A change in season: Autumnal Vogue illustration covers

As the darker nights draw in and we welcome back warmer layers to our wardrobes, we take a closer look at our exclusive Vogue archive and the autumnal illustrations that have adorned their iconic covers.

Vogue Late October 1921, George Wolfe Plank and Vogue Late October, 1922, Helen Dryden

Since its first publication in December 1892, stylish illustrations have been a staple of Vogue magazine covers. Though Vogue began featuring photography on cover pieces as early as July 1932, illustrations were still able to demand cover time until the late 1950s. Showcasing the trends of the season, a talented pool of illustrators created wonderful covers that today offer a glimpse into fashions of the past.

Vogue Late October 1921, George Wolfe Plank

A self-taught artist hired by Vogue in 1911, Plank provided illustrations and cover designs for the magazine until 1936. 

This celestial scene from the Art Deco extraordinaire makes use of a clear blue night sky with twinkling stars to set off the white, billowing dress of a pirouetting tennis player as she gracefully falls back down to earth.

Mirroring the elegant angles of the female figure, the shooting star glides back into frame to herald the dawn of the Golden Age of fashion illustration.

Vogue Late October 1921, George Wolfe Plank

Vogue Late October, 1922, Helen Dryden

After a year of rejection from fashion magazines, in 1910 Dryden was hired by Vogue. Her visionary style marked a turning point in fashion illustration, inspiring a new age of creative editorial cover designs.

Evoking blustery autumnal walks, this cover is awash with Art Deco elegance. With black Roman columns and a checkerboard tiled floor dominating the foreground, Dryden blends stylish 1920s interiors with the tonal outdoors. 

Vogue Late October, 1922, Helen Dryden

Vogue 14 November, 1953, René Bouché

A Czech artist and fashion illustrator best known for his work in Vogue between the 1930s and 1960s, René Bouché's November design captivates. 

Using watercolour and blown-out indian ink linework, the illustrator suggests rain is on its way in the overcast scene. The driver’s headdress and matching gloves stand out against the gloom of the day, as does her cat-eyed glance and blushed cheeks in the rear view mirror.

This stylish and moody cover design drives the viewer straight into mid November.

Vogue 14 November, 1953, René Bouché

Vogue Late November, 1926, Eduardo Benito

Inspired by contemporary Cubist artists, Eduardo Benito’s 1920s illustrations – with their sharp angular lines and bold colours – evoked elegance and high glamour. 

Reminiscent of a diamond, the hand held mirror reflects an elegant woman with smokey, lined eyes and rouged cheeks applying her red lipstick, ready for the Christmas party season.

Vogue Late November, 1926, Eduardo Benito

Vogue 14th November, 1934, Eduardo Benito

This finely detailed illustration is a marked change from Benito’s sharp-contoured designs of the previous decade. 

Softly coloured, the cover sophisticatedly brings to life a pin-curled beauty. The jewels adorning her refined evening wear shine brightly against the mauve backdrop. Poised with her fur stole, she looks cocktail party ready!

Vogue 14th November, 1934, Eduardo Benito

These exclusive Vogue covers have been selected from the prestigious archive of British VOGUE © The Condé Nast Publications Ltd.

All images contained on this website are copyrighted property of their respective owners. All rights reserved.

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