Reflections on Vogue 100

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With the exhibition drawing to a close this week I thought I’d cast my mind back over my visit to the National Portrait Gallery this Spring to see the Vogue 100 exhibition. Many who are into fashion will probably have seen or heard about it already, but if you missed out then I will summarise my own experience for you.

So popular it was that tickets needed to be booked in advance. After much eager anticipation I arrived to find flocks of equally excited fashionistas making their way through the gallery.

If like me you enjoy people-watching as a pastime then you’ll understand my needing to not be distracted by the very well dressed groups of onlookers. This I found though, added to the thrill of the ambience.

I decided to download the audio commentary to my ipad so I could enjoy an educational walkthrough of the exhibition, but halfway through I ended up wanting to just meander through the rooms and experience the displays in my own way.

Spanning along several rooms it took me a few minutes and the explanation of an assistant for me to find my bearings, until it all made sense. Starting from the present day and age, each room was carefully curated to take us decade by decade back into time.

The large scale prints towered over us mere mortals and it was indeed a sight to behold. I recognised many of the iconic models and photographer’s works but my personal favourites were those of Nick Knight and Tim Walker, which I’d seen in books but never in this epic proportion.

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I think I may have stood for five minutes or more, spellbound by the scenes of models emanating from the movie projector. It was also incredible to see how the different ages had an effect on the content and style of the publications.

In the final room, with selective editions going from year to year, each was laid out in a glass cabinet for all to see. It really was a moment to cherish, being able to walk through and experience how the magazine had progressed from the early 1900s up until the most current issues of Vogue.

If you wish to see for yourself the official book for the exhibition can be purchased at:

http://www.npg.org.uk/whatson/vogue/shop.php

Further reading:

http://www.vogue.co.uk/voguevideo/genres/fashion/2015/12/vogue-100-a-century-of-style

http://www.vogue.co.uk/news/2016/05/01/duchess-vogue-pictures-national-portrait-gallery

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