Fashion and Politics in Vogue Italia

Photo Vogue Festival
15 – 19 November 2017
Curated by Alessia Glaviano and Chiara Bardelli Nonino

The second Photo Vogue Festival will open in Milan this November. A series of engaging exhibitions and events across the city will draw upon the success of the inaugural festival in 2017 – the first ever international photography festival dedicated to fashion. Organised by Vogue Italia, the Photo Vogue Festival has already established itself on the international festival calendar as a meeting place for photography, art and photography, drawing in key industry figures, renowned photographers and leading curators.


This exhibition will explore how fashion photography can engage in issues such as gender, wealth, consumerism, the environment, protest and identity building. The relevance of fashion photography is dependent on its ability to reflect and capture changes in society – in subtle and playful ways – bring provoking issues to a diverse audience.


Fashion & Politics in Photo Vogue will reflect on the magazine’s pioneering role in commissioning contentious fashion photography and how this has succeeded conveying a message, and raising questions, through the publication’s editorial pages. Holding a mirror up to Vogue Italia’s commissioned photography and editorial since launch, the exhibition will aim to address how the magazine’s fashion photography has embraced, and even influenced change. The tradition of the magazine as a ‘fashion statement’ continues under the leadership of Emanuele Farneti with the recent cover featuring the LGBT kiss and the latest Over 60s issue.


The exhibition will include Bruce Weber’s A letter to True Hope (2003), Ellen von Unwerth’s The Vagaries of Fashion (2001), and Steven Meisel’s Makeover Mandess (2005), State of Emergency (2006) and Water and Oil (2010) amongst others.


Whether the Vogue Italia editorial has acted as commentary, satire or a catalyst for debate, the magazine has anticipated many issues from the morbid obsession with plastic surgery and the media’s glamorization of rehab clinics, to the stereotypical model of the perfect family down to extreme consumerism. The photographers featured in this exhibition never flinched from taking a stand – taking the photography far beyond the original purpose as a mere advertising platform.


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