Iconic photographs, unforgettable photographs, inspiring photographs… Fashion photographs are part of our lives and influence them. Ormond GIGLI, Douglas KIRKLAND and Jean-Daniel LORIEUX, represented by Galerie GADCOLLECTION, are the masters.
What is fashion photography?
The notion of "fashion" refers to the way of dressing present in a specific place at a given time. It ranges from clothing to clothing or beauty accessories. It is a notion that is by definition moving and constantly evolving.
Fashion photography is a genre of photography devoted to showcasing clothing and fashion accessories. Fashion photos highlight a specific style of dress. These are usually high fashion pieces. These are worn by models staged by fashion photographers.
These photographs are intended to sell a garment or an accessory by highlighting it. It is therefore a photographic genre with a commercial vocation.
A brief history of fashion photography
Fashion photography appeared during the 19th century (for more information: see the website of the Fashion Museum of Paris). However, its distribution was initially restraint. Indeed, magazines such as Vogue, which appeared in the second half of the 19th century, have long favored fashion illustrations. It was only at the beginning of the 20th century that fashion photography supplanted illustrations and established itself in specialist magazines. Then, from the 1950s, photographers such as Richard AVEDON and Douglas KIRKLAND managed to establish themselves as masters in this field.
From the 1960s, the proliferation of fashion magazines generated a growing demand for fashion photography and encouraged the installation of new photographers such as Ormond GIGLI, then Jean-Daniel LORIEUX. The latter is a French fashion photographer, active from the 1970s and known for his sun-drenched scenes and its blue skies.
In the 1990s, with the emergence of new fashion designers, a new generation of photographers emerged. Fashion photography is also being reshaped by the advent of digital photography and computer image processing.
What makes a fashion photograph iconic?
Originally, fashion photography was only featured in fashion magazines and advertising posters. Nowadays, it is found in museums, galleries and auction houses.
It appears, a priori, counterintuitive that these latter institutions put forward photographs with a commercial vocation. However, the iconic fashion photographs on display are those which, when taken out of context, have a strong aesthetic and artistic value. Indeed, beyond the commercial objective, some fashion photographers manage to tell a story and impose their gaze.
Thus, the photographs integrated by these institutions are those that have become iconic or have been produced by a photographer whose work is recognized as having advanced this photographic genre.
Fashion photographs therefore become iconic when the photographer not only captures clothes but expresses himself artistically. Iconic photographs are those that have become universal and today acquire the quality of a work of art.
The hand of great fashion photographers
The GADCOLLECTION Gallery represents three famous fashion photographers: Ormond GIGLI, Douglas KIRKLAND and Jean-Daniel LORIEUX.
Over the decades, fashion photography has acquired its letters of nobility through the work and style of fashion photographers. Through their artistic direction, they manage to stage the models in often original and aesthetic situations. Although the mission is unique in view of its commercial aspect, it does not prevent artists from expressing themselves and creating a universe of their own.
Jean-Daniel LORIEUX, for example, knew how to impose his bright, offbeat and sensual style in fashion magazines. His photographs, set in paradise islands, provide joy and give off a special energy.
Ormond GIGLI is an American photographer promoting colorful, warm photographs subject to precise staging. His particular touch gives his fashion photographs a timeless aspect.
Fashion photographs usually feature models. The latter wear the clothes in order to put them forward. They are the ones who will sublimate and serve the commercial purpose of photography.
From the 1990s and the advent of "supermodels", models became stars. Their mere presence in a photograph increases its value and strengthens its selling power. Models are therefore central in the composition of a fashion photograph.
Jean-Daniel LORIEUX has staged the supermodel Stephanie Seymour on numerous occasions, at the height of his glory.