By Katy Cowan
It seems we can’t get enough of fashion photography this month. With the prestigious National Portrait Gallery launching Vogue 100, celebrating 100 years of cutting-edge fashion, beauty and portrait photography by British Vogue, and now we’re in for an additional treat with an exhibition by London’s Atlas Gallery, paying homage to the development of fashion photography over the past 60 years.
Set to open on the 25th February 2016, there will be nearly 40 diverse photographs charting the evolving styles of the medium, the depiction of the female form, and the making of icons alongside uncommissioned works by renowned fashion photographers. From Richard Avedon and Miles Aldridge to Lillian Bassman and Tony McGeen – expect everything from the iconic and experimental to the contemporary.
The collection will include a rare photograph by Erwin Blumenfeld created for Dayton’s Department Store in 1959-1960, which will be shown alongside Lillian Bassman’s graphic black and white darkroom manipulations from the 1950s, Richard Avedon’s silhouetted portrait of model Jean Shrimpton from 1967, and William Klein’s iconic studio photograph Hat and Five Roses alongside his energetic street fashion photographs focusing on models Simone + Nina.
A selection of works by Irving Penn, focusing on portraits of Lisa Fonssagrives, the model who became his wife, will exemplify the perfection of the 1950s. The progression of fashion photography from the 1970s onwards will be illustrated primarily by a grid of 20 black and white prints taken by the prolific German Australian Helmet Newton.
Steven Meisel’s photograph, Linda in Library, is indicative to the rise of the supermodel in this era, and Tony McGee’s shot of Kate Moss in a car from 1988, shows a distance from traditional studio photography. This early shot of Moss was taken shortly after she was discovered by Sarah Doukas of Storm and sent to McGee’s studio. McGee decided it would be a great idea to photograph her with a young boxer he was shooting in the Mercedes he had bought from David Hockney. The contact sheet for this photograph will be shown alongside the final image.
Contemporary portraits by Alec Soth and Miles Aldridge will also be on show, with Soth’s trademark large format camera capturing ‘Natalia’ in Paris, and three large-scale technicolour chromogenic prints by Aldridge showcasing his elaborate constructed scenes of models in opulent environments, rife with implied narrative and an unsettling sense of discord. Wonderful.
Discover more at www.atlasgallery.com.
Main image credit: Kate Moss photographed in London on the 6th of May 1988, in David Hockney’s Mercedes Benz 280 Se Cabriolet. © All Copyright remains the sole property of Tony Mcgee
Natalia. Jean-Paul Gaultier headpiece & dress. Paris, 2007 © Alec Soth / Magnum Photos
Twiggy, London, England. 1966 © Burt Glinn / Magnum Photos
Dinner Party #3, 2009, Chromogenic Print © Miles Aldridge
Home Works #4, 2008, Chromogenic Print © Miles Aldridge
Actress #4, 2012, Chromogenic Print © Miles Aldridge
Nina + Simone, Piazza di Spagna, Rome, April 1960 © William Klein, Courtesy ATLAS Gallery
Read more here:: Fashion Show: 60 Years of Fashion Photography in the making