How a lesbian power couple revolutionized Vogue in the 1920s
Madge Garland and Dorothy Todd were "Modernist Madonnas"
Labelled influential figures and “Modernist Madonnas” (by Dazed), Madge Garland and Dorothy Todd changed Vogue forever. The power couple edited the magazine during the 1920s, during an era of suppressed rights for women and homosexuals. Condé Nast’s director Edna Woolman-Chase first appointed Dorothy Todd in 1923. Todd was a feminist and openly gay. Her vision for Vogue was to transform it from a fashion publication to a showcase of the avant-garde. “Vogue has no intention of confining its pages to hats and frocks,” Todd wrote in a 1925 issue.
Madge Garland got her break after divorcing her husband and taking up a post at Vogue. Dazed even reports that Virginia Woolf said she had “rather excessive charm”. Garland became fashion director and started a relationship with Todd. Their friend Freddie Ashton went on to make a ballet about the couple, titled ‘The Tragedy of Fashion’. Documents and writings on the couple feature in ‘Virginia Woolf: An Exhibition Inspired by Her Writings.'
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