VOGUE Australia and FINEPRINTCO Collaborate to Celebrate the Magazine Covers
VOGUE Australia is the best-known fashion magazine in the country. It has created moments in time through the lens of a camera, recording the changing landscape of Australian fashion, sentiment and social mindset.
Editor-in-Chief, Edwina McCann stated
"We do invest heavily in the creation of our imagery. What hasn't changed about VOGUE is really that we are storytellers through images."
VOGUE Covers are visual masterpieces, depicting the elegance, boldness, innovative and creative aspects the tie fashion, photography, models and issues together to craft a captivating moment in time.
VOGUE Australia’s journey started back in 1955. Back then the British VOGUE magazine created an extension for it’s Australian audience which was simply titled VOGUE Supplement for Australia. This ‘Supplement’ ran from 1955 to 1957. Then in 1959 VOGUE Australia came into existence with its head office in Sydney. The first ever edition was the Spring/Summer title for that year.
Since that time, VOGUE Australia has marked numerous milestones, not only as a fashion publication but also in addressing social justices.
"Vogue has evolved with Australia and with Australian women over the past 60 years."
- Edwina McCann
"People don't like to throw away their Vogues. This is why we matter. If we're not creating this beautiful portraiture and imagery, what are people going to look back on in 60 years?
"It tells a story of who we are, yes, through the prism of fashion, but it's still who we are."
Women in Vogue
2019 marked VOGUE Australia’s 60th year in publication. As part of the celebrations, VOGUE partnered with the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra for the ‘Women in VOGUE: Celebrating 60 Years in Australia’ exhibition. This exhibition was segmented into Looking Back, Looking Out and Looking Forward and highlighted the excellence and remarkable images that VOGUE has produced over this time.
This included the very first cover shot by Norman Parkinson for the Spring/Summer issue of 1959 and continued through the decades, including Australian movie star, Margot Robbie.
This exhibition highlighted the changes that Australian society has addressed and continues to address. The topics covered in the 1960s to the topics being covered today are immensely different, highlighting these changes. Topics have gone from diets and women not being permitted to have a glass of wine in the same bar as men in yesteryears to the topics of today around mental health and welfare, the environment and sustainability, and diversity.
Aimee Board, Assistant Curator at the National Portrait Gallery gave inisght that this collaborative exhibition shone a light on the how far women have come in the last 60 years.
Aimee Board then went on to say, “It's a retrospective, celebrating the 60 years of Vogue, but it's also really interesting to note the changes of the ideals of womanhood across the decades, how far we've come, and what it means to be an Australian woman."
Indigenous Australians Grace the Cover
The idea of an indigenous model appearing on the cover of VOGUE Australia came to light in late December of 1993. This was around the same time the Australian Federal Parliament would recognise the traditional land owners, their rights and interests.
That idea came from acclaimed photographer Grant Good. This led to Elaine George, a 17 year old Aboriginal that Good discovered while lining up for a theme park ride on the Gold Coast. Elaine George had no previous modelling experience, landed her first modelling shoot for the VOGUE Australia cover. This particular VOGUE cover gained a lot of attention, both in the fashion world and beyond. Some of the of the attention created controversy. The model, Elaine Tanaka (nee George) said,
It would take another 17 years before this was repeated. Samantha Harris, was the next indigenous model to grace the VOGUE Covers in Australia in 2010. Appearing on the VOGUE cover definitely furthered her career.
Most recently, as part of VOGUE’s global “Hope” Campaign for September 2020, VOGUE Australia released its first ever Aboriginal Art cover. Betty Muffler’s “Healing Country” artwork was commissioned by VOGUE and is on display in a national art gallery. Read more about this incredible indigenous artist and her artwork here.
Betty Muffler’s art speaks of her connections, to her people, to the land, to her ancestry, and to her role which is integral to these connections.
'It's my wish that now more Australians will know Betty's name and appreciate her gifts, talent and story. I also want this issue to offer readers hope, too, as we work together to navigate and support one another through these difficult times,' Edwina McCann said.
"We hope to rebuild an even better and braver Australia, and we believe we will by harnessing the best of the Australian spirit together."