Whilst in London last week, I could not miss the opportunity to go and see the Vogue 100 exhibition at The National Portrait Gallery, where British Vogue showcase the stunning range of photography commissioned by the magazine over the years, since it was founded in 1916. It was really interesting to see all the work laid out in an almost timeline format through each room, and the way the publication has developed throughout it’s ten decades of production.
As I walked through the gallery I got a strong feel for how the magazine has developed its immediately recognisable and irreplaceable identity it holds today. Whilst it started out as beautifully illustrated and minimalist, as technology within photography and printing developed, so did Vogue’s reputation for it’s remarkable and stunning photography, and modern image, enclosing coverage of current fashion, culture, faces and affairs.
My personal favourite feature in the exhibit was Kate Moss’s 1993 lingerie fashion shoot with Corrinne Day. Whilst at the time this represented a controversial period for Vogue, as critics threw accusations of promoting drug abuse, eating disorders and paedophilia, this stripped back shoot featuring 19-year old doe-eyed Moss sprawled in her grungy London flat in mismatched underwear, I now believe is a nostalgic and stunning marker for the beginning of the model’s long and at times controversial career.
I also really enjoyed the two-screen collage-style video pasted together from video footage from more recent years, demonstrating Vogue’s expanding and reaching out into online content from very early on. It was the kind of video that you can’t help but smile at, despite containing no dialogue.
Unfortunately we were asked not to take photographs, so I’ve included the best I could capture and find online to demonstrate what an incredible exhibition this is. It’s on until 22nd May this year, so you’ve still got plenty of time to go and take a look!