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Fashion Finds: Du Bois’ Vogue Collection

Whether you go there to study, grab a coffee, or just enjoy the views, Du Bois is for sure one of the top spots on campus. With an extensive collection that fills over twenty floors, it is no surprise that the library is well, full of surprises! And I have one I want to share with my fellow fashion enthusiasts.

I often go to the twenty-third floor to watch the sunset (highly recommend btw), and one day I decided to take a look around. What I came across I would call a jackpot. To my surprise, right in front of me were copies of Vogue going all the way back to 1927 and filling multiple shelves. So you can only imagine that I had a total Carrie Bradshaw moment because as Carrie said herself, “When I first moved to New York I bought Vogue instead of dinner. I just felt it fed me more.”

What makes this collection particularly special is that it covers a wide range of decades. The earliest edition is from 1927 and the most recent is 2013, so there is no doubt that your favorite year in fashion is waiting for you. Get ready for some serious fashion inspiration Collegiettes!

It is both fun and interesting to see how the layout and design of Vogue has changed through the years. In the copies from the 20’s and 30’s, there are more illustrations of fashion rather than actual photos of models wearing the clothes. But you can tell in terms of cover design that Vogue has always been ahead of the game trend-wise. For example, the cover of the 1927 issues features the super hip and trendy “art deco” style. Also notable is the fact that in earlier issues, there weren’t actual people on the front covers. Graphic design is featured instead on the cover pages. One also can’t help but notice the price, which is significantly lower than the price of a copy today.

If you are someone who enjoys spotting trends, looking through this collection is definitely for you. You can see what trends have come back in style (everything does at some point). In fact, you will notice that many of the clothes featured in past issues look like something you could buy in your favorite store today. But be prepared: you will encounter some of the fashion horrors of the past (although I will admit, it is funny to see what designers of the day thought would be the next big trend). Anyway, what would fashion be without a few bad design ideas? It is part of the fun!

Along with the fashion and beauty, I enjoyed seeing what brands and stores had advertisements all the way back in the 20’s and 30’s. It is interesting to see what top stores and brands were most popular way-back-when and if their status has changed with time. The famous Bergdorf Goodman store is featured in the early editions and of course remains to this day an icon in the fashion world.

For all of you celeb-obsessed people out there, it is fun to see what celebrities were featured on the cover, as well as inside the magazine. I found one of my favorites, Barbra Streisand, in an edition from the 70’s. And in another edition, Cher graced the cover!

Vogue has something to offer everyone. Whether it’s the fashion, the celebrities, the beauty, or the journalism, it is all available to you on floor twenty-three of Du Bois. In the very digital age we live in, physical copies are quickly becoming a thing of the past. But there is something magical about sitting down with a cup of coffee and flipping through the pages of Vogue. That is something that will never go out of style. 

Photos: 12

Other photos taken by author.

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Annelise Mahoney

U Mass Amherst

College girl, dog lover, food fanatic, fashion addict, makeup enthusiast, I will be famous so I'll meet you in Hollywood!  "I've never been a millionaire but I know I'd be just darling at it." - Dorothy Parker
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