Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Exhibition of the world’s most beautiful fashion photographs

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Condé Nast are opening up their archives for a new exhibition on June 15th as part of the Edinburgh Art Festival. Featuring an impressive collection totalling 160 of fashions most beautiful photographs from the past 100 years including early work by David Bailey, Cecil Beaton, Edwin Blumenfeld and Corinne Day, this is a great opportunity for see these works of art on display.

The exhibition curator Nathalie Herschdorfer was given access to the international Condé Nast archives in New York, London, Paris and Milan. The pictures themselves offer an amazing insight into a century of fashion imagery, taken by more than 80 photographers. Nathalie credits publisher Condé Nast himself for building the foundations of such an impressive archive, after he scouted Irving Penn, Edward Steichen and William Klein.

"Mr Condé Nast understood that a powerful cover would bring him more readers," said Herschdorfer. "The first Vogue covers are works of art. In the early Twenties, he realised what the photographic medium could bring to his magazines. He was a man of his time and was looking ahead. He wanted to work with people who were talented artists and not necessarily good practicians. The vision of the photographer was recognised as a value, and then the photographer was asked to adapt it to the magazine's needs."

She described her selection process, "I was looking at strong, powerful works which announced the mature work of these photographers. There is a Helmut Newton style, a David Bailey style, a Peter Lindberg style, a Miles Aldridge style. The works in the show announce the best of these styles. This is a walk through the 20th Century because looking at fashion images shows also the way that the society has changed and evolved. Each image tells a story and invites us to engage with it, but it also encapsulates something of the tastes, the aspirations and the dreams of its time."

Coming Into Fashion: A Century Of Photography at Condé Nast opens June 15 until September 8 at Edinburgh City Art Centre.
Albert Watson for Vogue, May 1977

Deborah Turbeville for Vogue, May 1975

Vans Lamsweerde & Matatin for French Vogue, October 2002

Edward Steichen for Vogue, December 1923

Norman Parkinson for Glamour, October 1949

John Rawlings for Vogue, March 1943

Clifford Coffin for Vogue, June 1949

Guy Bourdin for French Vogue, February 1955

All pictures: Norman Parkinson

Written by Rose Humble 

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