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Is true style timeless? Vogue a Century of Style

Article by Ceri Wheeldon

vogue timeless style image

Does true style ever fade? That’s the question I asked myself after a visit to the Vogue Century of Style exhibition in London last week.

When World War One prevented Us Vogue being shipped over to the UK, and the decision to publish a UK version was made in 1916, who could have envisaged Vogue magazine still being seen as the primary Style Bible 100 years later.

When the National Portrait Gallery in London showcased 100 years of Vogue’s history, I just had to pop along. What struck me was how true style never really fades.

Some of the clothes featured in the early editions still inspire. In fact I preferred many of the earlier Vogue content to that of today’s issues. To me, the early Vogue’s were all about aspirational style, it was about the clothes, and the clothes were wearable and elegant.  For me,  the more recent Vogue issues seem to be more about artistic placement, not about clothes that I would aspire to wear.

There were clothes featured in the 50s and 60s that would not look out of place today.  There was a Chanel suit worn by Anne Saint Marie in a 1955 issue which for me is timeless,  and a Hardy Amies sleeveless top with trousers from 1961 which I would love to wear today. Both are extremely wearable and the clothes really do speak for themselves.

vogue timeless style 50s image

vogue century of style image

What did surprise me though was the fact that none of the images on display included somebody that I believe truly epitomises timeless style – Audrey Hepburn- perhaps she was never featured in UK Vogue !

Another common denominator in all the photos throughout the decades  was the emphasis on eye make up – all the eyes were heavily defined . Also accessories played a huge part in creating ‘the look’ for all of the shoots.

The photos at the exhibition were stunning, showcasing a century of style, with some style really standing the test of time.


Images are photos taken of postcards bought at the exhibition.






Ceri Wheeldon

Ceri is Founder and Editor of Fabafterfifty.co.uk She is a frequent speaker at events and in the media on topics related to women over 50 , including style and living agelessly. With 20+ years experience as a headhunter Ceri also now helps support those looking to extend their working lives.

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