For the first time in Australian history, the famed photographer Edward Steichen, who single-handedly transformed fashion photography in the 20s, is having almost 200 of his original vintage prints showcased at the National Gallery of Victoria. I had to pinch myself. It was such a privilege to see up close so many chic and sophisticated portraits of Hollywood stars that the chief photographer of Conde Nast captured in his illustrious career.
Steichen is renowned for revolutionising fashion photography. Just as after the war, corsets and waistlines made way for a youthful and tubular way of dressing, Steichen broke away from the traditionally soft and pictorial style of his predecessors and created modern and crisp photographs that highlighted the intricate details from the Jazz age. To top it all off, the photography exhibition is accompanied by Art-Deco-style-clad mannequins who are sporting garments and accessories made by our most beloved haute couture designers. Chanel, Lanvin, Vionnet, Paquin are all in there!
Jil Sander Dress / Vintage everything else
It was such an exquisite and timely exhibition to attend as I’d just read an article asking if “Dressing up is dead”. In our modern day and age, work loads are ever increasing, paces ever accelerating, and demands ever escalating, it is no wonder that we desperately seek comfort and desire leisure. Most of us just want to lounge around after work, relax on the weekend and be comfortable. Dressing up is reserved for special occasions, and even then, many of us rarely make an effort anymore. And it’s no wonder, everything does take practice. How does one expect to rock a frock like Anna Dello Russo or throw together an outfit like Taylor Tomasi Hill if we rarely get dressed up?
The Edward Steichen exhibition has reminded me the power of great design and elegant dressing. Even after 90 years, the photographs continue to inspire Steichen’s contemporaries, the garments continue to inspire designers. With the imminent birth of MiniKee coming around in 5 weeks, I may be entering unchartered waters (no pun intended), but I do know one thing for sure. “Every day is worth dressing up for, even when one’s in labour/nursing/pushing a pram.”
爱德华·斯泰肯的展览再一次提醒我时装与设计的重要性。即使90年后，他的照片继续不断激发下一代的摄影师，也同样不断激发时装设计师。再国五个星期宝宝就要诞生了，我希望我不会忘记这一点： “每一天都值得打扮，即使当一个人在喂奶/推婴儿车。 ” [/spoiler]