A Century of British Vogue

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It is arguably the most famous fashion magazine in the world, responsible for telling women what to wear, how to wear it and where to wear it to, and as such is famously referred to as The Fashion Bible.

The first ever issue of Vogue was printed in 1892 in America, however when the outbreak of World War 1 stopped copies being shipped to Britain, the publication set up printing across the Atlantic, and the first British Vogue was delivered in 1916. While originally the British version was no different from that of the American one, simply changing spellings to those used in England, its editors over the years have seen the magazine expand to include society and sporting news, health and beauty advice, travelogues, editorials and literature, becoming its own individual magazine in its own right. One hundred years later, and British Vogue continues to define UK fashion as the best selling magazine in Britain.

To mark the occasion of British Vogue’s centenary year, the National Portrait Gallery will be host to an exhibition featuring photos from the magazine’s one hundred year history. With the chance to see favourites that have appeared on the pages of Vogue again, visitors will also be exposed to more than two hundred and eighty never before seen images.

“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,” said British Vogue editor-in-chief Alexandra Shulman of the event. Since taking the reigns in 1992, Shulman has been largely credited with drawing more than a million readers to the magazine and has become known for her attempts to change the face of fashion, for example her insistence that super skinny models are no longer acceptable.

Photographers including Lee Miller, Patrick Demarchelier, David Bailey, Corinne Day and Mario Testino, designer such as Alexander McQueen, Dior and Yves Saint Laurent, and models Kate Moss, Claudia Schiffer and Linda Evangelista will all feature in the exhibition. And, despite the magazine aimed at and predominantly focussing on women, a few select men in the form of Charlie Chaplin, Fred Astaire and Morecambe and Wise will also have their prints included in the exhibition taken from the Vogue archive and lent by collectors.

Titled Vogue 100: A Century of Style, the exhibition will be open from February 11 until May 22.

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