Tomorrow marks the start of the Cheltenham Literature Festival, a celebration of the written and spoken word. Amongst the hundreds of illustrious speakers and events, one stands out the most for us: Harriet Quick’s ‘Vogue: The Shoe’. In this talk she discusses the humble beginning of the shoe to its status as an “object of obsession, status and desire”.
This event reminded us that only a few weeks ago our buyers and managing director briefly discussed Vogue, citing it as a huge influence during their formative years at London College of Fashion and they also gave us some intriguing insights into how Vogue has acted as a reflection of contemporary society throughout the decades.
Inspired by the power of Vogue, we delved into the world of fashion-related literature and found this treasure: Vogue 100: A Century of Style by Robin Muir. It acts a companion piece to the National Portrait Gallery’s exhibition of the same name.

In this fashion tome, Muir outlines a century of Vogue’s influence, both here in Britain and overseas. Charting its rise from popularity in America, to its spread to Britain, France and briefly, Argentina and Germany.
With striking photography and well-researched history, this book provides a fascinating insight into fashion’s role in society.
In this book, Vogue is heralded as more than just a fashion magazine; it is seen as playing a central role on the cultural stage. British Vogue was founded in 1916 due to the difficulty of importing the American version during the First World War and was used for raising morale in wartime Britain. It has been present during the most inventive decades in fashion’s history and acts as a social barometer, documenting the icons of the 20th and 21st centuries. As we progressed further through this fascinating book we saw a clear pattern emerge: fashion is inextricably linked to history.
An engaging read for anyone interested in fashion or simply those who enjoy beautiful clothes and photography!
For those of you interested in attending Harriet Quick’s talk, more information can be found here:
Vogue: 100 Years of Style Robin Muir. National Portrait Gallery Publications.11th February 2016. Print.