Publishing powerhouse Condé Nast has been leading discourse on a wide range of topics for the better part of a century. With titles such as Vogue, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Glamour, Allure, Bon Appétit, and Architectural Digest among the many magazines in its repertoire of brands, the company influences just about every facet of contemporary culture with fashion – and by extension fashion photography – being the largest part of its focus.
The Palais Galliera is hosting an exhibition to showcase 150 original and reproduced prints from the world’s most legendary fashion photographers. Titled, “Papier glacé, un siècle de photographie de mode chez Condé Nast” (“Coming into Fashion, a Century of Photography at Condé Nast”), it encompasses works from 1918 through the present day complied from the archives of Condé Nast New York, Paris, Milan and London.
It’s the photographs that have helped shape the identity and history of the glossy pages over the years with the magazine editors and creative directors working to cultivate young photographers into the celebrated ones we know today. This collection allows us to revisit the works of over ninety photographers, organized into seven different themes, highlighting the most distinguished pieces of their careers.
The exhibition flows from the interiors of Baron Adolf de Meyer (largely considered to be the first fashion photographer) to the dreamland of Cecil Beaton, Deborah Turbeville and Clifford Coffin. It continues to photography on the streets from Constantin Joffé, David Bailey and Terry Richardson, the experimental combination of graphic design and visual form by Erwin Blumenfeld and Paolo Roversi, to the still life from Guy Bourdin and John Rawlings. The collection then moves to the seductive bodies and aesthetic beauty by Herb Ritts and Horst P. Horst to the portraits by Edward Steichen, Irving Penn and Corrine Day.
Photography is constantly being reinvented and transformed. Through the different thematic principles, this exhibition takes its hand at outlining the connections between the photographers, their style of photography and their influence in the field.
Some fifteen haute couture items from the Palais Galliera collections accompany the prints, along with two reading rooms consisting of over fifty magazines to flip through, including famous covers to popular spreads. This retrospective will also screen contemporary fashion films featuring the future of fashion photography, beyond the glossy paper.
The traveling exhibition runs from March 1st until May 25th, before moving on to Zurich, Switzerland.
By Alexa Pizzi