Vogue 100: A Century of Style

It is considered the fashion bible of the world and was born out of a high society newspaper in 1892 until it was bought by Condé Montrose Nast in 1905. A new exhibition devoted to British Vogue is to mark the centenary year in 2016 at The National Portrait Gallery in London’s Trafalgar Square.

It’s no secret that Vogue has often been accused of being too controversial and when British Vogue first published the photograph of Kate Moss in her knickers when she was only 19, many were quick to judge the publication as being pornographic. Taken by world-class photographer Corrine Day in 1993, Kate Moss is seen standing against a bedroom wall in her underwear and a low cut pink vest top. What may have been considered a controversial topic of its time is now set to go on display.

Kate Moss Vogue, photographed by Corrine Day 1993
Kate Moss Vogue, photographed by Corrine Day 1993

With everything from fashion, portrait photography of a long line of celebrities and beauty from the last 100 years, this exhibition is an unmissable experience. Titled Vogue 100: A Century of Style, it has been sponsored by Leon Max and curated by Robin Muir and will open February 11 and run until May 22 2016. Visitors will see for the first time more than 280 prints from the Conde Nast archive. With 300 images featured, there is a vast range of supermodels, film stars, royalty and men on show, including Charlie Chaplin and Fred Astaire. The work of Cecil Beaton and Norman Parkinson will be on display including Parkinson’s 1956 photograph of Anne Gunning outside the City Palace in Jaipur, India, modelling a pink mohair coat by Jaeger. A Bardot-esque Claudia Schiffer shot by Herb Ritts in 1989 and Peter Lindbergh’s famous 1990 cover features the five biggest supermodels; Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, Tatjana Patiz and Cindy Crawford.

Vogue 100: A Century of Style including a 1990 cover and Claudia Schiffer
Vogue 100: A Century of Style including a 1990 cover and Claudia Schiffer

British Vogue editor, Alexandra Shulman made a statement regarding the exhibition:

‘I am incredibly proud of this collection of exceptional photography and of the whole concept of the exhibition, which shows the breadth and depth of the work commissioned by the magazine as well as Vogue’s involvement in the creation of that work

…The National Portrait Gallery is a wonderful place for this show, which mixes portraiture and contemporaneous artistic style in the same way as much of the Gallery’s own collection. Anybody interested in photography, fashion, fame and magazines will find this an unmissable experience.’

An exhibition devoted to the heart and soul of British Vogue cannot overlook the world-class photographers including David Bailey, Corrine Day, Nick Knight and of course Mario Testino. World class designers that have defined a century of glamour, exuberant beauty and femininity will be on show including Dior, Saint Laurent and the ever-so talented Alexander McQueen, who only recently had an exhibition dedicated to his lifelong work.

Dr Nicholas Cullinan, the director of the National Portrait Gallery has also said ‘British Vogue has played a pivotal role in the development of photographic portraiture over the past century, commissioning leading photographers and designers to produce some of the most memorable and influential images in the history of fashion.’

Dissected decade by decade, visitors will explore Vogue’s unfaltering magazine at the forefront of new fashion and its influence through exciting periods of style, fashion, art and society. Described by Shulman as a ‘cultural record of our times’.

Tickets are available at http://www.npg.org.uk/whatson/vogue/exhibition.php