heritage of this august publication, to pay tribute to our history as we pave a new way forward in what is now this brave new world.

Harper’s BAZAAR, November 1932 & November 1956

We went through BAZAAR’s impressive archives, all the way back to vintage covers from the 1930s to the 1950s, when fashion illustrations and artsy compositions graced the covers before fashion photography and celebrity faces took over. But we didn’t just want to produce a facsimile. We wanted to adopt the approach and interpret it to contemporary times.

The Bvlgari Serpenti collection, photographed by Nadirah Zakariya. View the series here

With Bvlgari as our creative partner, we were also energised by the attitude of the Bvlgari Serpenti collection: bold, daring and edgy, as expressed through the vibrant colour palette, which was also a nod to the saturated pictorial showcase by fine art photographer Nadirah Zakariya, featured within the pages of this March 2021 issue.

Halpern Spring/Summer ’21 & Loewe Spring/Summer ’21  

Naturally, the Spring/Summer ’21 collection provided much inspiration too. Artistic pursuits defined the mood of the season as designers explored their creative mind palaces to make sense of if not to completely escape life in quarantine. From the underwater dreams of Donatella Versace and the romanticism at Dior, to the kooky Show-in-a-Box at Loewe and the fantastical heroics over at Halpern, fashion is having fun with imagination and creative expression. And in that same spirit, we hope that this cover, and this March 2021 issue, will inspire you to have fun with yours.

Harper’s BAZAAR Malaysia, March 2021. Cover illustration by Hidayah Ahmad Surasa