Vogue Women

Vogue Women

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by Georgina Howell
     
 

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Since 1916, Vogue has defined the essence of glamour and style. Distinguished, notorious, beautiful, sexy or striking, the singular women featured throughout the twentieth century in Vogue's glossy pages set exceptional standards of taste and fashion. In ten inspiring essays on themes such as Royals, Muses, Models, Stars, and Society Girls, the significant

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Overview

Since 1916, Vogue has defined the essence of glamour and style. Distinguished, notorious, beautiful, sexy or striking, the singular women featured throughout the twentieth century in Vogue's glossy pages set exceptional standards of taste and fashion. In ten inspiring essays on themes such as Royals, Muses, Models, Stars, and Society Girls, the significant influences of many remarkable women are charted, and pertinent questions regarding beauty and the female form are considered. With expert analysis the author explores the contrasting representations of women from the exotic black dancer Josephine Baker in the 1920s to the quintessential English rose epitomized by Diana Cooper in wartime Britain, and from the curvaceous Marilyn Monroe in Hollywood to contemporary but controversial waifs like Kate Moss. The changing trends, from self made notoriety in the days before ‘media' through to the impact of the supermodels Cindy, Linda, and Naomi – with their own retinue of brat-pack image makers – are each explored. With a selection of over 120 of the finest photographic images taken from the unique archives at Vogue, Vogue Women is a dazzling tour through the history of Vogue magazine and the history of fashion and beauty culture.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781560253426
Publisher:
Running Press Book Publishers
Publication date:
10/01/2001
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
9.16(w) x 12.12(h) x 0.57(d)

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Vogue Women 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is brilliantly written and edited by Georgina Howell about the images of women in British Vogue. As fine as the photographs in this book are (done by many of the 20th century's most talented photographers), the thoughts about these images are even more interesting and valuable. Conde Nast's original purpose for Vogue was to 'produce the most beautiful and tasteful magazine that had ever existed.' The subjects for the photographs have changed a lot since Vogue was founded. Originally, all of the subjects were either royalty or society women. As Ms. Howell points out, you can never get rid of royalty if you are Vogue, but you can move on in other areas. At the start of the century, the aspiration was to look like an aristocrat or an actress. By the end of the century, the desire was to 'look like television presenters and the wives of football [soccer] stars.' The book is organized around type of photographic subject, with a marvelous essay in each case exploring the meaning portrayed by those photographs. The sections are royalty, society girls, inspirations, muses, dynasties, models, stars, exotics/eccentrics, waifs, and icons. Here are my favorite photographs from each section: Royalty -- Helen Windsor, taken by Lord Snowdon, 1982 Society Girls -- Jemima Khan, taken by Oberto Gili, 1998 Inspirations -- Mother Teresa, taken by John Downey, 1981 Muses -- Ines de la Fressange, taken by Albert Watson, 1985 Dynasties -- (Mother) Nena Von Schlebrugge, taken by Norman Parkinson, 1958; (Daughter) Uma Thurman, taken by Albert Watson, 1994 Models -- Cindy Crawford, taken by Arthur Elgort, 1995 Stars -- Charlotte Rampling, taken by Clive Arrowsmith, 1970 Exotics/Eccentrics -- Diana Vreeland, taken by Horst P. Horst, 1979 Waifs -- Marianne Faithfull, taken by David Bailey, 1965 Icons -- Diana, taken by Patrick Demarchelier, 1997; Greta Garbo, taken by Cecil Beeton, 1946 Where many books with photographs of beautiful women simply try to overwhelm you, this book instead features photographs to illustrate the essays. The theme here is to examine 'beauty that survives radical changes in taste and fashion.' The subjects are 'distinguished or notorious, pretty or striking, and sometimes all four . . . .' This is done in a way consistent with Vogue's purpose to 'dress the mind as elegantly as the bodies' displayed here. The essays don't take the subject as seriously as all this sounds. For example, Ms. Howell is quick to point out that 'happy endings have been few and far between' for those who have been portrayed in Vogue's pages. So we are dealing with an illusion of a perfect person and a perfect life. Illusions can be helpful in setting appropriate aspirations. The question the Vogue images raise is whether following the 'trendiest' of the time is appropriate. The book itself suggests that it is not. In fact, I found the essays to be an interesting counterpoint to Vogue's usual monthly issue in suggesting what timeless values are and should be for women. And that was more than I expected or had a right to expect from this book. So I was very pleas