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12 Jul 2016 by Amie Gee

Vogue 100: A Century of Style at Manchester Art Gallery

Since its' inception in 1916, British Vogue magazine has been at the forefront of fashion, acting as a cultural barometer that placed fashion into the context of the larger world we live in. Direct from the National Portrait Gallery in London, Manchester Art Gallery has the honour of presenting the Vogue 100: A Century of Style exhibition to celebrate British Vogue's 100 years as the undisputed fashion bible.

We were very fortunate to have an exclusive preview of the exhibition before it opened to the public, where we were given a private tour by the exhibition curator, Robin Muir, who talked us through each decade of Vogue's centenary timeline.
Displaying over 280 original prints, both modern and vintage, from the Condé Nast archive and international collections, these photographs come together to help tell the story of British Vogue. The Vogue 100 exhibition also showcases a special library of 101 Vogue magazines; one per year of the magazine's history as well as the new photographic portraits of HRH The Duchess of Cambridge published in Vogue's centenary issue.

Starting in reverse chronological order, the Vogue 100 exhibition is split into decades to portray the transformation of the fashions and changing attitudes of the time. Presenting a remarkable range of photography commissioned by British Vogue since its' inception, the exhibition offers an exclusive look at rarely seen images from the archives by many world-class photographers from Cecil Beaton and Lee Miller to Mario Testino and Patrick Demarchelier.
The exhibition also includes many of the faces and fashion designers that have helped to shape the cultural landscape of the past ten decades; including Christian Dior, Lady Diana Spencer, Margaret Thatcher, Alexander McQueen and Kate Moss to name but a few.

Highlights of the Vogue 100 exhibition include prints from Corinne Day’s controversial Kate Moss underwear shoot, taken in 1993 at the height of ‘grunge’; Peter Lindbergh’s famous 1990 cover shot that defined the supermodel era; a series of exceptional Second World War photographs by Vogue’s official war correspondent, Lee Miller; a rare version of 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.

Alongside the photography exhibition, the Manchester City Galleries have focused on collecting high-end costumes and couture pieces that have defined the fashion of the decades; which compliments the story of British Vogue. The Vogue 100 exhibition showcases one of Manchester City Galleries' latest acquisitions - a rare and dramatic Schiaparelli ensemble.
An exciting time for the Manchester Art Gallery, the Vogue 100 exhibition coincides with the gallery's Fashion & Freedom exhibition, which sees leading fashion designers such as Vivienne Westwood and Roksanda create new works that provide a contemporary reflection on the changing roles of women and fashion during the First World War.

Running until 30th October 2016 at Manchester Art Gallery, the Vogue 100: A Century of Style exhibition is completely free to visit. If you are an avid Vogue Magazine reader, we wholeheartedly recommend paying this exhibition a visit to transport yourself back through Vogue's unfaltering position at the forefront of fashion, style and culture of the time.

For more information, visit the Manchester Art Gallery's website.