Vogue Paris: Happy Belated 100th Birthday!

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Vogue Paris: Happy Belated 100th Birthday!
This fall, Palais Galliera, Paris’s fashion museum, marks the 100th anniversary of the iconic French edition of Vogue magazine with an exhibition, “Vogue Paris 1920-2020.” It is a birthday worth celebrating, not only because Vogue Paris is almost a synonym for French fashion, but also because its identity is so unique that it is the only edition in the international Vogue galaxy to bear the name of a city and not of a country. 100 years of Vogue Paris covers (C) Sarah Bartesaghi Truong Born in 1920, hot on the heels of British Vogue (first published in 1916), the Gallic edition initially was little more than a translation of the original American publication. Affectionately nicknamed “Frog” (contraction of the words Vogue and French) by the Condé Nast staff, the publication started to develop its own personality when Michel de Brunhoff became editor-in-chief, in 1929. Throughout his tenure, which lasted until 1954, de Brunhoff worked with a tight knit group of journalists hailing from the same circles as the French target audience of the periodical: wealthy, cultivated and cosmopolitan. It was all about couture, of course, and a rarefied ideal of beauty. For several years, de Brunhoff favored fashion illustration over photography, even after Vogue in the U.S. had dropped it completely. It was a tradition hailing from the gazettes de mode of the 18th century, but de Brunhoff boosted it by asking well known artists and illustrators to contribute, raising the bar of what was until then considered a minor art. Fashion illustration by Bouët-Williaumez from 1929 (C) Sarah Bartesaghi Truong The show gives a glimpse of the creative process at work behind every issue, with originals of letters exchanged between de Brunhoff and his American bosses. It is clear he was given a very wide editorial berth, most likely because the magazine was incredibly successful. Everyone, from the most famous designers to the glitziest celebrities and socialites, wanted to be featured in Vogue Paris. One of the most poignant of those exchanges occurred in 1940. The war had strained the editorial world, with shortages in paper and other printing materials, but de Brunhoff managed to put together one last edition before the German occupants raided the Vogue offices and the magazine halted all publications. It would take until 1945 for a new issue, a special hors-série, to appear, but a regular schedule would not resume until 1947. The first post-war Vogue Paris issue from 1945 (C) Sarah Bartesaghi Truong
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Lead photo credit : Vogue Paris 1920-2020 at Palais Galliera (C) Sarah Bartesaghi Truong

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Sarah Bartesaghi Truong has lived, studied and worked in Milan, Paris and London. Her lifelong passion for art in all its forms and her entrepreneurial dreams were the catalyst for a career change: she left the world of investment banking to go back to school, at the Sotheby’s Institute of London. Ten years ago, she moved back to Paris, the ideal location for an art-lover. As an Italian in Paris, she decided she would keep playing the tourist in her adoptive home town, always on the lookout for the many wonders the French capital has to offer to the curious explorer. VeniVidiParis, the company she founded, plans curated itineraries in the French capital and its vicinity for travellers wishing to discover the city’s vibrant art scene, but not only. Take a look at her recent discoveries on her Instagram feed, @venividiparis, or contact her at [email protected] for help planning your next Parisian vacation.