The French edition of the world's leading fashion magazine is celebrating its 100th anniversary. A show at the Palais Galliera in Paris looks back at a century of elegance and innovation.
David Sims, Kate Moss en boléro Gucci (Kate Moss in a Gucci Bolero, directed by Joe McKenna, Vogue Paris cover, March 2004.
© David Sims/Paris Musées, Palais Galliera
The Palais Galliera exhibition includes over 415 illustrations, photographs, films and iconic designer creations—rare documents from Condé Nast’s archives that trace the metamorphosis of a fashion magazine born on June 15, 1920. The American publisher wanted to export the New York title’s concept to Paris, the capital of haute couture. In 1929, newly appointed editor-in-chief Michel de Brunhoff set the elite magazine on the path of modernity, increasingly featuring pictures by trailblazing photographers.
The eye-opening exhibition, especially an impressive rotunda papered with 1,007 magazine covers, helps visitors understand how photography became part of Vogue’s DNA, from George Hoyningen-Huene’s highly posed studio sessions in the 1930s to Robert Doisneau and Henry Clarke’s post-Liberation photographs of Christian Dior’s New Look on the streets of working-class Paris.
The Vogue spirit overturned the conventions of luxury, as seen in Guy Bourdin and Helmut Newton’s subversive images from 1968-1986, a veritable golden age of photography, or, more recently, Mario Sorrenti’s iconoclastic shots.
The exhibition celebrates artistic choices by outstanding editors-in-chief, from Edmonde Charles-Roux, who was sensitive to socio-cultural issues as early as 1954, to Carine Roitfeld, the leading trendsetter from 2000 to 2010. Four focused sections pay tribute to Vogue’s most loyal collaborators, Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld, who invented an idea of the modern woman, and the muses who often embodied it: actress Catherine Deneuve and top model Kate Moss.