July fashion exhibitions

This month is all about fashion photography. Catwalk photographer Chris Moore is celebrated at The Bowes Museum with an exhibition based on his recently published book. Meanwhile, one of the leading contemporary fashion photographers, Collier Schorr, is staging exhibition that explores the representation of body. Getty Centre attempts to compile the canon of fashion photography by exhibiting key images taken in between 1911–2011.


Catwalking: Fashion through the Lens of Chris Moore at The Bowes Museum (Barnard Castle, UK)
until January 6, 2019

The show will present original fashion photographs by Chris Moore, the undisputed king of catwalk photography. Moore has been at the forefront of fashion for six decades and still today he is capturing all the iconic catwalk moments – in London, Paris, Milan and New York.

The exhibition is an exclusive opportunity to see 200 original photographs, chosen by Moore from his extensive archive, capturing the key moments at legendary fashion shows including those at Balenciaga, Chanel, Dior, John Galliano, Comme des Garҫons, Christopher Kane, Alexander McQueen, Yves Saint Laurent and Vivienne Westwood.  A selection of original catwalk outfits, as seen in the accompanying photographs, will be lent to the Museum by the world’s leading fashion houses in a unique collaboration.

Catwalking brings a rare insight into the fashion world, with previously unseen images and glimpses of behind-the-scenes at shows. Charting the startling evolution of fashion over six decades, the exhibition demonstrates the impact that new designers had on fashion, the rebirth of haute couture, and the rise of the supermodel.

Born in Newcastle, Moore entered the world of fashion in 1954, aged just 20, when he began work at Vogue Studio in London, assisting photographers including Henry Clarke and Cecil Beaton. By the late 1960s he was documenting the collections of designers such as Paco Rabanne, Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent. Moore has worked with all the leading UK national newspapers and is also the founder of Catwalking.com, the first UK website dedicated to catwalk imagery.

The exhibition expands on Catwalking: photographs by Chris Moore, published by Laurence King, with words by Alexander Fury, an award-winning fashion journalist and critic. Fury, co-curator of the exhibition, said of its concept: “The excitement is in combining the ephemeral with the eternal – translating the fleeting ‘fashion moment’, experienced by so few at the international collections, cementing it through the reality of the clothes, and translating into an exhibition all can enjoy. These clothes will literally ‘leap,’ out of the images and back to life again.”


Untitled (2018) by Collier Schorr. © Collier Schorr. Courtesy Stuart Shave/Modern Art, London

In Front of the Camera by Collier Schorr at Helmet Row (London)
until September 1

The exhibition draws upon Schorr persisting concern with what it means to represent a body – and a self – through a photograph. As well as practicing as an artist, Schorr has worked as a fashion photographer for over a decade, and her work contains within it a core sense of the complex dynamic between the camera and the performativity of a subject in portraiture.

Schorr’s early work was made in the 1980s and 1990s in New York, during the coalescence of postmodernism and identity politics. Her work from that period navigated the tension between documentary and fiction, and tested out the capacity of photography to unveil desire and repression, explore taboo identities, and highlight the contradictions inherent in subjectivity, especially in relation to the masculinity and femininity. Gender is still a central concern in Schorr’s work, and her recent body of photographs probes the relationship between womanhood in image production and the shifting nature of desirability.


Yohji Yamamoto, Autumn/Winter 1995 (1995) by David Sims

Icons of Style: A Century of Fashion Photography, 1911–2011 at The Getty Centre (Los Angeles)
until October 21

Why do some fashion photographs transcend their commercial character to function as works of art, while others do not? In part, the answer lies in the ability of a fashion photograph to reflect two or more worlds: the perfect world inside the frame—where youth, beauty, and luxury reign supreme—and the harsh realities of the world outside it. The best fashion photographs remind us of other works of art or expand the boundaries of the genre, redefining what a fashion photograph is supposed to do, or be.

Beginning with 1911—the year Edward Steichen created the first “artistic” fashion photographs—and ending with 2011 with digital technology as a dominant paradigm, this exhibition surveys the rich and varied history of modern fashion photography. The show traces its trajectory from niche industry to powerful cultural force, and its gradual embrace as an art form.


Celebrating Bill Cunningham at New-York Historical Society Museum
until September 09

Celebrating Bill Cunningham marks the New-York Historical Society’s recent acquisition of objects, personal correspondence, ephemera, and photographs that reflect the life and work of Bill Cunningham, one of the late 20th century’s most influential trend-spotters and style authorities. The legendary New York Times journalist and photographer was frequently spied on the city’s streets, at fashion shows, and elegant soirées capturing New York’s fashion innovators and cultural glitterati. Showcasing a selection from Cunningham’s Facades project―his eight-year photographic project documenting New York City’s architectural and fashion history, shown at the Museum in 2014―Celebrating Bill Cunningham also features photographs documenting his friendship with floral designer Toni Cimino, known as Suzette; a Cunningham bicycle; his Nikon camera; signature blue jacket; ephemera; and unforgettable William J hats. An original short film by Josef Astor, A Visit with Bill Cunningham, is also shown in the gallery.

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