Memory Like an Elephant

Richard Avedon and Norman Jean Roy

Richard Avedon helped to define the post WWII woman with his imagery of impossibly elegant women, theatrically posed within Avedon’s signature theatric narrative style. Dovima with Elephants is one of Avedon’s most well-known photographs featuring the model Dovima dressed in Dior at the Cirque d’Hiver of 1955 in Paris. To celebrate the relaunch of Harper’s Bazaar UK, previously Harper’s and Queen since 1970, in March of 2006, Norman Jean Roy photographed actress Cate Blanchett in a black Vivienne Westwood bodice and skirt ensemble similarly positioned amongst elephants, perhaps an homage to Avedon’s rich history at Harper’s Bazaar.

Dovima with Elephants by Richard Avedon, 1955

Dovima with Elephants by Richard Avedon, 1955

 

Norman Jean Roy, Harper's Bazaar UK March, 2006

Norman Jean Roy, Harper’s Bazaar UK March, 2006

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share on FacebookPin it on PinterestShare on TumblrShare on Twitter

Masked Beauty

Edward Steichen and Tim Walker

At a time when photography was considered more mechanical than artistic, photographer and artist Edward Steichen strove to elevate fashion photography to the level of a fine art. Steichen began his career shooting images in a pictorialist manner in 1902, and eventually evolved his style to a heightened realism; however, Steichen’s photographs never lost their painterly aesthetic. The July 15, 1926 issue of Vogue featured Steichen’s eerie image entitled Parasol, which captured models Marion Morehouse and Helen Lyons both dressed in masks by Polish illustrator and painter W.T. Benda. Fantastical photographer Tim Walker paid homage to Steichen’s melancholic photograph in the February, 2009 issue of Vogue Italia with mannequin-like models posed in a similar fashion.

 

Edward Steichen, Vogue, July 15, 1926

Edward Steichen, Vogue, July 15, 1926

 

Tim Walker, Vogue Italia February, 2009

Tim Walker, Vogue Italia February, 2009

Share on FacebookPin it on PinterestShare on TumblrShare on Twitter

To Catch a Thief

Hitchcock and Norman Jean Roy

A profile on George Clooney in Vanity Fair’s  November, 2006 issue likened the actor to those of Hollywood’s past, portraying Clooney as a modern day Gregory Peck, James Stewart or Cary Grant. To accompany this comparison, photographer Norman Jean Roy, who often looks to Old Hollywood for inspiration, photographed George Clooney along side a Hitchcock Blonde played by model Gemma Ward in an homage to Alfred Hitchock’s 1955 film, To Catch a Thief. 

 

Alfred Hitchcock, To Catch A Thief, 1955

Alfred Hitchcock, To Catch A Thief, 1955

 

 

Norman Jean Roy, Vanity Fair, November 2006

Norman Jean Roy, Vanity Fair, November 2006

 

 

 

 

Share on FacebookPin it on PinterestShare on TumblrShare on Twitter

Birds of a Feather

1880 Accessory Set and Marjan Pejoski

This peculiar scarf and muff set, housed at The Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, represents the fashionable use of birds in 19th-century dress, which often featured bird components of feather plumes or a bird used in its entirety as seen here. The accessory set is also thought to draw attention to the wearer’s own swan-like neck; a strong feature of the period’s beauty ideal. In 2001, Icelandic artist Björk wore what has now become one of the most infamous red carpet dresses. Designed by Macedonian Marjan Pejoski, the frock referred to as the swan dress, was meant to symbolize fertility, a notion further reinforced by Björk as she left a trail of eggs down the red carpet.

 

Accessory Set, c. 1880

Accessory Set, c. 1880

 

Marjan Pejoski, 2001

Marjan Pejoski, 2001

 

 

 

Share on FacebookPin it on PinterestShare on TumblrShare on Twitter

Mirror Mirror

Helmut Newton and Giampaolo Sgura

Transgressive German photographer Helmut Newton, established a prolific body of work in his signature voyeuristic style which changed the landscape of 20th-century fashion photography. Much of his work stemmed from the New Objectivity movement born in the hedonistic Weimar Republic of the photographer’s youth. Bergström Over Paris shot in 1967 is typical of the photographer’s work, and was recreated by photographer Giampaolo Sgura. Sgura photographed model, Anna de Rijk undressed apart from her stockings and Louboutins, perched over the Parisian skyline for Antidote Magazine‘s Shoe Issue in 2011.

