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Icons of Style: A Century of Fashion Photography

From now until October 21, 2018, The Icons of Style exhibition at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center will have a collection consisting of a series of photographs from the Getty’s permanent collection as well as supplemental photographs from loans and private and public sources to illustrate the evolution of fashion photography. The collection will have photographs of the century form 1911 to 2011. 

Modern day fashion photography vastly differs from the original schema of the first photographs of runway and fashion shoots, and it all started with French publisher Lucien Vogel who challenged photographer Edward Steichen to create the first ever artistic photographs in 1911. This challenge inspired the world, and from 1914 forward, Vogue magazine adopted this artistic take on photography.

With this initial challenge, a revolutionary evolution commenced in the fashion world as this new genre developed from pictorial to naturalism in the 1920s. The exhibition will show how The Great Depression and World War II were represented and how they affected and influenced photographers. The evolution of fashion photography continues through the decades and will be described and portrayed at the collection from the initial 1911 challenge in France to the transformation towards realism and fantasy in 2011.