“Horst: Photographer of Style” – V&A Museum 6th September 2014 – 4th January 2015
Having started her career as an architect before entering the marvellous world of millinery, Gabriela has always been curious to see where the path of architecture can lead and with that in mind, the V&A’s retrospective on the life and work of fashion photographer Horst provides an interesting example.
Originally an architecture student and, for a short time, apprentice to Le Corbusier in Paris, Horst’s career change and rise to leading mid 20th Century fashion photographer proved to be an inspired and timely transition. Quick to master the new colour processes which emerged in the late 1930’s, Horst combined these new photographic techniques with his signature style of placing models against plain or geometric backgrounds and lighting the shot with absolute precision, thus creating striking images with colours as vibrant today as they ever were.
Friend of the fashion cognoscenti and Hollywood glitterati of the 30’s, 40’s and beyond, Horst photographed a succession of celebrities such as Marlene Dietrich, Noel Coward and Bette Davis, as well as working for a variety of fashion magazines including Vogue. He also collaborated with the designer Coco Chanel, visually capturing her creations for over 30 years.
With a career spanning 60 years, Horst continued shooting until the early 1990’s when failing eyesight eventually led to his retirement. His images however remained influential amongst the artistic community, with his work being cemented in history when Madonna recreated his most iconic images in her music video Vogue, directed by David Fincher.
As a celebration of Horst’s work, the V&A are exhibiting previously unpublished vintage prints, portraits of Hollywood stars, nudes and pictures from his travels, a truly comprehensive and fascinating collection from the life of a remarkable photographer.