Through The Keyhole

Happy birthday: celebrating Vogue

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.


Cecil Beaton (Vogue archive)

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.


Ode to textures: Burberry triumphs in LFW

There was a time when fashion magazines, textures and patterns were alien to me. But it was about to change, when back in 2010 I was glued to a computer screen immersing my eyes in tres British fashion show. Show where models were storming the catwalk wearing metallic leather trench coats and immaculate lace dresses in Hubba Bubba pastels.

London Fashion Week. 1 pm. Kensington gardens. Hundreds of guests are getting seated in a spacious marquee on khaki painted benches and curtains are drawn to close prompting the show to start. Lights go off. And subtle accords of Jake Bugg playing the guitar can be heard in the show space.


Tick tock.. A few minutes until the show will start

This LFW mister Bailey presented a collection which was inspired by British musicians (you could recognise Bowie’s influence in the first ensemble presented by supermodel Eddie Campbell), artists and history. The Autumn/winter show was an ode to the best of British. “All things I love,” the designer said backstage.

Patchwork was delicately crafted from different fabrics (gabardine, brocade) and colours – from khaki, navy blue to mustard (new palette for the next cold season? Yes). Monochrome military trench coat and aviator jacket ensembles were followed by finely sequinned sparkly and fringed dresses, mini skirts with high splits, office pants with subtle snake pattern stripe on the side, dreamy floral dresses matched with military boots and high-heeled brogues.


Christopher Bailey backstage

Conclusion: wearable, colourful and beautifully crafted. Oh, and it can’t be too many trench coats in one’s closet, right?

Cover picture: Burberry.