January 22, 2007

Reading List: In Vogue

Fashion journalism, or at least the first magazine to address the subject, was born in France in 1763 with Le Mercure Galant. In the United States, the first periodical for women, Lady’s Magazine, dates back to 1792, but it is Godey’s Lady’s Book, published between 1830 and 1898, that is considered to have laid the editorial groundwork for the genre.

I just finished reading In Vogue: The Illustrated History of the World's Most Famous Fashion Magazine and thought that it was really, really great at giving you a behind the scenes glimpse. Better than Devil Wears Prada. The pictures are lovely, it gave me a great history of the magazine and its competitors as well as characters, and really fairly discussed issues that anyone aspiring to work in the Fashion/Media industry would want to know - such as how cover subjects are chosen, how layouts work, etc. Fascinating and educational.

My only critique is that they didn't interview anyone from outside of the Vogue staff - or in fact any ex-employees except former editors-in-chiefs. It would have been more three-dimensional of an exploration. But anyway, as a celebration of one of the leading American fashion magazines, I thought it was still very good and fair in its treatment of the genre.

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