This exhibition covers 60 years that illustrate the incredible journey that fashion photography has taken in the 20th Century: from the elegant photo-shoots of the 1930s and 40s by Norman Parkinson and Lee Miller, through the quirky, 'hip' and immediately recognisable images of the 1960s by Brian Duffy and Terence Donovan onto the 70s and 80s, where the models themselves become as famous as the people photographing them.
We are proud to show the work of these eminent and world famous iconic photographers that defined fashion photography in the 20th century. In this exhibition we illustrate the incredible voyage that fashion photography has taken through the 20th Century. Beginning this journey with the sublimely elegant images of opulence by Norman Parkinson and Jacques Henri Lartigue in the 1930s, the exhibition makes its way through Lee Miller's images for Vogue magazine in the 1940s, some even taken on location in war-torn Europe, in a newly liberated Paris and Brussels.
This story then moves onto the contrasting graceful poise and post-war excessiveness & femininity of Dior's New Look of the 1950s. The photographers who emerged with a bang in the 1960s, such as Brian Duffy, Terence Donovan, Eric Swayne, Michael Cooper & Phillip Townsend, were seen by the then photography establishment, as merely young scruffy and unshaven, new pretenders. Duffy, Donovan & David Bailey were dubbed the "Terrible Trio" by the press and were even named by Norman Parkinson, the then longstanding God-Father of British Fashion Photography, as the "Black Trinity". For a while the "Trio" became more famous than the models and even the celebrities who they snapped and put on the cover of the glossy magazines.
The 60s was a time when London rocked! Everything felt possible, and fashion alongside fashion photography continued to push boundaries. With shorter skirts, outrageous make-up and the influence of the music of the day, the images on the pages of fashion magazines were expected to (and did!) suit this atmosphere of excitement, experimentation and change.
The boundary-breaking 60s were followed by a softer decade. The 70s seemed self assured, somehow classier and more sophisticated too. To follow in the 80s was the return of superstardom, this time it was not the fame of the photographers, but the fame of the new 'Supermodels' which emerged. Iconic faces such as Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford emerged, becoming bigger than anything that fashion photography, or indeed the fashion world had ever seen before.
Each decade had it’s iconic faces: Pamela Minchin in the 30s; Lisa Fonssagrives (later Mrs Irvin Penn) in the 40s; Anne Gunning in the 50s; Twiggy, Jean Shrimpton and Nena von Schelbrugge in the 60s; Jerry Halls and Apollonia van Ravensstein in the 70s and Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford in the 80s. This exhibition celebrates Gallery Vassie's iconic fashion Photographers and their enduring images of the seminal "fashion faces" from 1930s to 1980s.
This show runs alongside the exhibition 'Swinging Sixties London: Photography in the Capital of Cool' at Foam (FotoMuseum Amsterdam - open until 7th September 2015), where several of our photographers are being exhibited, including Brian Duffy, Terence Donovan, Norman Parkinson, Eric Swayne, John 'Hoppy' Hopkins, and Phillip Townsend.