I was snooping about through the Condé Nast Website when I saw that they had copies of their old covers for sale. The entire selection was most definitely covet-worthy, but what particularly obsessed me were the covers from the nineteen-teens. They give such an interesting look into the world of the time. The illustrations, mainly by Helen Dryden and George Wolfe Plank, are stunningly beautiful by themselves, but it is the subject matter that particularly fascinates me. It’s beautiful to see the profusion of exotic themes, and the prevalence of mythological and folkloric elements. I objectively knew that these were the trends of the decade, but it’s a whole other matter to see them in full colour and to actually imagine women buying these magazines and inserting some of this style into their lives.
I had a little thought process about the lack of any reference to major events of the time period– namely, World War 1– but then I realised that I actually found it reassuring to see Vogue stick so firmly to its escapist guns. Import from France banned? No issue! Fashion goes on.