Vogue 100

Illustration by Hannah Dixon

This month we got the fantastic invitation to cover the Vogue 100 exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. As we both studied the 3rd year course, Fashion and Photography: Viewing and Reviewing Global images of Dress with Rebecca Arnold, we had already spent a lot of time with Vogue and were excited to see its one hundred year history first hand.

As you enter the exhibition you’re invited to look up at a cluster of tall pillars, covered from floor to ceiling with magazine covers spanning ten decades. The effect is one of overwhelming colour. From detailed portrayals of women working in the war and 20s illustrations next to fifties collages by Irving Penn beside more recent images of Kate Moss and Jourdan Dunn, the display succinctly highlights the variety the brand has had on offer over the years. Beyond the columns is a show reel of behind the scenes footage from recent shoots, content which has become popularised on Vogue’s websites and social media, giving the viewer a glimpse into the future of fashion photography. These displays give the viewer a sense of the unity within Vogue’s brand, concisely showing its history as well as its future.

Moving into the main space we found the exhibition organised into a decade per room, moving you from the 2000s back in time to the 1920s. We however are going to discuss this backwards in order to show the development of styles through the decades, giving a more theoretical reading, which the exhibition due to its size didn’t have room to expand on.