Last week, Vogue launched their $1,500 a year digital archive [click the YouTube link above] which features every single issue (and advertisement pages!) since the very first from 1892. But don't fret! Part of the archive will soon be available to its subscribers. But if you really want to appreciate the history, art, and of course, the fashion, of this iconic magazine without having to pay over fifteen hundred dollars, there are much affordable ways in doing so which include books, videos, and the current issue of the magazine itself and its special edition issues -- which coincidentally makes a great Christmas gift for all of those fashion savvy people on your holiday list!
1. In Vogue: The Illustrated History of the World's Most Famous Fashion Magazine
2. Vogue: the Covers
3. The September Issue documentary
4. current annual issues
5. Best Dressed special edition issue
In Vogue: The Illustrated History of the World's Most Famous Fashion Magazine
This 440 page book is the best book about the magazine available out there in terms of the history and background of the magazine. In this book you will learn about the magazine's most influential editors from Diana Vreeland, Grace Mirabella, and current editor in chief since 1988, Anna Wintour and creative director Grace Coddington. The book also features chapters dedicated to that entire era when the magazine consisted of illustrations (as opposed to photographs) as well as the countless photographers (past and present) that have shot for the magazine -- think Annie Leibovitz, Patrick Demarchelier, and Mario Testino.
VOGUE: The Covers
When I think of Vogue the image that immediately pops in my head is its cover along with that classic Baskerville Old Face font -- that's what the cover is designed after all, to grab the attention of consumers in the newsstands. This 272 page book which was just released this past October (2011) chronicles all of the most iconic covers of the magazine. And as a great bonus (especially if this is given as a gift!) the book also includes five covers which can be framed and displayed in your home!
The September Issue
If you're more of a visual person, then you'd love J. Cutler's documentary, The September Issue. It gives the viewers a first hand look to the production of the legendary (and ginormous!) Vogue September issue, specifically the largest one in the magazine's history, the September 2007 issue which consists of 480 pages and weighs a whopping 5 pounds!
Vogue annual issues
$3.99/copy or $12 subscription
And of course the easiest way to learn and love the magazine is to get a hold of a copy yourself. Perusing or as what I like to do, dissecting the magazine from the cover to cover, is the best possible way to familiarize yourself with it. I usually flip through the entire magazine first, without reading any of the articles and mark crucial sections like Letter from the Editor, the cover story and layout, and the fashion essays (fashion editorial spreads), especially the ones by miss Coddington and any other sections that catch my eye. Then I tend to go back and read the entire magazine, once again, from cover to cover.
Vogue: Best Dressed
This new Special Edition, in which the first issue was released in 2010, is a completely separate issue from the monthly issue themselves. It's released once a year, usually around November, and crowns the year's most best dressed fashionista. Along with trend reports, this issue also features articles about each of the stylish stars along with a cover story. Last year Blake Lively graced the cover of this new Conde Nast special edition and this year, two cover girls, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen were given the celebrated title.