Life in a modern community is far more controlled by fashion than many people realize; fashion is a big business, invented by innovative designers and controlled and promoted by business magnates for profit. It affects not only clothing, but also almost every aspect of daily life from the kind of house we live in, to the kind of book we read. The fashion industry is at once the most visible and overlooked of cultural sectors. But what is this mysterious and controversial thing called ‘fashion’? The best definition is that it is the material expression of a new trend of thought — the outward expression of a new idea, and new ideas are the lifeblood of business, if they “catch on”!
One does not need to be a critic or designer to understand that fashion statements intend to send a message. Fashion designers search for inspiration from cultures, different eras, cities and nature. Not to harm someones self image but to create something beautiful for everyone to feel beautiful in. Fashion advertisement, particularly fashion photography, is not meant to damage your self esteem or have everyone try to mold their bodies and minds into what society feels is “perfect.” It simply shows that if you buy this line of clothing this is how beautiful you will feel. Not “this is the only image that can be beautiful.” Nonetheless, the phrase fashion photography means different things to different people. Whether they are involved with the fashion industry or just a viewer of the final results makes a difference.
To a photographer, fashion photography is a way to express himself, the models, and the products as one coherent piece of art. The fashion photographer tries to bring to all three a liveliness that transcends each one individually, and to simply make the viewer stop, stare, and think, “wow”! I want to go out and buy that Valentino evening dress or that pair of Jimmy Choo pumps or that new Louis Vuitton handbag!” although photographers may be limited by their budgets and by any reins that the art director might place upon them, their goal is to invoke desire and passion in the viewer by creating a memorable shot.
Legends like Richard Avedon, Guy Bourdin, Helmut Newton, and Irving Penn paved the way for the greats of today, challenging the fashion world to accept new ideas of sexiness, femininity, and masculinity.
It’s no secret that in the 21st century, photographers are as plentiful as they are powerful. Photographers like Steven Meisel and Terry Richardson have launched the careers of models, stylists, and make-up artists. Others like Rankin and Nick Knight have created media platforms to take fashion photography and film in unanticipated yet important directions.
Well, fashion photography is a gorgeous art form and you don’t have to go to a museum to see it, just pick up a Vogue magazine for your daily dose of visual inspiration. Great fashion photography doesn’t just “tell about today”; it speaks truths about yesterday and tomorrow. As Nick Knight puts it, “If you want reality, why don’t you look out of the window?”
Let’s have a look on the amazing work of the most influential fashion photographers, all of them sharing an appetite for excellence and continually succeeding at redefining visual culture, beauty, and art. And we are thankful for them. No matter there is a literal reprezentation or a romanticized one or mockery, fashion photography gives us a fragmented story with unresolved meaning, it is a mistery where nothing plausible remains but the garment. I hope you enjoy my selection and …mon the biff!