Fashion in photography has emerged in the 20th century as a marketing and branding tool for designers and fashion houses. It often employs scenarios of desire, fantasy and aspiration. Originally associated with pure commerce, in time photographers began to take more risks to develop a signature style that elevated fashion photography into an art form in its own right. The field of fashion photography now shares the status and respect enjoyed by other genres such as portraiture, landscape, street photography and reportage.
The course will examine the fashion photography of admired and respected photographers who have taken a unique approach to the presentation of clothing and style within a photographic image.
These lectures will explore the careers and stylistic development of some of the most influential and admired photographers working in the field.
What you will discover:
- How fashion photography emerged as a branch of advertising to become an admired and collected genre of photography in its own right.
- The techniques and ideas that fashion photographers have employed to transform commercial images into works of art.
- What makes a fashion photograph successful?
- The work and achievements of key photographers who have changed and influenced fashion photography.
Monday 7 June 2021
1. Lee Miller and Man Ray: Surrealism in Fashion Photography
Man Ray and Lee Miller formed a romantic and professional partnership during their years living together in Paris during the 1930s. As disciples of Surrealism, they introduced the subconscious, chance and the ‘marvellous’ into fashion. The result was an enduring legacy of arresting and enigmatic photographs. Their work finds echoes today in the more eccentric and theatrical presentations of fashion both on the catwalk and in photography.
Tuesday 8 June 2021
2. Irving Penn
Arguably one of the greatest pioneers and practitioners of fashion photography, Penn achieved an American elegance in the affluent post war world of New York, working for Vogue magazine. His career demonstrates the importance of the professional relationship with art directors and editors in fashion magazines. Penn’s work is famous for its precision and attention to detail which produces a self-sufficient beauty comparable to old master paintings.
Wednesday 9 June 2021
3. Richard Avedon
Avedon is regarded with Irving Penn, as one of the greatest pioneers of fashion photography, helping to raise its status and reputation. His photographs express the character and energy of his models, often in settings beyond the studio. Avedon was also noted for introducing movement as an intrinsic feature of the images, in which the models are no longer static mannequins but feel alive and engaged with the contemporary world around them.
Thursday 10 June 2021
4. Helmut Newton and Herb Ritts: The body in fashion photography
In some fashion images, the body is paramount. Newton and Ritts created images that used the athleticism and power of the body to enhance the erotic appeal of fashion. Sometimes confronting and challenging, these photographs emphasise the interdependent relationship of clothing with the human form.
Friday 11 June 2021
5. Tim Walker: Fantasy and illusion in fashion photography
Tim Walker is a leading example of the extent to which fashion photography can be playful and cinematic in its quotation from literature, history, art, ethnography, music and street culture. Using elaborate sets and costumes, Walker builds complex and entertaining tableaux within a single photographic frame, inspired by the clothing represented in the images.