In pics: Iconic fashion photography
© Arthur Elgort / Victoria and Albert Museum, London
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London
© Melvin Sokolsky / Victoria and Albert Museum, London
© Rankin / Victoria and Albert Museum, London
© Tim Walker / Victoria and Albert Museum, London
© Estate of Ronald Traeger / Vogue The Condé Nast Publications Ltd / Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Arthur Elgort, personal picture taken on American Vogue fashion shoot, July 1981: Elgort’s photograph could be a paparazzo shot of a young film star in New York. In fact, the woman is the glamorous makeup artist Wendy Whitelaw. There are two voyeurs here: the photographer, who captures her figure from behind and the man to the left of the picture, who casually sits on a car, watching her approach.
John French, London for the Daily Express, 1955: John French pioneered high-contrast photography, making it easier for black-and-white images to be reproduced effectively on cheap newsprint. Although he directed all the elements of a fashion shoot, the job of releasing the camera shutter fell to an assistant, whose hand can be seen at the bottom of this picture.
Melvin Sokolsky, River Seine, Paris for American Harper’s Bazaar, March 1963: Sokolsky began his brief but intense career as a fashion photographer in 1959 working for Harper’s Bazaar. Audaciously imaginative, he could bestow a magical aura on even the plainest outfits. His famous ‘Bubble’ series features models floating over rivers and through the city streets of Paris and New York. Simone wears fashion by Venet.
Rankin, Silver Ladies for Dazed & Confused, Issue 18, March 1996: Editor Jefferson Hack launched Dazed & Confused in 1992 with Rankin, a photographer who works primarily in the studio. Older women rarely feature in mainstream fashion magazines, but here Rankin defies convention, photographing a white-haired model in a joyous pose against a dark studio backdrop. Margo wears Jacket by Isaac Mizrahi, Vest by Marc Jacobs’ Look and Shoes by Helmut Lang.
Tim Walker, 'Lily Cole & Giant Camera' for Italian Vogue, 2005: Walker found inspiration for this shoot in a 1924 fashion illustration by Vogue artist Benito. Benito depicted girls reading a magazine from which the models appear to be coming alive. Walker has collaborated with the art director and set designer Simon Costin for a decade, and Costin’s oversized props feature in many of Walker’s sparkling, magical scenes.
Ronald Traeger, Twiggy in Battersea Park, London for Unpublished Fashion Study for British Vogue, Young Idea, July 1967: The American Traeger spent much of the 1960s working in London, where he captured this exuberant shot of Twiggy riding a moped. Named ‘The Face of 1966’, Twiggy represented Britain’s optimistic youth and became an icon of adolescent fashions. She even launched and modelled Twiggy Dresses, her own line of clothing, which she models here.
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Fashion buffs, get excited, because Auckland Museum is now showing the wonderful V&A exhibition 'Selling Dreams: One Hundred Years Of Fashion Photography'.
The straight-from-London show features original work from some - nay, most - of the 20th century's major fashion snappers, including Edward Steichen, Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton and David Bailey, alongside contemporary images by Miles Aldridge, Corinne Day, Rankin, and Tim Walker.
Explore the above gallery for a sneak peek at some of the collection's most magical snaps.
The exhibition runs until 28 February 2014 in the Special Exhibitions Hall. Tickets for adults are $8 (weekdays) and $10 (weekends), seniors $6 (weekdays) and $8 (weekends). Entry for groups of ten or more is priced at $6 per person. Children, students, and Auckland Museum Institute / Circle Members can attend the exhibition free.
There is also a series of Smart Talks beginning every Wednesday (6-9pm) as of next week, featuring V&A Selling Dreams Exhibition Curator Susanna Brown, WORLD director Denise L'Estrange-Corbet, BLACK Magazine Editor Grant Fell and many more.
Each night will be complemented by delicious food, drink and music in the spirit of glitz and glamour (adults $10, members $8, free for tertiary students and under 12s. Season pass for all five Smart Talks $25, members $20).