Design Notes Archive

Bathrooms in Vogue

Bathrooms in Vogue

This month London’s National Portrait Gallery celebrates the 100th anniversary of British Vogue with a sweeping exhibition, Vogue 100: A Century of Style. It may be fashion focused but it’s not such an unlikely topic for this column – Vogue regularly features the homes of style icons and tastemakers the world over. It’s usually the first thing I flip to when leafing through the magazine each month. For all its high fashion, there is often a sense of whimsy to the houses they run. Even the most storied manors tend to have something of a bohemian bent. That diversity is what makes it so exciting.

One of our all time favorite bathrooms, from the Oxfordshire home of author Bella Pollen, was shot for Vogue by legendary photographer Francois Halard (and was the subject of our November 2013 Design Notes). It’s warm and serene yet totally stylish. A stark contrast to this wildly modern bathroom in the London home of Caroline Seiber and Fritz von Westenholz, brilliantly photographed for Vogue by Oberto Gili. It’s a thrill to see a fashion magazine champion interiors and interior photographers with such aplomb.

As for Vogue 100, the exhibition focuses on the fashion photography of course. There are early prints like E.O. Hoppé’s portrait of Viscountess Maidstone (c.1916) and George Hoyningen-Huene’s iconic swimwear shoot (c.1929), along with modern classics including this spirited shot of Naomi Campbell by Bruce Weber (c.1987). Dotted throughout this “stuff of Vogue” (as the magazine once dubbed it) are rare archival memos plus a watercolor painted by none other than Cecil Beaton (c.1937). With such a rich dose of history, it’s surely worth a visit!

Photograph © The Conde Nast Publications Ltd / Bruce Weber / Oberto Gili