Bergström Over Paris by Helmut Newton, 1976

Bergström Over Paris by Helmut Newton, 1976

 

 

 

Giampaolo Sgura, 2011

Giampaolo Sgura, 2011

 

 

Share on FacebookPin it on PinterestShare on TumblrShare on Twitter

Put a Ring on it

Padaung Woman and Daphne Guinness

Perhaps making a comment on her willingness to sacrifice herself in the name of fashion, costume collector and heiress Daphne Guinness accessorized with a neck coil much like the brass wires worn by the Padaung women along the Thai and Burmese border. The origins of this body modification practice are unknown and there are even greater mythologies about the jewelry’s effect on the wearer, regardless Daphne Guinness embraced the tradition with her own set of temporary coils for the 2012 New York City Ballet Gala honoring designer Valentino.

 

Padaung Woman, photo credit: jurvetson

Padaung Woman, photo credit: jurvetson

 

Daphne Guinness, 2012 New York City Ballet Gala

Daphne Guinness, 2012 New York City Ballet Gala

 

 

 

Share on FacebookPin it on PinterestShare on TumblrShare on Twitter

A Man and His Muse(s)

Milton Greene and Steven Meisel

In a 1960 September Issue of Life Magazine, Milton Greene photographed designer Norman Norell proudly standing amongst his muses: models dressed in his signature sequined sheath gowns along with the Marchesa Luisa Casati, portrayed in Kees van Dongen’s 1921 painting, “The Quai, Venice.” Norell owned the portait of the eccentric Marchesa (the same Marchesa who inspired the label Marchesa by Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig) and designed his Fall 1960 collection in her honor. To celebrate Tom Ford’s return to womenswear design after his six year absence, Vogue offered its readers a preview of the designer’s Spring 2011 collection photographed by Steven Meisel. Meisel’s image features Mr. Ford positioned amongst his designs in a fashion similar to Greene’s portrait.

 

Milton Greene, Life Magazine September, 1960

Milton Greene, Life Magazine September, 1960

 

Marchesa Luisa Casati in The Quai, Venice by Kees van Dongen, 1921

Marchesa Luisa Casati in The Quai, Venice by Kees van Dongen, 1921

 

Steven Meisel, Vogue December, 2010

Steven Meisel, Vogue December, 2010

 

 

Share on FacebookPin it on PinterestShare on TumblrShare on Twitter

A Room with a View

Horst P. Horst and Steven Meisel

Under the direction of Diana Vreeland at Vogue, German photographer Horst P. Horst began photographing high society within their living spaces throughout the 60s. Horst photographed fashion designer, writer and International Best Dressed Hall of Famer, Pauline de Rothschild, peeking into her whimsical Parisan bedroom on rue Méchain in the June 1, 1969 issue of Vogue. Perhaps paying homage to the Horst photograph, Steven Meisel photographed Linda Evangelista exuding an aristocratic flair and also caught in the doorway of a muraled interior. The image belonged to an editorial entitled “The Duchess” and ran in the June, 2008 issue of Vogue Italia.

Horst P. Horst, Vogue June 1, 1969

Horst P. Horst, Vogue June 1, 1969

 

Steven Meisel, Vogue Italia June, 2008

Steven Meisel, Vogue Italia June, 2008

 

Share on FacebookPin it on PinterestShare on TumblrShare on Twitter

Proud as a Peacock

Alexander McQueen and Jany Temime

Housed at the FIDM Museum, Alexander McQueen’s Peacock Dress exemplifies the designer’s ability to incorporate historic symbolism and reference past modes of dress to create a final garment that is cutting edge and culturally relevant to our contemporary eyes. The Peacock Dress belonged to McQueen’s FW 2008 collection entitled, “The Girl Who Lived in a Tree,” which was dedicated to the British Empire. In 2010, costume designer for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One, Jany Temime, created a dress bearing significant resemblance to McQueen’s, worn by Fleur Delacour in her marriage to Bill Weasley. In an interview with the LA Times, Temime does not mention the McQueen dress, but cites her desire to create a fantastical gown which incorporated the symbolism and representation of a phoenix.

 

Alexander McQueen, FW 2008

Alexander McQueen, FW 2008

 

 

 

Jany Temime, 2010

Jany Temime, 2010

Share on FacebookPin it on PinterestShare on TumblrShare on Twitter

Message in a Bottle

Guy Bourdin and Terry RichardsonKnown for his daring, high shock value aesthetic, Guy Bourdin would often photograph scantily dressed models in provocative poses and environments. Terry Richardson undoubtedly looked to Bourdin for inspiration with a strategically placed fragrance bottle in the 2007 fragrance campaign for Tom Ford.

Guy Bourdin, C. 1970

Guy Bourdin, C. 1970

 

Terry Richardson for Tom Ford, 2007

Terry Richardson for Tom Ford, 2007

 

Share on FacebookPin it on PinterestShare on TumblrShare on Twitter