The First Modern Fashion Photography Shoot: Paul Poiret by Edward Stechein (1911)

In 1911, publisher Lucien Vogel dared photographer Edward Steichen to promote fashion as a fine art in his work. Steichen responded by snapping photos of gowns designed by leading French fashion designer Paul Poiret, hauntingly backlit and shot at inventive angles.

The photographs were published in the April 1911 issue of the magazine Art et Décoration. According to historian Jesse Alexander, the occasion is:

“now considered to be the first ever modern fashion photography shoot,”

The garments were imaged as much for their artistic quality as their formal appearance

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Edward Steichen, L’Art de la Robe by Paul Poiret in Art et Décoration, 1911 via

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Edward Steichen, L’Art de la Robe by Paul Poiret in Art et Décoration, 1911 via

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Edward Steichen, L’Art de la Robe by Paul Poiret in Art et Décoration, 1911 via

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Edward Steichen, L’Art de la Robe by Paul Poiret in Art et Décoration, 1911 via

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Edward Steichen, L’Art de la Robe by Paul Poiret in Art et Décoration, 1911 via

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Edward Steichen, L’Art de la Robe by Paul Poiret in Art et Décoration, 1911 via

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Edward Steichen, L’Art de la Robe by Paul Poiret in Art et Décoration, 1911 via

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Edward Steichen, L’Art de la Robe by Paul Poiret in Art et Décoration, 1911 via

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Edward Steichen, L’Art de la Robe by Paul Poiret in Art et Décoration, 1911 via

Schiaparelli by André Durst (1936)

André Durst was a French photographer and heir to Marseilles soap. A close friend of the Noailles and the sponsor of Salvador Dali and Elsa Schiaparelli, the French photographer caught the eye of Vogue and soon proposed his exquisite and original images to the magazine. His work caught the attention of Condé Nast, who signed him as a Vogue photographer. He eventually became French Vogue’s primary photographer.

His mentor was photographer George Hoyningen-Huené.

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André Durst, Elsa Schiaparelli, 1936 via

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André Durst, Elsa Schiaparelli, 1936 via

Fashion Photopgraphs by Vogue Photographer Eugene ‘Gene’ Vernier

Eugene ‘Gene’ Vernier (1920–2011) worked as a fashion photographer for British Vogue  from 1954 to 1967, during one of the most exciting periods in fashion history.

Shooting of-the-moment looks from the likes of Christian Dior and Emilio Pucci and top models including Celia Hammond, Jean Shrimpton, and current Vogue creative director Grace Coddington, Vernier worked with some of the biggest names in the industry.

Yet he was relatively unconcerned with celebrity. Interested only in bringing out the very best in each frame, Vernier was a true craftsman in the fashion photography trade (source).

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Margaret Phillips photographed by Eugene Vernier for Vogue (1956).

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Tania Mallet in a Canadian Pearl Mutation mink with wide set-in sleeves and huge square collar from the National Fur Co. Photographed by Vernier for Vogue UK, August 1961
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Judy Dent in maize-yellow mohair sweater in a fine boucle twist with own belt by Bernhard Altmann. Photographed by Vernier for Vogue (1959)
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June Clarke in lilac and white barley-corn tweed suit by Hardy Amies, white straw hat by Rose Vernier (no relation). Photographed by Eugene Vernier for Vogue (1956).
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June Clarke and Joy Weston pose with Afghan hound. Photographed by Eugene Vernier, for Vogue (1956)
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Jean Shrimpton Photographed by Vernier
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Joy Weston photographed for Vogue (1957)
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A young Jean Shrimpton poses in wedding gown with wooden mannequin on the bank of the Seine in Paris. Photographed by Vernier for Jardin des Modes ( c.1961)
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Penny Knowles in studio fashion photo by Vernier ( c. 1958)

Veruschka & Richard Avedon in Japan for Vogue (1966)

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 US Vogue October 1966: ‘The Great Fur Caravan’ shot on location in the Japanese Alps by Richard Avedon and stars Veruschka.

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Veruschka in perhaps the Most Epic Fashion Story

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 US Vogue October 1966: ‘The Great Fur Caravan’ shot on location in the Japanese Alps by Richard Avedon and stars Veruschka.

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Veruschka in perhaps the Most Epic Fashion Story

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US Vogue October 1966: ‘The Great Fur Caravan’ shot on location in the Japanese Alps by Richard Avedon and stars Veruschka.

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Veruschka in perhaps the Most Epic Fashion Story

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 US Vogue October 1966: ‘The Great Fur Caravan’ shot on location in the Japanese Alps by Richard Avedon and stars Veruschka.

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Veruschka in perhaps the Most Epic Fashion Story