Leeds University Online Library: Fashion Magazines at Your Fingertips

Who said that encyclopaedic knowledge wasn’t glam? With some of the world’s most popular fashion magazines available via our University Library, you will find a bibliography you’ll never be bored of. Giulio Bajona talks through his favourites. All can be accessed via ProQuest or the University Library Website.

The Vogue Archive is a complete database of American Vogue, from its 1892 debut to the current month. You can click on any specific issue you might be interested in and you’ll find anything that’s ever appeared on the magazine. The highlight for me: being able to see the first colour photo ever used on a Vogue cover (July 1, 1932).

July 1 1932 | Vogue
image credit: Vogue Archive

If you don’t think you can get any more historical than that, wait until you browse the issues of Harper’s Bazaar, America’s first fashion magazine, which started off as a weekly publication. In the first issue (November 2, 1867), I found a great article ‘Manners Upon the Road’, a letter from a reader that gives you a (delicious) taste of pure 19th-century sass.        

Harper's BAZAAR In the 1960s - Photographs From Harper's BAZAAR In ...
credit: Harper’s Bazaar Archive
Harper's Bazaar April 2020 | Hearst UK Official Online Store
credit: Harper’s Bazaar Online

Cosmopolitan is another one that you’ll find on the same platform, with searchable issues ranging from the magazine’s origins, in 1886, up to December 2005. In this case, I was curious to see their January 2000 issue and their take on the turn of the century/millennium. With a complete cosmic guide, 20 ‘earth-quaking’ sex moves and new 21st-century hair and make-up inspiration, we can conclude Cosmo readers clearly received some pivotal support when entering a new era. 

Cindy Crawford's Cosmopolitan & Vogue covers of the 1980s - Click ...
credit: Cosmopolitan Archive

Finally, if you feel like celebrating your teenage years and reminisce about some of the looks that inspired your pre-university wardrobe, have a look at Seventeen. Yes, the magazine caters to a younger audience, but inspiration can be found anywhere, especially during challenging times. In fact, one thing that we have learnt over the past few weeks is that rules can be subverted and, who knows, perhaps a younger, fresher approach is just what we all need.              

credit: Livingly.com