Fashion, Portrait

Vogue at 100: A Century of Style

All images © the artist, courtesy National Portrait Gallery

The National Portrait Gallery marks British Vogue’s centenary with the launch of a major photographic retrospective.

British Vogue, the most illustrious and influential magazine in the world, synonymous with enduring style and an unfaltering position at the forefront of fashion, will unearth it’s archives to the public with a new exhibition to mark the launch of Vogue’s centenary celebrations.

“Fashion and portrait photography are Vogue’s lifeblood,” says Robin Muir, curator of Vogue 100: A Century of Style.

Muir faced the momentous task of sifting through the British fashion bible’s entire visual history to date.

“After looking through the nearly 2000 issues, I can say with all honesty, that every time I find something new, something unexpected, something magical; and that I think is the power of photography.”

Lara Stone © Mario Testino

Lara Stone © Mario Testino

The exhibition, which opens 11 February 2016, displays over 280 prints from the Condé Nast archives and beyond. “We wanted to go right back in time and find the original prints,” says Muir, adding, “and if these prints show tears and cracks, then so much the better, for these are objects with a story to tell.”

Launched in 1916, when the First World War made the transatlantic shipment of American edition impossible, British Vogue was born, with immediate and uninterrupted success to this day.

The magazine plays a pivotal role in portraiture, fashion and beauty photography, and has produced some of the finest and most iconic images of modern times. “The images exhibited demonstrate the work of the best creative skills of each generation,” says Alexander Shulman, Editor in Chief of British Vogue, “it is absolutely fascinating to see the change of styles and content as the decades pass.”

Claudia Schiffer © Herb Ritts

Claudia Schiffer © Herb Ritts

In reverse chronological order; visitors will be taken back in time, decade by decade, on a journey not only to celebrate Vogue’s greatest moments past and present, but to explore how portraiture has always played a role in our cultural history, and will continue to do so.

From the work of industry classicists like Cecil Beaton, Lee Miller and Horst P. Horst, to the contemporary greats David Bailey, Mario Testino and Tim Walker, the exhibition will also include many faces in the pantheon of art, fashion and culture over the century, with highlights including the entire 1993 controversial Kate Moss photo shoot by Corinne Day, vintage prints by the first professional fashion photographer, Baron de Meyer, and of course Peter Lindbergh’s famous 1990 cover shot that defined the supermodel era.

Vogue 100: A Century of Style at the National Portrait Gallery will open on 11 February and run until 22 May 2016. More details here.