2016 has been a significant year for leading fashion magazine, British Vogue. The 100th Anniversary has seen fabulous events in addition to a centenary issue with the Duchess of Cambridge on the cover; as well as the beautiful exhibition ‘Vogue 100: A Century of Style’. It was exhibited in London at the National Portrait Gallery before moving to the Manchester Art Gallery. Featured were beautiful images of fashion shoots from across the century, revealing the extent to which our perception of fashion and style has changed and come full circle with dramatic comebacks such as the shapeless dresses of the Roaring ’20s, as well as the 1940s suits and flared trousers which have become staple features of the minimalist style, flooding the wardrobes of trend-seekers. The flared trousers are predicted to replace the reliable skinny jean in 2017 – a trend that appeared timeless with its reputation for versatility.
Alexandra Shulman, editor-in-chief of British Vogue, has also written ‘Inside Vogue: A Diary of My 100th Year’. The book is a collection of diary entries by Shulman, documenting her time as editor during this significant year. Hadley Freeman, Journalist for The Guardian, argues that Shulman presents an honest account of her experiences whilst providing a light and sometimes comical read. (https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/nov/16/inside-vogue-alexandra-shulman-review-british). This is not necessarily what we would expect from an editor of a fashion magazine who is deeply involved in the stereotypically hard, cold, and fast paced fashion world. To see her in real life action the BBC documentary ‘Absolutely Fashion: Inside British Vogue’ is a must-see.
The images below from the fashion shoot of Christie Turlington in 1995 reveals the key elements that Vogue brings to every monthly issue. There is energy, passion, and an edgy yet fun side to Vogue which can be seen in the contrast of white against the bright blue background and of course in Turlington’s striking movements.
The exhibition also featured international photography to celebrate the great impact Vogue has had worldwide on the fashion industry. Photography was not allowed in the exhibition room, therefore the images in this article may not be featured in the actual exhibition, however they do give a taste of the amazing influence Vogue has had in shaping the direction of trends and how Vogue has used cultural influences in its photography. Indeed, the shot below of Lily Cole for Vogue Italia appears to be inspired by the Pre-Raphaelite paintings whereby women were often painted with long and thick red hair as well as pale skin.
Vogue has documented and influenced our perspective on fashion and will most certainly continue as a leading fashion magazine for decades to come. So here is to an exciting year ahead!