Vogue X Music
To say it with the words of the ever so eloquently Marge: “…Greta Garbo and Monroe, Dietrich and DiMaggio, Marlon Brando, Jimmy Dean on the cover of a magazine. Grace Kelly, Harlow, Jean. Picture of a beauty queen. Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, dance on air. They had style, they had grace, Rita Hayworth gave good face, Lauren, Katherine, Lana too - Bette Davis, we love you. Ladies with an attitude. Fellas that were in the mood Don't just stand there, let's get to it - strike a pose, there's nothing to it…Vogue, vogue!”
You’d find yourself hard pressed claiming that throughout the last four decades, Vogue has not been at the forefront of popular mainstream culture, at times making or breaking artists with their features and trademark photography.
After the Vogue book series has zeroed in on fashion, accessories and shoes before, it was about high time for a tome like Vogue x Music to emerge, which, as the title suggests focusses not only on the iconic portraits of the who-is-who of mainstream music culture from Lady Gaga, Kanye West, Madonna via Patti Smith to Debbie Harry, David Bowie, Kendrick Lama and everyone in between, but substantiates them with extracts from interviews with musicians with the selection being defined by quality and significance and refreshingly agnostic of genres.
Drawing on a history of close to one hundred and thirty years, Vogue X Music focusses on the last century and it should not come as a surprise that Vogue X Music effortlessly showcases both the timelessness and evolution of glamour and captures the X factor, i.e., the “je ne sais quoi” that makes some artists bigger than others.
Apart from the well-known musical personalities, what I like most about the book is the non-hierarchical, non-chronological arrangement, which helps to put the art of photography front and centre and offers the opportunity to closely inspect how e.g. Richard Avedon, Mert Alas and Marcus Piggot captured the essence of musicians through their unique lenses.
Summa summarum, an exercise par excellence and tour de force in the eye candy department and a beautifully curated coffee table book, recommended for any music lover.