Art & History

British Vogue celebrates 100 remarkable years of fashion photography

A major exhibition celebrating 100 years of cutting-edge fashion, beauty and portrait photography by British Vogue will launch at London’s National Portrait Gallery in February 2016.

Vogue 100: A Century of Style will showcase the remarkable range of photography that has been commissioned by the iconic British Vogue since it was founded in 1916 following the breakout of World War I when transatlantic shipments of American Vogue became impossible. With over 280 prints from the Condé Nast archive and international collections being brought together for the first time, the exhibition tells the story of one of the most influential fashion magazines in the world, via the austerity and optimism that followed two world wars, the ‘Swinging London’ scene in the sixties, the radical seventies and the image-conscious eighties.

Decade by decade, the exhibition will explore the title’s unfaltering position at the forefront of new fashion, its dedication to the best in design, and its influence on the UK’s wider cultural stage during some of the most inventive and exciting periods in style, taste, the arts and society. Exquisite vintage prints from the early twentieth century, ground-breaking photographs from renowned fashion shoots, unpublished work and original magazines will be on show in this first retrospective survey of the celebrated magazine.

Featuring work by many of the leading twentieth-century photographers, including Cecil Beaton, Lee Miller, Irving Penn and Snowdon. More recent work by celebrated photographers David Bailey, Corinne Day, Patrick Demarchelier, Nick Knight, Herb Ritts, Mario Testino, Tim Walker and Albert Watson will also be included, reinforcing British Vogue’s keen editorial eye and dedication to commissioning world-class photography, as well as its role in nurturing new talent.

The exhibition will also include many of the faces that have shaped the cultural landscape of the twentieth century, from Henri Matisse to Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud and Damien Hirst; Marlene Dietrich to Gwyneth Paltrow; Lady Diana Cooper to Lady Diana Spencer; and Fred Astaire to David Beckham. Also featured in the exhibition will be the fashion designers that defined the looks of the century, including Dior, Saint Laurent and McQueen.

Highlights of the exhibition include the entire set of prints from Corinne Day’s controversial Kate Moss underwear shoot, taken in 1993 at the pinnacle of the ‘grunge’ trend; Peter Lindbergh’s famous 1990 cover shot that defined the supermodel era; a series of exceptional Second World War photographs by Vogue’s official war correspondent, Lee Miller; a rare version of Horst’s famous ‘corset’ photograph from 1939, which inspired the video for Madonna’s hit song Vogue; and vintage prints by the first professional fashion photographer, Baron de Meyer.

Via direct submission | All images courtesy of National Portrait Gallery. Main image credit: Anne Gunning in Jaipur by Norman Parkinson

Claudia Schiffer by Herb Ritts

Kate Moss by Mario Testino

David Hockney, Peter Schlesinger and Maudie James

Cecil Beaton’s ‘The Second Age of Beauty’

‘Linda Evangelista’ by Patrick Demarchelier

‘Limelight Nights’ by Helmut Newton

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