Tuesday, 15 March 2011


On Sunday I visited the Fondation Pierre Bergé to see it's Saint Laurent rive gauche: La révolution de la mode exhibition. What struck me, aside from the vast array of impeccably crafted garments dating from 1966-1978, was the notion of collecting. The exhibition relies heavily on the private collections of Loulou de la Falaise, former Chanel model and Saint Laurent's muse Betty Catroux, and the man who is allegedly responsible for starting the 'vintage' craze, Didier Ludot. The 'collector' is nowadays revered as someone who exhibits qualities of both perseverance and passion. Indeed, the famed Anna Della Russo has an entire flat dedicated to housing her impressive clothing archive. The only thing I intentionally collect is Vogue UK, much to my mother's chagrin, as they are stacked on top of one another resulting in a sort of makeshift bedside table, the rest neatly arranged in date order in bookshelves concealed in my wardrobe. I started collecting in 2002 and have continued with each yearly subscription. I imagine they are worth very little but I prefer to see my collection more as a tangible outlet for my love of fashion; it gives me such pleasure to see an inspiring fashion photograph in the knowledge that I can go and look up the rest of the editorial in my own little archive. However, undoubtedly there is money to be made in collecting, I constantly regret not jumping on the Lula bandwagon earlier, with issues 1 to 4 going for as much as £130 on eBay. My collection starts at #5, and it is my life's aim to acquire the full set! Sadly my bank balance does not allow for this at the present moment! For drastic times such as this, there's always The Fashion Spot which holds a vast archive of every magazine you could possibly dream of. I've recently been reminiscing with editorials from Carine Roitfeld's reign at Paris Vogue here. But for me digital will never be an adequate substitute for print, so if anyone has a copy lying around of the June 2005 issue of UK Vogue, then please let me know, it's the only one missing from my collection!

(photograph: the Selby, title: 'kunstkammer' or 'Cabinets of Curiosities' were popular amongst collectors in 1750-1800)


  1. ah, i love your attitude on collecting. it's funny, i just mentioned that i happened to miss stopping by Didier Ludot's shop when i was in Paris last year. still kicking myself for not checking out such a legendary vintage shop! what we choose to collect is quirky and sometimes hard to explain to others; but for that very reason is worthwhile. it's what inspires us and fascinates us. i think we need less 'shopping' and more 'collecting'. :)

  2. C'est assez difficile de collectionner les choses, cela demande du temps de la patience, mais aussi de savoir ce que l'on veut. En contre-partie cela procure une sensation d'accomplissement, de plénitude qui vient s'ajouter à une meilleure connaissance de qui l'on est, et de ce qui nous construit.

    (Désolée de ne pas écrire mon commentaire en anglais, mais mon anglais n'est pas assez fluent pour répondre à ce post comme il se doit... Alors je préfère écrire en français pour éviter les fautes!)

  3. Cool post!


  4. I'm so envious you went to the exhibit...I was hoping it would still be around when I make my way to Paris in October. Hopefully there will be some interesting exhibits on at the time. If you have more photos or thoughts to share about the visit, please do!

    I think the thing about collecting is to not overstep from being the disciplined collector you describe to becoming a hoarder with a acquisitional urge to satisfy.

    My biggest and most complete magazine collection would be American Vogue - I have every issue since 2007, but I wished I didn't throw out my older ones; been buying them since I was 15 (1999) and I think it would be so great if I still had them (all I have left are pages I tore out). I love all the Irving Penn photos contained within the pages - US Vogue may be really commercial but there is art in its pages and I'm glad I have some tiny pieces to call my own. I have both issues of the Gentlewoman and I hope to keep buying them, but I'd like the photography to be more interesting.

    I have quite a few UK Vogue as well, shall see if I have the issue you're referring to!

  5. I just went through my collection of old vogues to see if I could help you out with the june issue, but unfortunately I do not own that one. I did however come across the wonderful july issue of that same year with one of the most beautiful editorials tim walker has ever done. I'm really glad to have rediscovered those images, so I suppose a thank you is in order ;)
    Magazines used to be my weak spot, my old room used to be stocked with them, but recently I've gotten a lot better at throwing them out. Also, the prices they charge for those issues of Lula are ridiculous, same goes for the first issue of the gentlewoman (I believe I saw one for as much as 180 pounds). Such a pity I do not own that one..

  6. I wish I hadn't cut up my magazines for all my class projects when I was in college. I had an issue either Anthem or America (can't remember the name) of P.Diddy and Penelope Cruz. I still have bits of it, but I only kept the side of the pics with Penelope in it. I loved the styling in that editorial. And wish I had bought Anthem Magazine when they had a Dior Homme FW 2005. As far as my clothes, I'm focusing on my "collection" this year.

  7. Sadly I do not have June 2005, but have to admit-very impressive collection.
    I think I am addicted to buying fashion magazines.
    So many magazines in stores, so little time(to read them all) and money. My husband hates this addiction and very often complains that soon there will be no room in our apartment to store them all.
    I am thinking of buying Vogue or Harper's Bazaar subscription.The magazines on my monthly to-buy list are: danish Cover,Costume,Eurowoman and british Elle.

  8. I collect clothes by my favorite designers, but finding really great pieces is quite difficult so it's a slow build. I'm really looking forward to seeing the exhibition at fondation YSL, soon, as pre-1980s Yves is one of my absolute favorites in design...

  9. Love this photograph :) Had no idea that Lula was so in demand...


  10. oh man... you're talking to the biggest magazine addict on the planet. I keep them all - even if I'm not a fan - just in case. My biggest collection is of Vogue UK - i started when I was still in school so I have almost every issue 2004-2007 and then complete collection 2008-current. Then it's vogue paris, vogue us, vogue australia, elle uk, harpers uk, harpers aus, teen vogue, vanity fair..... haha!!

    i can't believe lula is so expensive, that is just bonkers. but If you keep at it you'll get that collection. I found some really great magazines on TFS for sale or swap! that's how I got my Kirsten Dunst Marie Antoinette issue and also "the" September issue - the Sienna Miller 2007 Vogue US... I just swapped for magazines that I had and didn't want!


  11. amazing photo! Really inspires me to collect them.

    Helen, X

  12. i love collecting, if what´s being collected is something lovely, that you will still love after ten years. vogue is like that, but unfortunately the magazine is at the double prize here in norway, so it is impossible to buy every month.
    "kunstkammer" means "art chamber", as it is norwegian, by the way.