Bristol Saint Vintage: Selling Dreams: 100 Years of Fashion Photography

Friday, 6 April 2012

Selling Dreams: 100 Years of Fashion Photography

The V+A Exhibition 'Selling Dreams' is currently at the RWA in Bristol, so I thought i'd make the most of Good Friday and go and check it out! 
It covered some of the big names Cecil Beaton, David Bailey, Tim Walker and Miles Aldridge (who was the first fashion photographer I 'discovered' and really liked). The theme of the show was Fashion Photography's link with illustrated editorial (mainly Harper's Bazaar and Vogue).  The name of the show 'Selling Dreams' was taken from a quote made by Irving Penn in 1984, when he said his role at Vogue was 'Selling Dreams, Not Clothes'.  
This thought really links in with my research at the moment into EmoFunc which is looking at the emotional and functional aspect when launching and marketing a brand to a consumer.

Anyways! The exhibition itself was quite small (especially since it covered 100 years) and I felt like I needed more!  

The main image of the show was this magical/Alice In Wonderland -ish shot by Tim Walker featuring Lily Coles.
Image: Tim Walker, Lily Cole & Giant Camera. Italian Vogue, 2005 © Tim Walker / Victoria and Albert Museum, London

This next image shocked me - not because of the scary mannequin!- but because of the date. The model, hair and make up and even how the image is shot,  is so modern (or maybe it is timeless!)
It would not look out of place on the catwalk/in a fashion magazine now.

Erwin Blumenfeld, Model and Mannequin, American Vogue Cover, 1 November 1945 © Estate of Erwin Blumenfeld / V&A Images

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