The Royal West of England Academy currently plays host to Selling Dreams: One Hundred Years of Fashion Photography. Named for Irving Penn’s famous statement that fashion photography is ‘selling dreams, not clothes’, the exhibition comprises sixty works from the collections of the V&A. Combined with original magazine spreads from the likes of Harpers Bazaar and Vogue, the images trace the evolution of the genre, from the early twentieth century to the present day.
The selected works demonstrate the diversity of the genre: Tim Walker’s fairytale fantasies, Corinne Day’s stripped-back grunge, the crisp black and white of Irving Penn. A number of iconic images are also included, notably Ronald Traeger’s portrait of Twiggy in Battersea Park, and Horst’s elegant Mainbacher Corset.
Selling Dreams: One Hundred Years of Fashion Photography is at the RWA until 29th April. For more information visit www.rwa.org.uk.