Art | The Reconnoisseur

The photographer who redefined fashion

An enduring source of fashion inspiration

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The photographer who redefined fashion

January 19 2010
Damian Foxe

The first question I ask any young fashion student who wants to assist me on a photoshoot is what they think of Lillian Bassman. If they look at me blankly, then I’m afraid they immediately get struck off my list. A New York-based nonagenarian who recently converted to digital photography, she is my constant source of inspiration. In fact it was her work that kindled my interest in fashion in the first place. I own all her books and have marked them up for reference so many times that they are beginning to fall apart.

She redefined the fashion aesthetic of the 1950s and 1960s with her sensual and evocative photoshoots for US Harper’s Bazaar, which she worked on in collaboration with the renowned art director Alexey Brodovitch. And in my opinion her work is as relevant today as it was when she started out.

Check out her latest exhibition, which takes place at The Wapping Project in Bankside, London, and runs from January 21 until February 20. Fashion students looking for an internship on How To Spend It please take note.

Prints of Bassman’s photographs are on sale from £2,500.