Cate Blanchett and David Downton, the cover stars of Vogue Australia's 50th

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Vogue Australia has just unveiled its 50th anniversary edition at a launch party in Sydney. And what a commemorative edition. The cover, make that covers – there are four - depict Australian actor Cate Blanchett, although not photographed, as is the norm with fashion publications. In a bold move by Vogue Australia, all four covers are hand-drawn by UK-based illustrator David Downton, who is well-known for his celebrity portraits - which have included Blanchett in the role of Elizabeth I - and whose fashion clients include UK Harpers Bazaar, Chanel and Harrods. Although heavily supported by art directors in the early 20th century, fashion illustration was eventually overshadowed by photography. In spite of the emergence of influential illustrators in recent decades, including the late Andy Warhol and Antonio Lopez, Ruben Toledo and latterly, LA-based newcomer Danny Roberts, fashion magazines have been reluctant to fully re-embrace illustration. The record 360-page edition, on sale August 5th, also features a 28-page editorial shot by Greg Kadel, starring Catherine McNeil and Abbey Lee Kershaw. Another story, modelled by Karlie Kloss, showcases 10 swimsuits created for the issue by Chanel, Dolce e Gabbana, Karl Lagerfeld, John Galliano for Christian Dior, Francisco Costa for Calvin Klein, Frida Giannini for Gucci, Ralph Lauren, Bally, Burberry and Max Mara.