Wednesday, 9 January 2013


Virginia Oldoini,  the Italian Countess of Castiglione, was first photographed by Adolphe Braun in1856. She became one of the first famous fashion models, and a key figure in early photography, after 288 photographs were taken of her. Taking large numbers of photographs at a time is something that was not often done during this era. 

During her time at the theatre, she created 700 different photographs of herself, in which she re-created signature points of her life. Many show the Countess in her stage wear, depicting her in poses risqué for the era -- notably, images that expose her bare legs and feet. In these photos, her head is cropped out.

Source: wikipedia
(22 March 1837 – 28 November 1899)

Source: swallowourwords

Age of the fashion magazine:

In the first decade of the 1900's, improvements of the halftone printing process often used in this era, was becoming much more economical and available for use to print, and allowed magazines to be reproduced faster.

Source: amazon
1904 Tonnele Fashion Photography; Half Tone Print

Source: wikipedia
Ficheiro, 1888. Magazine fashion plate, for colour print of illustrations.

Peterson's Magazine was an American Fashion magazine based around women. It ran from 1842-98, and was a competitor against fellow fashion magazine, Gody's. 

The change of fashion design. The introduction of haute couture:

Paul Poiret was a French fashion designer, born in Paris. He is said to be the 'Picasso' of the fashion world, and is known for developing haute couture fashion. 

"Though perhaps best known for freeing women from corsets and for his startling inventions including hobble skirts, "harem" pantaloons, and "lampshade" tunics, Poiret's major contribution to fashion was his development of an approach to dressmaking centered on draping, a radical departure from the tailoring and pattern-making of the past. Poiret was influenced by antique and regional dress, and favored clothing cut along straight lines and constructed of rectangles. The structural simplicity of his clothing represented a "pivotal moment in the emergence of modernism" generally, and "effectively established the paradigm of modern fashion, irrevocably changing the direction of costume history.

"Fostering a concept of fashion that is part of an all-embracing lifestyle, Poiret had a major impact on various fields of aesthetics and in particular on the production of images. Across his multifarious activities – ranging from theatre and film productions, an art gallery and a collection of contemporary art, to a perfume company and a studio for interior design – he aimed at developing artistic and unique images, reaching beyond the mere depiction of clothes. Poiret’s main concern was to mediate through the images an overall avant-garde manner of life, encompassing interior design, architecture, contemporary art, movements, postures, and gestures."
Source: khist

Poiret, 1913.


"In 1911, publisher Lucien Vogel dared photographer Edward Steichen to promote fashion as a fine art by the use of photography. Steichen then took photos of gowns designed by Poiret. These photographs were published in the April 1911 issue of the magazine Art et Décoration. According to Jesse Alexander, This is " considered to be the first ever modern fashion photography shoot. That is, photographing the garments in such a way as to convey a sense of their physical quality as well as their formal appearance, as opposed to simply illustrating the object." One year later, Vogel began his renowned fashion journal La Gazette du Bon Ton, which showcased Poiret's designs, drawn by top illustrators, with six other leading Paris designers of the day – Madeleine ChéruitGeorges Doeuillet,Jacques DoucetJeanne PaquinRedfern & Sons, and the House of Charles Worth."
Source: wikipedia

Source: khist
Edward Steichen's photography of Poiret's Fashion, 1911.

- - - - 

Adolf de Meyer, was a French fashion photographer, who focused on the beauty of the model, opposed to the beauty of the garment, and showed this through portraiture.

“Beauty is too often overshadowed by clothes,” the photographer Baron Adolph de Meyer once wrote. “It is always better to hear people say: ‘What a lovely woman!’ rather than ‘What a gorgeous gown!’ ”

"De Meyer, the first staff photographer for both Vogue andVanity Fair, was meticulous, eccentric, a dandy, a flaneur—an arbiter of taste and trends who immortalized the first three decades of twentieth-century society and shaped the genre of fashion photography. When he began at Vogue it was an offshoot of a portraiture; when he was done, it was an art.
De Meyer was a storyteller and something of a fabulist, and there are few reliable facts in his biography. He was half-Jewish, homosexual, handsome, and charming. When he was still an amateur, he began doing flattering photographs of Belle Époque aristocrats, actors, financiers, and industrialists. His portraits of the sparkling beauties of the fin de siècle Smart Set—which echoed the paintings of Sargent and Boldini—were his calling card to a position and profession in Edwardian society." -- Source: vogue
Betty Gee, 1919.

Dolores, 1918.

Marchesa Luisa Casati portrait.

- - - - 

Martin Munkácsi,  Fashion Photographer of the '30s"to see in a thousandth of a second that which the ordinary person passes without notice - this is the theory of photo reporting.  And to photograph what we see during the next thousandth of a second - that is the practical side of photo reporting."

