September. 1916. Hand-painted cover picturing three ladies resting in a ‘L’automne’ tent and a mannequin in the center. This illustration marked the beginning of the ‘fashion Bible’s’ era. And Vogue is celebrating its centenary in style with a new exhibition Vogue 100: A Century of Style at the National Portrait Gallery.
At the time of the First World War, which made transatlantic shipments of the American Vogue impossible, Condé Nast created a British edition. And it was immediately welcomed by the readers exhausted from austerity.
Even though it is an early Thursday morning, the gallery packed with people proves that the charm of ‘vogue’ lifestyle is still very much alive.
Bringing optimism and timeless beauty to war threatened lives, documenting the popping colours from ‘Swinging London’ in the sixties to minimalism in the twenty-first century, the magazine gave a platform for talented photographers like Cecil Beaton, Nick Knight, Irving Penn, David Bailey, Mario Testino and more.
If you still think that this is a magazine for dumdums (yes, I know, some of you do), then celebrate photography at its best. The heritage which is immortal.
‘I am incredibly proud of this collection of exceptional photography and of the whole concept of the exhibition, which shows the breadth and depth of the work commissioned by the magazine as well as Vogue’s involvement in the creation of that work,’ said Alexandra Shulman, the editor-in-chief of British Vogue.
A small hint: over 800 pictures, including rare shots of Kate Moss, Jude Law, Princess Diana, The Beatles and more.
Vogue 100: A Century of Style, National Portrait Gallery, London, 11 February – 22 May 2016, sponsored by Leon Max.