Friday, 15 April 2011

Vogue: Strike a Pose

     Although on my birthday I didn't get any of the clothes on my wish-list or meet anyone as painfully sexy as Jon Kortajarena - I did get the Vogue Covers book and, quite frankly, I couldn't be happier. From the art deco illustrations of Eduardo Benito to the David Bailey cover-shots of Jean - The Shrimp - Shrimpton, it is a necessity for fashion enthusiasts, photographers and illustrators alike. 

       The British version of the magazine itself was founded in September 1916, when war was rife and spirits low - it acted as an escape mechanism for women of great style and taste to indulge in - just as it does today. Moreover, just like in 1916, Vogue uses its covers to sell and set the tone of the magazine. They have to stand out. However, upon its release,Vogue had no problems about standing out because, unlike other magazines, its covers were in colour. Thus, amongst row upon row of black and white magazines, the simple yet powerful illustration of Vogue's first cover stood out.

     It was elegant and, most importantly, relevant within the context of the war. The marionettes used to portray Spring, Summer and Winter fashions lay defeated, whilst that of Autumn stood victorious because even amongst the horrors of war, one could still enjoy the fashions of Autumn. Fashion was not dead and although death was imminent, the death of British culture and style most certainly was not. 

     Even when killing a polar bear the Vogue goddess and her cover held their place on the newsstands. Thus, during WWII as opposed to dying out, as many other magazines did, Vogue stood strong - it still released its renowned covers, whether in photo form or the illustrations of old. The photographic cover at the start of the war in August 1939, is perhaps one of Vogue's must well known images - its just so kitsch.

     However, it was not until after the war that illustrated covers began to die out completely, as photographers began to create the covers of Vogue and become puppeteers of the world's most beautiful women. Shots of models and clothing made the Vogue lifestyle tangible because it was no longer a fairy-tale drawing but an attainable sight with real women at its forefront. From the 50s flawless Jean Patchett and the 60s crop-cut Twiggy to the 70s beauty Marie Helvin and the 80s wondrous Talisa Soto - Vogue captures and displays beauty in all of its forms to the entire world. 

     Not to forget the 90s supers: Naomi, Linda, Tatjana, Christy, Cindy...

...and of course Kate, who continues to reign supreme.

       Then there was the ever so recent 00s, whcih beheld the likes of Gisele, Stella Tennant, Natalia Vodianova and post-the-Vogue-Covers-book Agyness Deyn.

     And we now find ourselves in the 10s, in which Lara Stone shines, Rosie Huntington-Whitely captivates and Freja Beha Erichsen rules but who will join them? As you may have guessed from my recent posts, my wish is that Karlie Kloss will but, whoever it is, Vogue will create a beautiful cover with them because that is something which Vogue always does.


  1. Very good article you did for vogue :))
    Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Tatjana Patits, Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford - shooting for British Vogue. New York, 1989,photographed by:Peter Lindbergh!!!
    I love this cover

  2. I'm totally obsessed with Vintage magazine covers and vintage fashion photography too! they just have a certain elegance you don't see anymore. Thanks for sharing! xo

  3. Great piece...I have Vogue magazines from the 80's to present day...must dig some of the old ones out again!
    Love the '89 Peter Lindbergh cover...they're all still as beautiful!