A few weeks ago a photography exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London opened, showcasing the greatest images from the great fashion bible the UK has created, Vogue magazine.
Viewers are taken on a journey through 100 years of glamour, style and celebrity icons through photographs taken or commissioned by British Vogue. Since its launch in 1916, Condé Nast’s world-famous magazine has an enviable and unrivaled archive of outstanding imagery. With around 300 images from their collections and photos from photographers including Lee Miller, Cecil Beaton, Irving Penn, David Bailey and Mario Testino this is a rare insight into the exciting world of fashion photography.
Not only is this exhibition a reflection of the glossy magazine, but also a celebration on British history. During the First World War, when shipping the US magazine became impossible, British Vogue set up its offices in the basement of Condé Nast’s building and produced issues of articles related to fashion and beauty, to help the public go through the difficult time it was facing.
The library of bound copies allows you to survey the magazines as physical copies, the pages revealing coverage of events from fashion history, such as the launch of Christian Dior’s ‘New Look’ in 1947, which celebrated the end of austerity with its extravagant layers of fabric and the cover with Donyale Una, the first black model, who graced the cover in 1968, ten years before US Vogue did the same. British Vogue has been around for a century and is documented in the National Portrait Gallery in a beautiful fashion.
Running until the 22nd May 2016, be sure not to miss this remarkable exhibit. Book tickets on their website here.
After the exhibition my friend and I went to a cocktail party at Collier Bristow, a London based menswear and womenswear boutique based on the Kings Road. We walked out with a new pair of jeans, but with all the luxurious silk shirts and opulent dresses, I will be returning. Watch this space for a future blog post on the brand.