Coming Into Fashion: A Century of Photography (4 stars)

This article is from 2013

Coming Into Fashion: A Century of Photography

credit: Clifford Coffin, American Vogue, June 1949 © 1949 Condé Nast

Stylish collection of work from publisher Condé Nast’s archive

Glamorous and stylish, this exhibition explores the early artworks of more than 80 fashion photographers whose work has graced the pages of Condé Nast’s publications since 1911. And art is what this show is about – powerful and graceful images that cast light on different trends, fashion and conventions as they have changed throughout the 20th century. Images by 1940s photographers such as John Rawlings and Clifford Coffin are elegant and seductive without being obviously sexual, while images from the 1970s – including one strikingly beautiful work by the Scottish photographer Albert Watson – capture the more overtly erotic fashion of the time.

The exhibition highlights the fine line that both photography and fashion tread between commerce and art, but the images demonstrate just how Condé Nast elevated fashion photography into a credible artform. Dressed to Kill, which runs alongside Coming into Fashion and shows how Scottish artists have captured fashion over the years, feels an unnecessary addition.

City Arts Centre, 529 3993, until 8 Sep, £5 (£3.50).

Coming into Fashion: A Century of Photography at Condé Nast

  • 4 stars

Condé Nast Publications produce some of the most famous titles in the magazine world, including Vogue, Vanity Fair and the New Yorker. It should come as no surprise that they also pioneered fashion photography, employing such legendary photographers as Cecil Beaton, Erwin Blumenfeld, David Bailey, Helmut Newton, Corinne…