Last week I took some time out of the Kazoo office to go and visit the Vogue 100 exhibition at The National Portrait Gallery: a celebration of the iconic magazine’s centenary. It was billed as a sparkling journey through the groundbreaking photography that the title has published since its first issue in 1916, and it didn’t disappoint.
As we wandered around the various rooms of the exhibition we were absorbed by the striking images, and sheer style that radiated from the collection of almost 300 photographs and illustrations. There’s an issue from every single year of Vogue’s history on display at the exhibition – a wealth of fashion to explore.
One of the most interesting things the exhibition looked at was the importance that Vogue had on society and the public throughout its history. I’d always appreciated the fact it was a cultural beacon in the world of fashion, but never realised how important the title had been in trail blazing through British history. It was an escapism of glamour for women during the harrowing war years on the home front, but balanced this with sensitive reporting about the war effort.
During the 90s, Vogue revisited its news journalism focus by being the first fashion magazine to report on war torn Baghdad. Coupled with its dedication to events such as the death of Princess Diana, and even featuring Margaret Thatcher as an 80s cover star, there’s no doubt that Vogue has an important place in current affairs journalism, as well as being a beacon in fashion and style.
The exhibition left me wondering what’s next for the magazine? The final room to explore at the Portrait Gallery was dedicated to the models and photography that we know so well, from Cara Delevigne to contemporary figures such as Rhianna and Dakota Johnson.
The magazine is still led by Alexandra Shulman as Editor, who has been in the post since 1992 and paved the way for making a stand again size zero models. The digital readership of the magazine is also growing, and the website features contributions from bloggers, influencers and also Vogue TV, where you can watch live catwalks. One thing’s for sure – there’s an exciting future ahead for Vogue, and here’s to the next 100 years!
The exhibition runs until 22nd May, please click here for tickets: http://www.npg.org.uk/whatson/vogue/tickets.php