When we talk about the world of fashion photography today, and fashion in general, we can’t go on without mentioning Vogue, and the immense influence it had on their history. As an institution of sorts, Vogue continues to re-invent and re-establish the photographic medium, setting trends and promoting the work of only the best portrait and fashion photographers around the globe. To celebrate its 100th anniversary, the British Vogue will set up a groundbreaking exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London, featuring over 280 prints gathered together from the Condé Nast archive and international collections, that highlight the magazine’s greatest moments so far.
British Vogue was born in 1916, when World War I in its full swing prevented publishing house Condé Nast and the American edition to reach the other side of the ocean. As an exact copy of its parent, only with British English spelling, Vogue UK soon undertook a journey of its own, paving its way and integrating into many spheres of social and cultural life in Britain. In the ten decades that followed the publication has had the greatest of successes, which resulted in a continued printing and a magazine that both reflected and influenced life around it. From the sensitive aftermath of the two wars, through the Swinging London scene of the 1960s, all the way to the saturated 1980s, the grungy 1990s and the innovative 2000s, British Vogue endorsed the creation of some of the most iconic images of our time.
The Vogue 100: A Century of Style exhibition will surely be an event that any fashion or photography lover should not miss, as it will present the work of the field’s most prominent names - think the likes of Cecil Beaton, Irving Penn, but also their more contemporary colleagues, such as Patrick Demarchelier, Nick Knight, Herb Ritts, Tim Walker and Mario Testino, who was practically Vogue's wunderkinder from the get-go. It will be like unfolding the magazine on a large, unprecedented scale, with all your favourite celebrities creating fashion history: like Kate Moss and the infamous underwear photoshoot with Corinne Day in 1993; or Peter Lindbergh’s 1990 cover shot which defined the supermodel era; or even World War II photographs by Lee Miller, Vogue’s official correspondent of the event. With these pictures, and many more, it set grounds of the world’s cultural landscape throughout the entire 20th century, becoming one of the most celebrated magazines ever.
Vogue 100: A Century of Style is at the National Portrait Gallery, London, from 11 February – 22 May 2016, sponsored by Leon Max. A fully illustrated exhibition book of the same name, including over 300 reproduced photographs, as well as a paperback highlights group featuring key images and texts by curator Robin Muir, will accompany the show. Between June 24th and October 30th 2016, the exhibition will be on view at Manchester Art Gallery, as part of a tour.
Featured image: Left: Linda Evangelista by Patrick Demarchelier, 1991 ©The Condé Nast Publications Ltd / Right: Claudia Schiffer in Paris by Herb Ritts, 1989. ©Herb Ritts Foundation/Trunk Archive. All images used with permission, courtesy the National Portrait Gallery.