VOGUE 100 – A Century of Style

Jerry Hall 1976

Somethings are worth shouting about and Vogue 100 is one of them. This mainly photographic exhibition doesn’t just excite, particularly if you have a thing for gloriously dressed beauties, but also educates and showcases some impressive examples of photographic composition – and it’s the latter I believe that bulldozed me the most.

I mean I expected to be blown away by the glamour; the ensembles and the very hot women; but naively as it sounds, I hadn’t expected to be struck so by the precise composition and its impact on the image as a whole of the shots. Additionally, the creative genius – astounds.

The Vogue photographers don’t just know how to sell the clothes, they know how to push the boundaries of creative and we benefit as a result. Not only are we left with a social archive of each era, but we see, learn and enjoy, through the eyes of the hyper-talented individual who thankfully shared their vision.

I shan’t provide you with my super favourite list, for that would be impossible as it continues to change and grow, so to keep things brief here’s a snapshot.

  • Lucian Freud by Clifford Coffin in 1948. You’ll have a very emotional response. (Not tears or screeching, it’s the isolation or loneliness of the subject which grabbed me)
  • Anne Gunning by Norman Parkinson in 1956. It’s the colour and the model and the highly decorated elephant and the men.
  • Maggi Eckardt by Don Honeyman in 1960. Who would have thought an ocean liner could be the ultimate way to sell a cocktail dress, but it works.
  • Limelights Nights by Helmut Newton in 1973. I love him and I love Grace Coddington – and I want to be at a party like that.
  • And Kate Moss…every single shot of her…from the Corinne Day photos taken in 1993 through her incredible rise to queen.

I challenge you to find yourself an outfit, head down to the National Portrait Gallery before 22 May and feast on it.

(Image: Scenes from the Soviet Union – The glorious Jerry Hall in Armenia 1976 by Norman Parkinson – sourced at google images)

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