A sixty year career, photographs and works that have cut right across the worlds of fashion, art, design, entertainment and high society. The Victoria and Albert Museum (vam.ac.uk) in London pays homage to one of the 20th century’s greatest masters of photography with the exhibition: Horst: Photographer of Style.
His images captured the evolution of fashion and the concept of beauty, transcending time and space.
He first studied architecture and furniture design at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Hamburg, then moved to Paris where he studied under Le Corbusier. While at a Parisian cafe he met Vogue photographer, Baron George Hoyningen-Huene, and from that moment Horst became his assistant, model and companion, taking over from him as chief photographer for Vogue France.
The exhibition, with its 250 photographs, retraces Horst’s career, divided between Paris and New York. Alongside the most famous images of Haute Couture and Vogue covers, there are unpublished prints, the first experiments with colour, surreal still life images, portraits of Hollywood stars – including Bette Davis, Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo – nude studies, and his travels in the Middle East. Some of the images are placed alongside garments from Chanel, Lanvin, Molyneux and Vionnet, while others are those inspired by Salvador Dali and Elsa Schiaparelli.
Horst’s evocative images narrate the fashion and society that influenced the work of many artists, designers and performers, including Herb Ritts, Robert Mapplethorpe, Bruce Weber and Madonna; proof that, yes, it is possible to be immortal.