I have created a list of newspaper and magazine articles, which document the early history of voguing. These articles make it clear that 1989 marked the critical year when news about the vogue style began to spread across the United States. I hope you find this historical information useful and educational. This post only contains reference information that can be independently verified by visiting a news website. On the Squidoo page for How Do I Look, I assembled a list of music videos (based on an interview with Willi Ninja conducted by the filmmaker Wolfgang Busch) that chart the artistic progression of voguing in pop music. Please leave comments to this post, if you know of other links that record the early history of voguing. Thanks for visiting my blog.
Thierry Mugler took 'voguing' to his Paris fashion show
In 1989, Paris fashion designer Thierry Mugler invited two vogue dancers* from New York to perform at his Parish fashion show, so reported Time magazine.
With background training in ballet dancing, Mr. Mugler was one of the first fashion designers to incorporate the vogue dance style into his runway show.
Read the Time magazine article that refers to Thierry Mugler's 1989 fashion show.
* Note: I promise to try to identify who were the dancers who performed in Mr. Mugler's fashion show. If anyone knows who these dancers might be, please leave a comment to this post.
The New Yorker magazine features a sketch of 'voguing'
According to The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, even The New Yorker magazine was able to recognize a national trend forming around "voguing" when it featured a sketch about the dance style.
Read the news digest that refers to The New Yorker magazine's sketch.
In May, the New York fashion industry organized the "Love Ball," an AIDS benefit, featuring a 'voguing' performance
The Design Industries Foundation for AIDS organized a fundraising event at the Roseland Ballroom on May 10, 1989. According to The New York Times, the event was to have featured "an extravagant presentation of 'vogueing,' a stylized version of runway modeling based on poses from Vogue magazine."
The Love Ball featured a rising star in the voguing dance movement: Willi Ninja. "The average person can do it, just using the hand movements," Willi Ninja, a top voguer, told The New York Times.
A couple of years later, The New York Times looked back at the original Love Ball and noted:
"The original Love Ball in May 1989 introduced voguing to a wider public and featured the spectacle of poodle-walking voguers from Barneys New York competing against staff members of Metropolitan Home magazine dressed as telephone tables and --setees. The event raised $400,000 for the Design Industries Foundation for AIDS."
Time strikes a pose
Following the success of the Love Ball, Time magazine reported about the role of Patricia Field in helping to spread the success of voguing:
Myra Christopher, a salesclerk in designer Patricia Field's New York City boutique, helped vogueing flourish after she went to a ball in the winter of 1987. Says she: "Here were these kids getting prizes and trophies for things they get made fun of for in the real world." She persuaded her boss to start a vogueing group called the House of Field.
The article also noted that:
... Teens are getting glimpses of vogueing in a music video playing on MTV, singer Taylor Dayne's Tell It to My Heart. The craze has already spread to Chicago. Predicts New York City video producer David Bronstein: "I see a lot of choreographers who could be influenced. I see a big crossover there for stage, for TV, for film."
Read the complete Time magazine article.
Voguing goes to Kansas
Word about voguing reached readers of The Wichita Eagle before the end of May 1989, in an article that reported that voguing was New York's latest "in" thing.
Read a digest of The Wichita Eagle article.
In June, the St. Louis Post-Disptach published an article on the new 'voguing' trend eminating from New York
Read a digest of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch article.
In July, The New York Times published an article about Malcolm McLaren's dance hit
Before Madonna released "Vogue," Malcolm McLaren had created buzz for his dance hit, Deep in Vogue.
"An exercise in dramatic stylistic juxtaposition similar to Fans, Waltz Darling blends sweeping symphonic waltzes with jagged pop-funk rhythms, and was partly conceived to accompany the fad called vogueing, in which dancers parody the poses of runway-fashion models. Mr. McLaren has been touring Europe with a five-member vogueing team recruited in New York City. And Deep in Vogue, a single from Waltz Darling, is the most played 12-inch single in dance clubs around the country." **
Read the complete article in The New York Times.
** Note: If anyone knows who the five dancers were, who toured with Mr. McLaren, please leave a comment to this post.
In September, the Chicago Sun-Times reflects on the latest dance craze
In an article, the reporter Richard Roeper reflected back on the summer of 1989 as the "summer of dweebs, Batman and Vogueing."
Read the news digest of the Chicago Sun-Times article.
Vouge dancers performed in St. Louis
Vogueing was performed by the Willie Ninja Troupe.
Read a summary of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch article.
And in late 1989, Madonna began recording the song, "Vogue."
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