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Strike a Pose, There's Nothing to It Vogue

comments (0) August 13th, 2007     

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A fashion book worthy of any coffee table.
Gorgeous artwork, from photography to illustration, grace the pages of In Vogue.
A vintage illustration from the illustrious magazine.
A fashion book worthy of any coffee table.

A fashion book worthy of any coffee table.

Photo: Courtesy of Rizzoli

“Come on, vogue.” For every aspiring seamster that dreams of one day hitting the runways, Vogue magazine has been both an influence and a fashion guide. In Vogue, by Noberto Angeletti and Alberto Oliva traces more than 100 years of this magazine’s ever-evolving history—the editors, photographers, society, cover artwork and photographs. And, of course, the garments!

This book is a fascinating read, and of course, illustrations and photos bring the different time periods to life.

Vogue magazine can be traced back to December 17, 1892, just 46 years after the invention of the sewing machine. At a time when money was the main influence on social class, women let their clothing define them. Although Vogue addressed the upper class, particularly an elitist group referred to as the Four Hundred, Vogue also included patterns, which spoke to other groups. Surprisingly, Vogue was originally read by not just women but also men. I couldn’t even imagine how different it looked until flipping through the pages of In Vogue.

“For your finest inspiration—your dreams will open the door."
The book exemplifies all of the hard work poured into redefining a magazine or newspaper. St. Louis lawyer and publicist Condé Montrose Nast put Vogue through a huge redesign when he purchased the magazine in 1909. Without Nast, one of Vogue’s seven editors-in-chiefs, Vogue would not be the magazine it is today. Special issues were introduced, and color began to dab the pages. The mere 30-page publication was increased to 90 pages, and the weekly magazine became a biweekly. The fiction section was eliminated entirely. Prices increased from 10 cents to 15 cents. (I wish I could buy Vogue today for 15 cents!) In 1911, Vogue expanded internationally, and what is referred to as projects "Brogue" (British Vogue) and later "Frogue" (French Vogue) launched. Nast, the businessman always looked to increase advertising revenue, and his efforts resulted in his vice presidency at the Home Pattern Company. Inserting home patterns in the magazine increased the ad dollars to $400,000.

“All you need is your own imagination” The best part of this book are the pictures. In Vogue is filled with full-page photos and illustrated covers tracing back to the very first publication. Cover artwork has evolved from black-and-white to color. And now, photography fills the pages of the magazine. Vogue also now has one recognizable font, but in the beginning, Vogue appeared in a different font every week. You could expect the unexpected in each issue.

“Something better than you are today” Anna Wintour, the current editor-in-chief has changed the elitism of Vogue. The theme of an annual issue deals with different ages in the life of a woman. These issues includes articles such as the one discussing a Harvard physicist’s discoveries and a profile of Huma Abedi, who works behind the scenes with Hillary Clinton.

If you are looking for inspiration, and want to examine styles from today back to the 1800’s, In Vogue is for you. It is a great read that instantly immerses you in the world of style. I highly recommend it to any fashionista. In order to know where fashion is going, you must know where it has been after all. This coffee table book lets artwork and photography guide you.

posted in: magazine, history, Vogue

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