Alina Kabaeva on 'Vogue': The Ultimate Faux Pas?

Kim Conte

alina kabayevaHere in the United States, it would be unthinkable to have a politician's alleged mistress grace the cover of a high-end fashion magazine. But in Russia, it's a whole different story.

Alina Kabaeva -- professional gymnast and Olympic Gold medalist, who is also rumored to have been Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's mistress and the mother of his love child -- is appearing on the front of the January issue of Vogue Russia. The headline that's been strategically placed between her legs? "Her Main Victory."

But that's not actually the real controversy that has readers raging in the online forums ...

Rather, they're upset because the dress Kabaeva appears in -- a gold Balmain gown worth $33,000 -- has been photographed for other publications and is "old news." Moreover, they don't think the cover is "high-fashion" enough for Vogue ... but are they talking about the dress or the person wearing the dress?

Here are some comments from outraged readers regarding the cover:

The cover just isn't great at all, I completely get the festive New Year's feel but I'm so over that Balmain dress.
Alina Kabaeva is sweet and pretty girl, who achieved a lot, but there are absolutely no reasons for her to be on the cover of Vogue. If VR wanted some famous Russian to grace their January cover, there are plenty of stylish and successful women to choose from.

This cover looks so cheap to me!

This is such a bad cover ... Where is the creativity in this cover? Where is high-fashion? Where in this cover, can you see the glamour of Russian women? This cover looks like an overrated reprinted cover of Marie Claire US or Glamour US.

It seems to me like readers are perhaps taking their anger out on the gold dress, when what they're really reacting to is the choice of cover model. Then again? That dress is pretty awful.

Which do you think Americans would be more upset about: The fact that a politician's mistress is on the cover or the fact that her dress isn't high-fashion?

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