Vogue 100 Exhibition – Manchester Art Gallery

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Naomi Campbell by Patrick Demarchelier, 1987. Patrick Demarchelier Inc. © The Condé Nast Publications Ltd


Vogue 100: A Century of Style

Manchester Art Gallery (MAG) is the first stop for the Vogue 100: A Century of Style exhibition after the launch at The National Portrait Gallery. I’d recently seen the BBC4 programme about British Vogue magazine which followed editor Alexandra Shulman and team as they worked on the next edition of Vogue magazine. The programme gave an insight into what goes into producing the magazine, with a fashion shoot with Patrick Demarchelier and Kate Moss, and some of the preparations for the centenary exhibition.


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Courtesy MAG Exhibitions


As an amateur photographer this exhibition was always going to be a must for me. A chance to combine an exhibition of photography, with iconic images, and to see the latest offerings from MAG was not to be missed..


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Limelight Nights by Helmut Newton, 1973. Condé Nast Archive London © The Condé Nast Publications Ltd

The exhibition is laid out by decade and along with the photographs, which are fantastic, there are copies of the magazines under glass, which date from the very first to the present. Whilst you may have seen many of the images in the magazines they cannot prepare you for seeing them “in the flesh” .

Vibrant colours, fashions, top models and photography from earlier decades which looks so current as to think they were taken yesterday. Take a look at the Jean Patchett by Clifford Coffin image lower down to see what I mean.  There is also a dual screen montage of quick moving fashion and celebrity images throughout the years. I found for me at least, they moved a little too fast to appreciate, which was a pity.

There are in total, some 280 modern and vintage prints from the Condé Nast archive some of which have only rarely been seen. It’s a who’s who of fashion photography from Cecil Beaton, Lee Miller and Irvine Penn to David Bailey, Corinne Day, Patrick Demarchelier, Mario Testino and Jeurgen Teller and many more, including a stunning image by one of my favourite photographers, Cindy Sherman.

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Linda Evangelista at the International Collections by Patrick Demarchelier, 1991. Patrick Demarchelier Inc. © The Condé Nast Publications Ltd

The photographs  also included Horst’s famous ‘corset’ photograph from 1939, which inspired the video for Madonna’s hit song Vogue; and vintage prints by the first professional fashion photographer, Baron de Meyer.


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Courtesy MAG Exhibitions

For any photographer, and whether your into fashion photography or not, this is a must see. I spent a great afternoon going round and round always finding something new. Make the effort to go. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

The Vogue 100 exhibition is on until 30th October.

Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester is really lucky to have MAG. It’s free, has some fabulous art and sculpture, and continues to move with the times. Its a place we go back to visit time and again. Our art galleries are a precious resource, always threatened by lack of funding. So, please, make the most of our municipal galleries. If we don’t use them we may well lose them!.

Vogue 100 Head of model, Jean Patchett, sheltered with a rebozo of black and gold stripes
The Varnished Truth: Jean Patchett by Clifford Coffin, 1951. Condé Nast Archive New York © Condé Nast Inc.



About the author:

I am an amateur photographer who has spent most of his working life as senior manager in industry. I’m a fan of Modern and Contemporary Art and I started Beesblogs to share my experiences of Art, in all it’s forms, in and around Manchester.

I hope you enjoy it. Please feel free to make comments.