Here are faces that I have found memorable. If they are not all as happy as kings, it is because in this imperfect world and these hazardous times, the camera's eye, like the eye of a child, often sees true.
- American photographer Toni Frissell (1907 - 1988)
Although she photographed the rich and famous of the day - Winston Churchill, Eleanor Roosevelt, and John F. and Jacqueline Kennedy - it's her fashion photos of models in water that continue to resonate so vibrantly and memorably almost 70 years later.
Even after marrying Manhattan socialite McNeil Bacon, Antoinette Frissell continued to shoot under her professional name, Toni Frissell. She apprenticed with Cecil Beaton, was mentored by Edward Steichen and landed a gig at Vogue in 1931 thanks to a personal connection to Condé Montrose Nast himself. Frissell's work featured active women in outdoor settings, like these now-iconic evening dress shots from the 30s (above) and the late 40s (top).
These shots below by Anne-Laure Etienne as part of her photo-story The Infinity of the Possible ( L’infinité des possibles) immediately brought to mind Frissell's work - and what a lovely update it represents.
Etienne's dresses almost seem to consume the model as much as they consume the image - and, therefore, the viewer's attention. In interviews, Etienne has described her inspiration as "big horizons and enclosed spaces...I try to find a relation and a gap between soul and reality, then finally find the rhythm between them," she continues. "I explore boundaries between dream and reality, rationality and madness. I want to get a visual explosion, where imagination is more important than reality."
- Lesley Scott
NOTE: Honoring the past to help us pave the way forward fashionwise is a signature of the Folkspun fashion tribe. For more of my posts about this tribe, CLICK HERE. To learn more about each of fashion's four mega-tribes that I track, START HERE.