Vogue 100: A Century of Style

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For fashion and photography lovers, the new exhibition celebrating 100 years of Vogue at the National Portrait Gallery is a must-see!

What started as a branch-off from American Vogue, soon became one of the most influential fashion bibles to date: British Vogue. To mark its centenary anniversary, a major exhibition has been curated at the National Portrait Gallery in London. The exhibition features fashion and beauty shoots, alongside portrait photography from the last 100 years.  The exhibition runs until May 22nd, and it is the perfect day trip to take this spring!

October 1st, 1973 – Limenight Nights Picture credit: Helmut Newton

With over 280 prints from the Conde Nast archives, this exhibition is perfect for those who love photography, fashion, film and travel – there is something for everyone to enjoy! World-class photographers on show include Mario Testino, Nick Knight, David Bailey and Norman Parkinson. Film stars, supermodels, royals – all join together on the walls to celebrate some of the finest work produced for the magazine. The exhibition is structured in reverse chronological order – seemly strange at first, but the journey created is enthralling. As the images get older, you can see how photography has progressed with technological advancements created image manipulation. As you walk through the rooms, you go back to the magazine’s beginning in 1916.

Unlike other photography, the images featured in Vogue and within this exhibition are full of life and movement – perfectly capturing the surrounding scene. One of the most striking images from the collection is Norman Parkinson’s 1956 photograph of Anne Gunning outside the City Palace in Jaipur, India. She models a pale pink mohair coat by Jaegar, but behind her is an explosion of rich colours and culture. There is the infamous 1960 cover by Peter Lindbergh, capturing the original supers – Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, Tatjana Patitz and Cindy Crawford; and then the glamorous affair Limelight Nights shot by Helmut Newton featuring Grace Coddington.

October 1989 – Claudia Schiffer in Paris. Photo by Herb Ritts

Yes it is full of glamour and fashion, but it is also so much more. “As well as the fashion bible it has now become, it is a cultural record of the times,” said editor Alexandra Shulman at a launch event, and this could not be more true. For those who believe fashion is shallow, here is one hundred years of evidence to dispel those myths! The imagery on display captured key historical moments, not only in the fashion world, but in society. There is the poignant and moving portrait shot by Cecil Beaton Fashion is Indestructible, a wartime story capturing the realism of London’s bombsites; to the swinging sixties with Jean Shrimpton and Grace Coddington, where fashion was challenging social decorum shot by Vogue legend David Bailey.

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