Top fashion circles have long lamented the end of the supermodel era—when Naomi and Cindy, not Nicki and Scarlett, served as designer muses and mugged for every ad campaign. Yet in the shift from supes to celeb models, several stars have taken it upon themselves to fully immerse themselves in the culture of fashion. Chief among them, Jessica Alba, who arrived at our New York cover shoot a mere 48 hours after celebrating her friend Alber Elbaz in Paris on his 10th anniversary as Lanvin's creative director. While fashion editors and bloggers were still reeling (and recovering) from the party, Alba had already landed in L.A., caught the red-eye flight to the Big Apple, and squeezed in a dinner date with Bono and Oprah. The MC fashion team's vision for the shoot: a dark and sultry moment that Alba immediately grasped as Helmut Newton-inspired. In the Tiffany Suite at the St. Regis Hotel, she dropped her designer knowledge touting the merits of the elusive Azzedine Alaïa. A black crop top and skirt by the insider darling was of particular interest. By day's end, with a Cobb salad and penne marinara to go, Alba was on her way back to the airport, a force of fashion impossible to pin down. - Katie L. Connor
Dress, price upon request, Versace.
Shoes $574, Alberto Guardiani; store.albertoguardiani.com.