Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Decline of Fashion Photography

If you have a few spare minutes, I recommend you check out The Decline of Fashion Photography: An Argument in Pictures, by Karen Lehrman. It's a great read, assuming you have an interest in fashion art, and it's perfectly and generously punctuated with then-and-now photography from the fashion world.

Ms. Lehrman's article is an indictment of the current state of fashion photography, it's models, shooters, and art directors. If, in some parallel universe, the fashion world went on trial for Failure to Evolve in an artistically exciting way with Ms. Lehrman served up as the prosecutor, and I were sitting righteously on the jury, my juror's vote would be, "Guilty as charged!"

Here's a few of my favorite counts in the indictment:

"After Newton came heroin chic. The grunge aesthetic taken to its logical extreme, this trend offered us 13-year-old sleep-deprived anorexics in desperate need of real clothing."

"Today, 30 years into feminism, we have models who look not just weak and unsophisticated, but also dumb and victimized."

"The third problem with recent trends in fashion photography is the most basic: Very often the pictures don't show the clothes."

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