Monday, April 19News For London

Vogue 100: A Century of Style opens today

For the first time in history, 280 prints from the Conde Nest Archive and international collections are on display at the National Portrait Gallery. 

Vogue 100 years a century of style. Image by Catherine McMaster
Image of the iconic Naomi Campbell in Vogue 100 . Image by Catherine McMaster

The exhibition is part of Vogue’s centenary celebrations.

Westminster World received an invitation to attend the exhibition’s public opening.

The exhibition houses a number of recognisable English faces. Fashion icon and pioneer of the 90s ‘grunge’ trend, Kate Moss features in controversial underwear shots. Iconic British band, The Beatles also hang alongside photographs of the first Lady Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.

The Beatles by Peter Laurie, 1964. Image by Catherine McMaster
The Beatles by Peter Laurie, 1964.  Image by Catherine McMaster

Despite the large variety of faces, fashion still remains the focus. The exhibition houses a series of Second World War photographs by Vogue’s official war correspondent, Lee Miller. His photographs showcase the desolation of a bombed London contrasted with a styled Vogue model in the foreground.

Furthermore, in homage to old Hollywood, silent film slapstick actor Charlie Chaplin and Hollywood ballroom dancer Fred Astaire also appear.

Alexandra Shulman, Editor in Chief of British Vogue, says:

“I am incredibly proud of this collection of exceptional photography and of the whole concept of the exhibition, which shows the breadth and depth of the work commissioned by the magazine as well as Vogue‘s involvement in the creation of that work.”

Vogue fashion shot. Image by Catherine McMaster
Vogue fashion shot. Image by Catherine McMaster

The exhibition has been well received by critics. Sarah Compton from the Guardian called it ‘heaven’, and Time Out London gave it five stars.

The Evening Standard also gave it five stars, branding it an exhibition that ‘spectacularly proves that fashion is more than just a pretty face’. However, questions have been raised as to whether the press are able to critique freely within the realm of fashion, as they risk non admittance to events and shows. Celebrated fashion critic, Colin McDowell has spoken openly about the defence of a free fashion press in the past.

The opening on Tuesday 9th February was attended by Karlie Kloss, Liz Hurley, Suki Waterhouse and Fifty Shades of Grey star, Dakota Johnson.

Vogue 100 a Century of Style exhibition is open from 11 February-22 May 2016 at the National Portrait Gallery. See the National Portrait Gallery’s video below for more previews.

Tickets cost £19, or £17.50 for concessions.

Book online at 

Words by: Catherine McMaster
Sub-editor: Diana Odero