From January 16, 2009 through January 2, 2010, NYC's International Center of Photography will be hosting 6 groundbreaking exhibitions dedicated to the impact and influence of fashion photography. Featuring iconic fashion images and video shot between 1923 and the present, 80 years worth of highlights will be on display, variously drawn from the Conde Nast archives, non-fashion sources of contemporary fashion photography (Weegee, Danny Lyon, Gordon Parks, Ben Shahn) and the ICP's permanent collection.
Curated by ICP's Carol Squiers and guest curator Vince Aletti (photography critic for The New Yorker's Goings On About Town), the exhibits examine a number of interesting issues, including the history of fashion photography, the long relationship between art & fashion, and even society's perception of fashion and women in photographs. In addition to 175 works by Edward Steichen (1923-1937), the Lost Archive of Hungarian fashion photographer Martin Munkacsi (who died in 1963), and Richard Avedon works from 1944-2000, a particular highlight will be David Seidner's photographic re-creation of a fabulous episode in post-war fashion history .
Prior to Christian Dior's history-changing New Look of 1947, the French couture industry was still battered by war. In an attempt to revive its international reputation, a traveling exhibition was created in 1945 of more than 230 wire-frame mannequins, each just over 2 feet tall and clad in the latest French fashions of the day, including Jeanne Lanvin, Lucien Lelong, Elsa Schiaparelli, and Pierre Balmain. After opening to great acclaim at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris, the Theatre de la Mode traveled to London, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Vienna, New York, and San Francisco. Mission accomplished, the mannequins were donated to Portland's Maryhill Museum, where they disappeared from view until 1990, when they were returned to the City of Lights, restyled, and re-coiffed for an exhibit at Musee de la Mode.
Additional eyecandy at the ICP Year of Fashion will include works by Mario Sorrenti, Miles Aldridge, Nick Knight, Paolo Roversi, Cindy Sherman, Solve Sundsbo, Robert Mapplethorpe, Bruce Weber, Steven Klein, Jurgen Teller, and Michael Thompson. For more info, check out ICP.org.
- Lesley Scott
(David Seidner photograph copyright International Center of Photography, David Seidner Archive; Mailes Aldridge Spot the Fake #1 (Published: New York Times, T Magazine) copyright Miles Aldridge)
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