Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Haute Couture: The Polaroids of Cathleen Naundorf

 La Fille En Plâtre IV (version 1)

Les Mariées

My Little Darling

The Crying Game

Paris-based photographer Cathleen Naundorf releases her publication Haute Couture: The Polaroids of Cathleen Naundorf.
Focusing predominantly on six fashion houses, to whose archives she was granted unlimited access, Naundorf's large format photographs illustrate the stunning couture of Armani, Chanel, Dior, Lacroix, Elie Saab and Valentino in decadently poised settings, sheltered against the easily rectified whims of digital photography. The inherent imperfections of the developmental process, described by Naundorf as "a gesture of homage to the unique nature of the haute-couture fashion", often leave smattering of imperfections across and around the image, making it as singular and inimitable as the fashion it enshrines.
Timeless and infallible, Naundorf's images are more redolent of the artisanal craftsmanship of photographers such as Richard Avedon and Irving Penn than of her contemporaries; she uses a large format camera, either a Deardorff or Plaubel, with polaroid film in a format difficult to source, in order to do justice to the otherworldly essence of couture. Her key influence and mentor, German fashion photographer Horst P. Horst, is also prominent throughout the book. In Homage to Horst P. Horst, Naundorf photographs a young, bobbed model in a Chanel gown against the backdrop of Coco's former Ritz apartment, in the very same armchair in which Horst photographed Mademoiselle Chanel herself some seventy years earlier. Even the motif of lace-backed corsets, which Horst first immortalised in Mainbocher Corset, 1939, runs throughout the publication in tribute to the iconic photographer.
Haute Couture: The Polaroids of Cathleen Naundorf, published by Prestel, is available now.

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