"Vogue 100: A Century of Style" opens in London
For the first time ever, British Vogue has collected original prints from each decade of the magazine's publication to celebrate its hundredth anniversary - and showcase the immense talent of the photographers who have been commissioned for it over the century.
"Our guiding principle with the show has been to show Vogue as a working magazine, starting in 1916 but still going strong today" says Robin Muir, contributing editor to British Vogue and curator of the exhibition. This is the reason for the show's perhaps unorthodox layout, which begins in the now with current fashion photography and then takes the audience on a journey back in time to the very first Vogue years.
Among the photographers shown are Lee Miller, David Bailey, Corinne Day, Mario Testino and Irving Penn, as well as Tim Walker, whose wonderful 2009 portrait of Alexander McQueen - taken just months before his suicide - overlooks the exhibition's main hall. It's fascinating to see how fashion photography has developed over the decades, and to see the original magazines as well as previously unpublished works, including war photographs by Lee Miller.
The exhibition reads like a who's who in the British fashion industry over the last 100 years, with photos of everyone from Lucian Freud to Gwyneth Paltrow. It also really underlines the importance of the fashion industry to society, as the images increasingly function as a comment on the times in which they were taken, whether they are war images from the Forties or pictures alluding to the economic downturn of the Seventies.
"Vogue 100: A Century of Style is a landmark exhibition on the history of magazine photography," says British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman. "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."
"Vogue 100: A Century of Style" is at the National Portrait Gallery from February 11 to May 22.
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