Vogue July 1970

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Fig 12. (1970), ‘Top 10 Vogue Covers of All Time; 9. Helmut Berger and Marisa Berenson, July 1970’, 2014, http://www.therichest.com/expensive-lifestyle/top-10-vogue-covers-of-all-time/2/ [accessed 29 March 2015]

Extract from a thesis written by Sofia Arvanius for her final year studying for a BA in Visual Communication titled How has the image of women changed over time in the fashion magazine industry in America, looking specifically at the covers of the US magazine, Vogue, between the years of its first publication in 1892 until the present day?

Figure 12 features a relatively normal looking magazine cover by today’s standards but it too was a ground breaking cover. Allison Cooper wrote about the cover in her article titled ‘Top Ten Vogue Covers of All Time’. Published in July of 1970, the lady is attired in the styles of the 1970’s. The man is dressed in a suit. Other than their clothes, there are no hints in the background or elsewhere to suggest anything other than that we should be focusing on these two people. David Bailey photographed the cover. Photography had become a regular medium for imagery in Vogue magazine in the last thirty years. Up until this issue, however, the magazine had essentially had a female target market for the majority of its lifespan, excluding its early years in the late 19th century. This particular cover is momentous because it is the first ever Vogue magazine to publish a photograph of a man on its cover. The actors Helmut Berger and Marisa Berenson are photographed alongside each other, both staring straight out at the viewer as if to ask the question; well, what do you think of this than? This opened the door for many other men to be featured on the cover of Vogue such as Elton John and, controversially, Kanye West. (Cooper, 2014)

It is interesting that as the woman is getting more rights and freedom in her personal life in the 1960s and 1970s, and it is now that she is portrayed with a man along her side. Without previous knowledge of how the image of the woman has been shown on Vogue covers, it would be easy to come to the conclusion that the magazine cover is suggesting that a woman needs a man. However, when looking at the bigger picture involving American society at the time, as well as the history of the image of the woman on magazine covers, the image in fig. 12 has transcended the fear of showing the woman as dependent. The only reason for the man being next to the woman is because she wants him there.

Cooper, A. (2014). Top 10 Vogue Covers of All Time; 9. Helmut Berger and Marisa Berenson, July 1970. Available: http://www.therichest.com/expensive-lifestyle/top-10-vogue-covers-of-all-time/2/. Last accessed 20 Nov 2014.

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