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

 

Vintage Photos by Renowned Fashion Photographer Frank Horvat

Frank Horvat was born in Opatija in 1928, that was then Italy and is now Croatia. He studied art in Milan; a meeting in 1951 with photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson decided his fate as a photojournalist. Today he is best known for his fashion photography, published between the mid 1950s and the end of the 1980s.

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Untitled by Frank Horvat (1962)

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Judy Dent, Yorkshire, for Vogue UK, by Frank Horvat (1961)

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A Givenchy hat photographed by Frank Horvat (1958)

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Françoise Sagan, writer, Paris by Frank Horvat (1959)

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Fashion in Streets by Frank Horvat

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Deborah Dixon & Marcello Mastroianni, Rome, by Frank Horvat for Harper´s Bazar (1962)

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Paris, for Élegance, Judy Dent by Frank Horvat (1961)

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1950s Fashion Photography by Norman Parkinson

From his early days as a photographer up to his death Norman Parkinson remained one of the foremost British portrait and fashion photographers. His work, following the lead of Martin Munkacsi at Harper’s Bazaar, revolutionised the world of British fashion photography in the 1940s by bringing his models from the rigid studio environment into a far more dynamic outdoor setting. Humour played a central role in many of his photographs which often included himself.

From 1935 to 1940 he worked for Harper’s Bazaar and Bystander magazines. During the Second World War he served as a reconnaissance photographer over France for the Royal Air Force. In 1947 he married the actress and model Wenda Rogerson. From 1945 to 1960 he was employed as a portrait and fashion photographer for Vogue.  

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Norman Parkinson

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Norman Parkinson Zulu War Dance, British Vogue, 1951.

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 Ms Wenda Rogerson shot for Vogue, South Africa, 1951 © Norman Parkinson. Courtesy Norman Parkinson Archive, normanparkinson.com

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Anne Gunning in dress by Susan Small, photo by Norman Parkinson (India feature) for Vogue UK, Dec 1956

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Barbara Mullen. Delhi, India, November 1956

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Carmen dell Orefice, Vogue, July, 1959

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Dovima – Richard Avedon´s Muse

Dovima (1927-1990) was reputed to be the highest-paid model of her time. Richard Avedon (1923 – 2004) was an American fashion and portrait photographer. An obituary published in The New York Times said that:

“his fashion and portrait photographs helped define America’s image of style, beauty and culture for the last half-century”

Dovima was the muse of Richard Avedon who depicted her, in a legendary photograph posing in a Christian Dior evening dress with elephants from the Cirque d’Hiver, Paris, in 1955.

In 2010, a record price of £719,000 was achieved at Christie’s for a unique seven-foot-high print of the photo. This particular print, the largest of this image, was made in 1978 for Avedon’s fashion retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and was bought by Maison Christian Dior.

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Richard Avedon, Dovima with elephants,

evening dress by Christian Dior, Cirque d Hiver, August 1955

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Richard Avedon, Dovima with elephants,

evening dress by Christian Dior, Cirque d’Hiver, August 1955

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Dovima, dress by Claire McCardell, Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt, January 1951

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Richard Avedon, Dovima dress by Claire McCardell, Egypt, January 1952

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Richard Avedon, Dovima wearing a Leopard fur coat by Bernham-Stein, 1950.

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Richard Avedon, Dovima, Harper’s Bazaar, 1950

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Richard Avedon, Dovima, evening dress by Jacques Fath, Paris, August 1950.

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