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Fashion & Politics Photo Vogue
“State of Emergency”, Vogue Italia September 2006Photography Steven Meisel

Vogue Italia is exhibiting its most political fashion images

The Photo Vogue Festival is returning – this year it examines how David LaChapelle, Steven Meisel, Tim Walker and more have explored the line between fashion and politics

After its debut last year, the Vogue Italia Photo Vogue Festival is returning to Milan for 2017. From November 15-19, the festival will host a number of exhibitions across the city that explore how fashion photography has interacted with politics, drawing on 50 years of Vogue Italia’s archives as well as spotlighting emerging talent.

Exhibition space Base Milano will host the majority of the events with the first exhibition – entitled Fashion & Politics in Vogue Italia – exploring the magazine’s relation to topics such as gender, identity, wealth, environmentalism, and consumerism. Under the late Franca Sozzani’s leadership, the publication was known for groundbreaking fashion images – the 2008 ‘Black Issue’ and editorials like ‘Makeover Madness and ‘Super Mods Enter Rehab’ were unlike any others in different magazines. Sozzani’s successor – Emanuele Farneti – has been equally as dedicated to this recently putting two gay men kissing on the cover dedicated to over 60s. 

It makes sense, then, that the show unites some of the world’s most famous (and socially-conscious) fashion photographers – Bruce Weber, David LaChapelle, Ellen von Unwerth, Miles Aldridge, Peter LindberghSteven Meisel and Tim Walker to name a few. The exhibition – co-curated by Alessia Glaviano and Chiara Bardelli Nonino – will also show how photography has been a catalyst for debates within the industry, using retrospective visual archives to explore morbid obsessions with plastic surgery, the glamourisation of rehab and extreme consumerism.

In addition to the more established names featured, the festival also looks to the photographers of tomorrow via PhotoVogue – a scouting project to launch emerging talents. Comprised of submissions from the next wave of fashion photographers, the images are brought to a panel of critics who selected 18 photographers who will be in an exhibition at PhotoVogue. The panel itself includes photographer Bruce Weber, the New Yorker’s photography critic Vince Aletti, and Vogue Italia’s creative director Giovanni Bianco. 

And if that weren’t enough, to round off the festival, Palazzo Reale will host a retrospective show of the work of esteemed fashion photographer Paolo Roversi including his high-end shoots, nudes and still life images.

Find out more about the Photo Vogue photo festival here.