It seems everyone was so distracted by Vogue Italia's arresting September cover (Stella Tennant channeling wasp-waisted Ethel Granger) that we failed to notice the magazine's August cover... and how it had a nearly identical twin stateside.
Women's Wear Daily reports that Vogue Italia's August cover story, photographed by Steven Meisel, is almost indistinguishable from another Steven Meisel-shot editorial that appears in the September issue of W.
The concept for both shoots was transformation, featuring models in various states of makeup and hair styling. In Vogue Italia, model Raquel Zimmerman dons a variety of wigs and layers of maquillage.
In W, Zimmerman (as well as Linda Evangelista, Jessica Stam, Karen Elson and others) appears barefaced and then covered in makeup and wigs.
Both editorials were shot in black and white, although they were styled by different editors: Edward Enninful for W, Karl Templer for Vogue Italia.
WWD also notes that according to a W source, Meisel may have financed the Vogue Italia shoot on W's dime.
How bad is the copycatting? We've certainly seen similar photo shoots before, as fashion tends to return to its favorite concepts time and again. But when shot by the same photographer for two high-profile magazines, unbeknownst to the publications themselves... well, that might be taking it a little too far.
See for yourself -- are these two photo shoots too similar? See W's photos on WMagazine.com; glimpse of Vogue Italia's cover and behind-the-scenes video below and head to Vogue.it to see the full spread.