Selling Dreams – 100 years of fashion photography

April 3, 2014


Following on from my post on Horst’s upcoming exhibition at the V&A, there is currently a show at the museum that has just opened called ‘Selling Dreams, 100 years of fashion photography’. I had a chance to view this exhibit yesterday whilst visiting the print room and could not help but notice one of Penn’s most celebrated platinum prints, Harlequin Dress, opening the show. I say ‘opening’ it does share it with the largest Richard Avadon silver gelatin print of ‘Dovima with Elephants’ I have ever seen, which is breathtakingly beautiful. It’s worth going just to see those two prints however there are many other great fashion photographers represented including, Edward Steichen, Cecil Beaton, Helmut Newton and David Bailey, alongside contemporary images by Steven Klein, Corinne Day, Rankin, Miles Aldridge and Tim Walker. The majority of the prints are silver, however if you go upstairs to the permanent photography exhibition it includes many excellent examples of alternative photographic processes including platinum, carbon, cyanotype. albumen, that are well worth visiting. ( Including another Penn platinum print from his street findings series, shown below)



Further Information

The exhibition explores the range of approaches to fashion image-making from 1911 to 2011. It comprises nearly sixty photographs, including many rarely exhibited and recently acquired works by more than twenty photographers such as Edward Steichen, Irving Penn, David Bailey, Corinne Day and Tim Walker. This is the first touring exhibition from the V&A’s Collection to showcase the work of international fashion photographers and to draw together such a broad range of important historic and contemporary fashion images.


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