With the convenience of digital media and the rapid pace of change in the modern world, magazines and the printed media are mostly a thing of the past nowadays.  Yet, in an era where visual trends are made popular and re-shared through social media such as Instagram or Pinterest, the truly fresh ideas often come from looking to the distant past.

Although I am in no way a collector, I have a small collection of vintage fashion magazines as a source of inspiration for my photography.  Beyond just the cover art of each issue, there is an entire treasure trove of ideas inside each issue.  In fact, some of these magazines date back so far that there were more illustrations than photographs – the type of illustrations that resemble a concept sketch from fashion designers.

Vogue 1973

Gaining artistic inspiration from the pioneering fashion photographers of our time, to which many modern styles of photography today pays homage to, is an inspiring and refreshing look at the styles that started it all.  The works of some of the greatest fashion photographers, such as Richard Avedon and Edward Steichen, can often be seen in the pages of these vintage fashion magazines.

The role of fashion and style was as important (if not more important) in those early years as they are today.  Experiencing the zeitgeist of decades past where the absence of the internet made fashions, style, physical gatherings, and other socially-driven ideas paramount in importance and decadence.  Naturally, this gave rise to many beautiful styles of art that defined the look of various generations.  

Vogue 1973-Inside

As you flip through the pages of these vintage fashion magazines, you are transported back to experience a curated collection from beautiful styles, from the fashion photography to the written articles that reflect the tastes of the time, and even to the unique style of the advertisements.  Many of these styles often convey an effortless style that is highly refreshing compared to the more fragmented direction that we see today.

And, as a photographer, these unique styles of decades past help improve my eye for visual concepts and aesthetics.  Through and through, each magazine issue feels like an experience and a gift that goes far beyond the imagery, the makeup, or the fashions of the time, and that is a beautiful thing to be inspired by.