Vogue 100: A Century of Style at Manchester Art Gallery

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Coming to Manchester from the National Portrait Gallery in London, Vogue 100: A Century of Style celebrates 100 years of fashion, beauty and photography by British Vogue.

By Sara-Filipa Da Silva

Open until 30th of October at Manchester Art Gallery, Vogue 100: A Century of Style is a free, must see exhibition for any fans of photography and fashion. With walls filled with beautiful portraits and editorials, there is something for everyone who has plenty of time to take it all in.

Firstly, as you walk in, there is a compilation film of different behind-the-scene shoots for the magazine. As you stand in this room with the film and the mirrors surrounding you, it becomes interactive, with you becoming the surveyor and, in some aspects, feeling like the photographer. The high ceilings and tall walls of the venue allow the work of so many brilliant photographers to be shown in a size that wasn’t an option for the magazine. Thus, these pictures take on a whole different meaning; they feel much more like art rather than an editorial to sell a product. There is also audio to go with the exhibition which guides you around, giving you all the important information as you look at the beautiful pieces.

The images on display start from 1920, with some photographs and also sketches from that period. This includes the work of many leading photographers of the 20th century such as Cecil Beaton, Lee Miller, Irving Penn and Snowdon. From there, the spectator is taken all the way to the dawn of the supermodel, as photographed by Peter Lindbergh in 1990. Of course, this part of the exhibition includes iconic covers and editorials from both the 20th and the 21st century from photographers such as  David Bailey, Corinne Day, Patrick Demarchelier, Nick Knight and Mario Testino.

Along with these covers, there are also unpublished prints of artists such as David Bowie by Snowdon as well as actual magazines from many years ago. Among these were prints from Corinne Day’s controversial shoot of Kate Moss in her underwear. It is a wonderful sight to be able to see how much the magazine has progressed in this last century, not just in style but also in its design and the features that it holds.

For more information about the Vogue 100: A Century of Style exhibition, see the Manchester Art Gallery website.

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