Run—don't walk—to the newsstand for your copy of the latest America, which is becoming one of our favorite fashion and entertainment glossies. It has just the right amount of cache to attract A-list stars for some honest Q&A; yet, the editorial premise is still edgy and seeks new talent and notes from the underground.
Among the many highlights of Issue 05 is an absolutely brilliant, mostly b&w photo layout of Sean "Diddy" Combs and Penelope Cruz. The 42 page spread by the noted fashion photographer Peter Lindbergh is entitled If I Was Your Boyfriend and obstensibly captures the mood and music of the noted Prince
ditty song. But the layout does much more; the stark photography, period styling and retro-inspired Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci and Sean John pieces are evocative of pre-revolutionary Havana or 1960s era Spanish Harlem or Miami. People having fun, kids playing in the street, romance in the air—and just a hint of danger in the air. "We had a lot of fun with that shoot," explained Scott Poulson-Bryant, America's senior editor. "With the black and white, we wanted something unique."
Penelope Cruz looks lovely, almost as good as brand new money. (Nothing is sexier than those crisp 20s and 50s from the Readyteller, right?) There's an especially poignant color photo that shows her being adored by a crowd of children. Sean is growing on us. Like many other men, he becomes more handsome in maturity; the Regis Philbin inspired gangster look suits him just fine. In case you aren't wowed by the Sean/Penelope spread, there's something in this America for everyone: a great layout with actress Aishwara Rai, a blazing Missy Elliot by Terry Richardson (mentioned here about three weeks ago) and interviews with the two of the top names in music today, Coldplay and Kanye West.