Icons of Style: A Century of Fashion Photography

August 22, 2019 - Comment

In 1911 the French publisher Lucien Vogel challenged Edward Steichen to create the first artistic, rather than merely documentary, fashion photographs, a moment that is now considered to be a turning point in the history of fashion photography. As fashion changed over the next century, so did the photography of fashion. Steichen’s modernist approach was

In 1911 the French publisher Lucien Vogel challenged Edward Steichen to create the first artistic, rather than merely documentary, fashion photographs, a moment that is now considered to be a turning point in the history of fashion photography. As fashion changed over the next century, so did the photography of fashion. Steichen’s modernist approach was forthright and visually arresting. In the 1930s the photographer Martin Munkácsi pioneered a gritty, photojournalistic style. In the 1960s Richard Avedon encouraged his models to express their personalities by smiling and laughing, which had often been discouraged previously. Helmut Newton brought an explosion of sexuality into fashion images and turned the tables on traditional gender stereotypes in the 1970s, and in the 1980s Bruce Weber and Herb Ritts made male sexuality an important part of fashion photography. Today, following the integration of digital technology, teams like Inez & Vinoodh and Mert & Marcus are reshaping our notion of what is acceptable—not just aesthetically but also technically and conceptually—in a fashion photograph.
 
This lavishly illustrated survey of one hundred years of fashion photography updates and reevaluates this history in five chronological chapters by experts in photography and fashion history. It includes more than three hundred photographs by the genre’s most famous practitioners as well as important but lesser-known figures, alongside a selection of costumes, fashion illustrations, magazine covers, and advertisements.
 

Comments

Anonymous says:

It Was an Ad? So What. It’s Still Art. First things first, The New York Times came up with that headline, not me, and they were talking about the exhibition on which this book is based, but it still applies :)This is a beautiful and well-executed history of fashion photography. It includes hundreds of b&w and color images, and they are all impeccably reproduced. Many of the photographers are well-known: Edward Steichen, Richard Avedon, Guy Bourdin, Irving Penn, Hiro, Herb Ritts, Juergen Teller, Mario Testino; but there…

Anonymous says:

Excellent collection of fashion photos through thea ges It was a gift for my wife for her birthday. She is a big fashion maven & she absolutely loved this book. It more than met our expectations. We could only give it the highest rating. We have many books on fashion, however this has to be at the top or close to the top of the list!

Anonymous says:

Great book Was a gift. She loved it

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