Published in 1979 by Thames & Hudson and Simon & Schuster. Italian French and German editions.
"Elusive, evanescent, striking, passionate and, above all, representative of the times, fashion presents an elegant and challenging subject to the best of photographers. Here, in one beautiful volume, is a collection of the best fashion photography to appear in Vogue, the world's leading fashion magazine for three generations. This extraordinary array of photographs displays the development of a unique art form and at the same time reveals the changing styles of the twentieth century and the transformation of the modern woman. This collection provides a rare opportunity to study the evolution of dress, behaviour and attitudes in our society, and to appreciate the development of the art of fashion photography and its principal subject, the image of woman." Alexander Liberman
Here, in one beautiful volume, is a collection of the best fashion photography to appear in Vogue, the world's leading fashion magazine for three generations. An extraordinary array of photographs displays the development of a unique art form from the 1920s right up to the 1970s and at the same time reveals the changing styles of the twentieth century and the transformation of the modern woman. Some of the most distinguished photographers are represented: Baron de Meyer from the early years, Steichen with his striking abstract compositions, Man Ray and Cecil Beaton whose work shows the influence of Art Deco and Surrealism, Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, Newton, Sarah Moon... and many others.
Introduction - Thames and Hudson
"The Vogue Book of Fashion Photography" by Polly Devlin (Thames and Hudson)not only covers fashion photography from the beginning of the century, but makes a good strong demarcation line between the decades.
If you can't wait to get back into a mini for the Eighties, this book will remind you how to do it and will also remind you just how good minis did look in the Sixties on leggy lovelies like Twiggy.
More important, it provides a fascinating pictorial résumé, via the pages of Vogue magazine, of the sociological influences reflected in what we wore and how we wore it. A lovely Christmas present for anyone of any age.
Daily Telegraph - December 1979
The Vogue Book of Fashion with text by Polly Devlin.
This is a sparkling anthology of photographs published in that magazine from the 1920's onwards, and taken by a succession of masters of the craft, such as Baron de Meyer, Man Ray, Edward Steichen, Cecil Beaton, Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, David Bailey and Sarah Moon.
Through it we can perceive, decade by decade, how the smartest women of Europe and America looked: in Polly Devlin's words, "not just how they dressed, but how they desired to look and were expected to look and how they were looked at. We can discern how they behaved and were expected to behave. We can see what was found shocking, and how repetition of that shock lessened its impact.
In The Vogue Book of Fashion Photography Polly Devlin has made a telling and bold choice from nearly sixty years' accumulation. "Links" such as Adolphe de Meyer, Alfred Stieglitz and Edward Steichen inaugurated the tradition of the professional photographer on a job who can still express himself freely.
The definition of beauty and the 20th-century woman which they and others developed is often more strange than ravishing: technically superb, with their special mastery of light effects, many Vogue photographers intensified an alien and frigid narcissism as the hallmark of the desirable female. The logical culmination of this ethic is the work of Helmut Newton, the exponent of porno-chic. He is over-represented in this book by contrast to the warmer feeling of David Bailey or Barry Lategan.
The Sunday Times - 13 January 1980
The Vogue Book of Fashion Photography by Polly Devlin is as much a salon eye-view of social history as a fashion file, or a lush record of the snappiest snappers from Baron Adolphe de Meyer and Edward Steichen in the 1920s to Richard Avedon and Irving Penn today.
It also usefully destroys the myth that until David Bailey, Terence Donovan and Brian Duffy burst upon the scene in the 1960s - together with their favourite models, Jean Shrimpton and Twiggy - fashion photography had never dared to be a cheeky send-up of itself.
The Birmingham Post - 14 December 1979
The Vogue Book of Fashion Photography by Polly Devlin. These are the best photographs over three decades of Vogue, showing the changing styles and transformation of the female image.
Telegraph and Argus - Bradford - 1979
The Vogue Book of Fashion Photography by Polly Devlin is a beautifully produced book, well written and researched excellently laid-out and great fun.
Now - 27.12.79
...it was really only a matter of time before a book of Vogue fashions was compiled. Taking the world's leading fashion mag over six decades, and from it sifting la creme de la creme, it's hardly surprising that the result is a book that exudes wealth and elegance. The book stands by its pictures alone, but its value is doubled with the contributions of Liberman and Polly Devlin. Polly leads the reader through the story of fashion, giving brief profiles of the leading photographers and their roles in the evolution.
Hot Shoe - 1979
Vogue Book of Fashion Photography ... Collection of best fashion photography to appear in Vogue.
British Book News - October 1979