- - - -

Edward Steinchien:

Source: lorilangille

‘Steichen redifned fashion  photography using the avante garde framework of sharp focus modernism: directional lighting, graphic effects unusual angles an interest in geometry and a desire to inject a sense of contemporary life into his images’ Kate Rhodes The elegance of the everyday
Models are assertive eg: Marion Morehouse – socialite
Sculptural- art associations

- - - -

Vogue vs Harpers Bazaar:

Leaders in fashion photography in the 1920’s and 30’s

Hoyningen-Huene for HB (photographs for Madame Vionnet)

Horst P. Horst for Vogue

Cecil Beaton for British Vogue


Source: designtaxi

Cecil Beaton's work for Vogue/Harpers Bazaar:

Source: designtaxi
Marilyn Monroe, 1956.

"Sir Cecil Walter Hardy Beaton, CBE (14 January 1904 – 18 January 1980) was an English fashion, portrait and war photographer, diarist, painter, interior designer and an Academy Award-winning stage and costume designer for films and the theatre. He was named to the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1970."  -- Cecil Beaton

He has photographed the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Twiggy, Grace Kelly, Andy Warhol, Georgia O'Keefe, Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn. He also photographed Queen Elizabeth II in 1968, which can be seen below. His work is of distinguishable style and is usually in black and white, and portrait based.

- - - -

Lee Miller:

Lee Miller was an American fashion model, artist and muse throughout the 1920s, and later became a photographer. 

 Source: nothing-elegant

Source: nothing-elegant

She later became a photojournalist and travelled during the war:

"In 1944 she became a correspondent accredited to the US Army, and teamed up with Time Life photographer David E. Scherman. She followed the US troops overseas on 'D' Day + 20. She was probably the only woman combat photo-journalist to cover the war in Europe and among her many exploits she witnessed the siege of St Malo, the Liberation of Paris, the fighting in Luxembourg and Alsace, the Russian/American link up at Torgau, the liberation of Buchenwald and Dachau. She billeted in both Hitler and Eva Braun's houses in Munich, and photographed Hitler's house Wachenfeld at Berchtesgaden in flames on the eve of Germany's surrender. Penetrating deep into Eastern Europe, she covered harrowing scenes of children dying in Vienna, peasant life in post war Hungary and finally the execution of Prime Minister Lazlo Bardossy."

- - - -
Louise Dahl Wolfe:
• From 1936 to 1958 Dahl-Wolfe was a staff fashion photographer at Harper’s Bazaar.

• From 1958 until her retirement in 1960, Dahl-Wolfe worked as a freelance photographer for Vogue, Sports Illustrated, and other periodicals.

• “Environmental” fashion photography

"Louise Dahl-Wolfe studied at the San Francisco Institute of Art but did not take up photography until years later in the early 1930s. After her first photograph was published in Vanity Fair in 1933, she moved to New York  and opened a photography studio. In 1936, Carmel Snow, the editor of Harper’s Bazaar, hired Dahl-Wolfe as a staff fashion photographer after seeing her advertising and fashion work for Saks Fifth Avenue and Bonwit Teller. In addition to this studio work, she was famous  for her outdoor shoots. After twenty-two years at Harper’s Bazaar, Dahl-Wolfe spent two years freelancing for Vogue and Sports Illustrated and then retired in 1960."

- - - -

William Klein, 1950s:
"William Klein is a photographer and filmmaker noted to for his ironic approach to both media and his extensive use of unusual photographic techniques in the context of photojournalism and fashion photography." Wikipedia

Source: bbc

"In a BBC doumentary he says that he doesn't see himself as a fashion photographer, it was just something that he was asked to do.
His documentary style comes through in the informality, known for his use of blur and movement in doc, here using a long lens.
Multi –disciplinary approach comes from his art school training and exhibition at the Tate".

- - - -

Mario Testino:
"Mario Testino is a Peruvian fashion photographer. His work has been featured in magazines such as Vogue and Vanity Fair. His career highpoint came when he was chosen by Princess Diana for her Vanity Fair photoshoot in 1997." Wikipedia

Source: i-eye-sight

Source: sweetcashmere

Testino is also notably famous for his extensive photo shoots of Kate Moss. 

Source: newarteditions

- - - -

Fashion Blogging:

"A fashion blog can cover many things such as specific items of clothing and accessories, trends in various apparel markets (haute couture, prêt-à-porter, etc.), celebrity fashion choices and street fashion trends. They cover fashion at all levels from the biggest names to the smallest indie designers.
Many fashion blogs could also be categorised as shopping blogs, since "most of the conversation is shopping advice, liberally laced with consumer recommendations". This is very similar to the content of fashion magazines. Some retailers in the fashion industry have even started blogs of their own to promote their products.
Blogs that only occasionally mention fashion are not categorised as fashion blogs, although they may be labeled by the blogger as such." - Fashion blog