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In Vogue

The Illustrated History of the World's Most Famous Fashion Magazine

Foreword Review

‘Vogue (vōg)… The mode of fashion prevalent at any particular time’; […] It was just the name needed to identify their social gazette. None of them could imagine, in 1892, that they were creating a brand that would become famous all over the world.

In Vogue is a massive undertaking of the most illustrious magazine in fashion history. Angeletti and Oliva have taught magazine courses at Stanford University and the University of Salamanca in Spain. They are also coauthors of Magazines That Make History. Here, they have succeeded by producing a beautiful chronicle of the social and fashion culture, yet reach beyond to highlight world events through the early stages of fashion, photography, the expansion of the print market, and selling to the rag trade.

The artwork from the authentic covers of Vogue are magnificent to view even if one chooses not to read the story behind the magazine. Each cover tells its own story of the passage of time from Vogue’s inception, twelve decades ago to the present, created by renowned artists of the century.

Vogue began as a social gazette for New York’s wealthy, most elite society members by Arthur Turnure. “Vogue was born to be the mirror of the ‘Four Hundred,’ to recount their habits, their leisure activities, their social gatherings, the places they frequented, and the clothing they wore…and everyone who wanted to look like them and enter their exclusive circle,” they write.

The magazine grew slowly until a successful businessman, Mr. Conde Nash, who made an advertising name for himself at Collier’s, decided to buy Vogue in 1905. From then, Vogue grew into the conglomerate known today. He was responsible for introducing color printing, the “two-page spread” and increased the sales volume tremendously until he died in 1942.

Anyone who was rich or famous since Vogue’s inception had a picture spread and story written the magazine and In Vogue explains in detail the photographer who took the picture, the editor who was responsible for the story, the designer who dressed that person or the decorator who decorated their home. However, only during the three decades that Conde Nash ran Vogue did “new fashions, new modes of social behavior, new pastimes and customs, … progressively change the way people live,” bringing Vogue to women of all classes to enjoy.

Since 1988, under the editorship of Anna Wintour Vogue’s mission was to “modernize its look and re-energize its long journalistic tradition …Anna has supported the past, present and future of fashion beyond geographical, political or religious boundaries.” Vogue currently remains on the global fashion forefront.

Divided into three parts, In Vogue represents different eras of Vogue’s history and growth. Unless the reader has a specific interest in photography, magazine publishing, or the world of fashion, they may find it cumbersome to read. The general reader may be overwhelmed by the detailed magnitude of the material covered. However, In Vogue can be browsed through for pure enjoyment or can be used as an excellent reference volume, where under one cover a century of collections of both fashion and world events can be found.