Students from a wide range of disciplines will find this resource useful, according to Emily Davis, arts collection librarian.
"Students who would be most interested would be in the areas of fashion, interior design, art history, advertising, mass communications and gender, sexuality and women's studies. Those in history, film studies and business might also find its content useful. The page formats are left intact so that may be of interest to graphic design."
"While many people think of Vogue as just a fashion magazine, in reality it presents a broad portrait of its era," Davis says. "Searching through the archives one can not only track the change in silhouettes, but they can also view pictures of Paris after the liberation, read an interview with Fellini, or an essay by Simone de Beauvoir. Fashion does not exist in a vacuum. Vogue documents both style and society."
According to The Vogue Archive Web site:
"Vogue was founded in New York in 1892 as a weekly society paper catering for Manhattan's social elite. When it was bought by Condé Nast in 1909, the publication changed dramatically: The quality of the paper, printing and illustrations improved, the frequency changed from weekly to fortnightly, the page count, advertising space and cover price all increased, and there was a new focus on fashion. The re-launched Vogue became one of the icons of the modern age: arriving at a time when the corseted gowns of the 1900s were giving way to simpler, more practical clothing for women, Condé Nast's use of eye-catching cover art by the great illustrators of the day created a similar revolution in magazine publishing. ... Cover illustration artists such as "Georges Lepape and George Wolfe Plank ... Helen Dryden, Eduardo Benito and others, were strongly influenced by the latest developments in modern art, from Klimt and the impressionists to Bakst and Modigliani, and the covers of Vogue provided a very public platform for the radical aesthetics of Art Deco, cubism and futurism in the 1920s.
These illustrated covers gave way to color photographs in the 1930s and 1940s, including extraordinarily innovative work by Horst P. Horst and Erwin Blumenfield. ...
"The contents of Vogue reflect the changing styles and culture of the postwar world, from the stylized and extravagant ultra-femininity of Dior's New Look in 1947, and the Parisian chic of Balenciaga and Balmain, to the youth-focused designers of the 1950s and 60s (Mary Quant, Jean Muir, Ossie Clark). Vogue was one of the main outlets for the new photographic style of the 1960s: the bold and dynamic handheld approach of David Bailey, Terence Donovan and others.
"The contents of Vogue are obviously of central importance to the history of fashion, from the liberating modernism of Coco Chanel to the cross-gendered experimentation of Jean-Paul Gaultier and beyond. However, it is also a rich source for other areas of modern culture, providing a record of changing social tastes, mores and aspirations in the modern world, and encompassing literary works by Kate Chopin, Evelyn Waugh, Vladimir Nabokov and Carson McCullers, articles by Winston Churchill and Bertrand Russell, wartime photojournalism by Lee Miller, features on popular cultural figures of the day from Marlene Dietrich and the Beatles to Nicole Kidman and Beyoncé, and on prominent American women from Jackie Kennedy to Michelle Obama."
How to access VCU Libraries databases:
- VCU students, faculty and staff can access the database through either the A to Z Guide to Databases or using this link, http://library.vcu.edu/search/1163 from any computer with a VCU IP address.
- Off-campus, VCU users must first log into myVCU, then go to the VCU Libraries home page, click on Databases and drill down the database you want. Or go directly to http://library.vcu.edu/search/1163
- If you are not a member of the VCU academic community, you can gain access to databases on campus by joining the Friends of the Library.