Apollo Magazine

Beauty and Style: The History of Fashion Photography

The Hermitage in St Petersburg trains a spotlight on how fashion photography has kept reinventing itself since the 1930s

Junya Watanabe (Honeycomb) (2015), Erik Madigan Heck.

Junya Watanabe (Honeycomb) (2015), Erik Madigan Heck. Courtesy of Christophe Guye; © Erik Madigan Heck

From the Collection of the Still Art Foundation

This display at the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg (12 December–13 March 2022) draws on the vast collection of the Still Art Foundation to explore how the art of fashion photography has developed from the late 1930s to the present day. The show begins with Horst P. Horst’s influential Mainbocher Corset (1939), which bears the influence of Surrealism while also anticipating the famous Vogue covers created by Irving Penn and Erwin Blumenfeld in the 1950s, a selection of which are also on display here; the exhibition then continues with the work of Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton, Herb Ritts and many others, exploring how fashion photography expanded as the century wore on to take in a range of subcultures, and the role of the medium in the rise of the supermodel in the late 1980s. Find out more from the Hermitage’s website.

Preview below | View Apollo’s Art Diary here

Doe Eye, Jean Patchett, (Vogue New York, January 1, 1950) (1950), Erwin Blumenfeld. Courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York; © Erwin Blumenfeld Estate

Karl Lagerfeld, Hamburg, May, 1995 (1995), Jean-Marie Périer. © Jean-Marie Périer

The Promise (Vogue Italia, March 2016) (2016), Miles Aldridge.

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