The Genre Fashion Photography
The history of fashion photography began in 1856, when Adolphe Braun published a book of photographs by Virginia Oldoini, a Tuscan noblewoman at the court of Napoleon. The countess thus was the first photo model of history, since she showed her magnificent wardrobe on the shots.
How could it be otherwise, the genre was developed further in the fashion nation par excellence – France - by the magazines Harper's Bazaar and Vogue. Surrealistic photo artists such as Man Ray and Lee Miller were very trendy during the 20s and 30s. Even famous names such as Helmut Newton, Irving Penn, Bruce Weber and Mario Testino worked for the fashion magazine Vogue decades-long and shaped the style of the fashion world through their pictures. Their images always emanate luxury, success and femininity, but always remained authentic. This timeless elegance is in demand even today. The fundamental theme always remains the same. The basic theme always remains the same: beautiful women in beautiful dresses. Nowadays fashion photographers always need to proceed in a creative and innovative way, so that the photographs do not eventually appear boring or plagiarized.
In the 80s, the hype about the fashion photographs transformed into a hype around the model, showing off fashion. Supermodels like Claudia Schiffer, Linda Evangelista, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell and Christy Turlington were in greater demand than ever. Their super bodies then dominated the fashion magazines, whereby more and more the body in aesthetically beautiful worlds gained center stage instead of the clothes itselves.
These productions were then replaced in the 90s by a new realism. Photographers such as Juergen Teller, Wolfgang Tillmans or Nick Knight coined an aesthetic of "Heroine Looks". As a model especially Kate Moss represented this look. Meanwhile fashion photography tends to artificiality in shapes and colors regarding the image. This is of course mainly due to the advancing technique with which one can retouch image errors using Photoshop on an instant. Whether that approach states the new beauty or fashion photography will identify a new aesthetic, remains to be seen.
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