I would never thought that a journey through Vogue history can be something of an interest to me. I am not a fashion fan and I have never had a Vogue issue in my hands. But out of curiosity I went to Vogue 100 A Century Of Style exhibition at National Portrait Gallery and I got a chance to learn my lesson.
The exhibition is part of Vogue centenary celebrations and is structured in a reverse chronology with each room dedicated to a single decade. The journey through time gets more and more interesting the furthers you go in the past.
The most recent photos look very familiar since that is what we are used to see in everyday life. Then you go through 90’s with young Kate Moss and all the supermodels, to hit 80’s with its very unique approach to style. And things start to get even more interesting in 70’s and crazy 60’s. But yet my personal favorites come from 50’s and 40’s because they bring an interesting insight into the war and post-war times. Instead of hedonistic lifestyle, you witness fashion of scarce resource put into military context. The last two rooms cover photos and illustrations from 30’s and 20’s which, compared to 40’s, look almost like a fairy tale.
The very end of the exhibition shows evolution of the magazine. At the same time it is a fascinating summary of fashion as well as lifestyle and social changes over the last 100 years. Going from one issue to another, I had an impression they are a great record of hopes and fears of their time. And to be honest it was a nice surprise from a magazine I am not fond of.
The exhibition is on until May 22, 2016 so if you have time and no idea what to do, pop in to National Portrait Gallery and start your own journey with Vogue.