LONDON - Kicking off the Photographs sale are eight works from Helmut Newton, arguably one of the most influential photographers of all time. Known for his highly charged images of intensely confident women in control of their sexuality, these iconic works redefined the landscape of fashion photography and have gone on to become some of the most valuable works in the market. 'Big Nude XIV' Nice (1993) from his seminal series of nude portraits is a particularly iconic work, as is 'Woman into Man' Paris (1979), from Newton's Private Property portfolio and one of his most coveted works. The strength and eroticism of the women presented in Newton's work was unprecedented, and his style continues to influence other fashion photographers.
(LEFT) HELMUT NEWTON’S BIG NUDE XIV, NICE (1993). ESTIMATE £18,000–23,000; (RIGHT) HELMUT NEWTON’S WOMAN INTO MAN, PARIS (1979). ESTIMATE £7,000–10,000.
In the era of the supermodel that dominated fashion of the late 1980s and 1990s, photographers Peter Lindbergh, Herb Ritts and Patrick Demarchelier become just as well known household names as the supermodels that they shot. Patrick Demarchelier’s Cindy, Leh, India (1989) is an exquisite black and white portrait of a youthful and pensive Cindy Crawford, whilst Peter Lindbergh’s Estelle Lefebure, Karen Alexander, Rachel Williams, Linda Evangelista, Tatjana Patitz, Christy Turlington, Vogue USA Santa Monica Califronia (1988) captures the moment when the supermodel became as famous as the brand she was selling and the magazine the shots were published in. Just as Newton celebrated the powerful strength and beauty in the female nude, Herb Ritts was just as captivated with capturing this but perhaps in a softer, less exhibitionist way as can be seen in Herb Ritts’ Carrie in Sand' Details, Paradise Cove (1988).
Prior to the sexual liberation of the 1970s and 1980s and subsequent extrovert portrayal of models in fashion photography, Horst P. Horst redefined fashion photography in his own unique way in the 1930s and 1940s. His passion for light and shade and whimsical settings were equal protagonists to the model and clothes he shot, producing highly sophisticated and elegant photographs that remain timeless, as can be seen in works he made in the 1970s and 1980s. The landmark Victoria & Albert Museum show Horst: Photographer of Style cemented his place in fashion history and confirmed how his influence was felt beyond the limits of the fashion world and crossed over into many different aesthetes.
(LEFT) HORST P. HORST’S 'ROUND THE CLOCK II, NEW YORK, 1987. ESTIMATE £4,000–6,000. (RIGHT) HORST P. HORST’S COURREGES BATHING SUIT, PARIS, 1978. ESTIMATE £4,000–6,000.
Erwin Blumenfeld, a contemporary of Horst working mainly in the 1940s and 1950s, was an experimenter and innovator within the medium of photography and is perhaps best remembered for his exceptionally unique fashion works. His reduced compositions are bold and dramatic in their use of light and shade and offered the world a more sublime approach to fashion photography. We are thrilled to have a selection of six works with exceptional provenance, direct from the personal collection of his granddaughter, all of which epitomise the breadth of his talent and creativity in the field of fashion photography.
(LEFT) ERWIN BLUMENFELD’S SOLARISED HAT & PROFILE, NEW YORK, 1944. ESTIMATE £15,000–20,000. (RIGHT) ERWIN BLUMENFELD’S FASHION PORTRAIT, NEW YORK, C. 1955. ESTIMATE £10,000–15,000.
The sense of drama and glamour is perhaps most palpable in two of our Irving Penn works on offer in this sale, Chanel Featherdress (B) New York (1994) and Sophia Loren, New York (1959). One of the most prolific photographers of all time, Penn is perhaps best known for his fashion and portraiture, with exceptional examples of both on offer in these two lots.
(LEFT) IRVING PENN’S 'CHANEL FEATHER HEADDRESS (B), NEW YORK', 1994. Estimate £15,000–20,000. (RIGHT) IRVING PENN’S SOPHIA LOREN, NEW YORK, 1959. ESTIMATE £15,000–20,000.
Flying the flag for contemporary fashion photography in the UK is Miles Aldridge, whose work draws upon elements of all the great fashion photographers we have in our sale. Aldridge is an artist of exceptional tenacity and integrity, carefully drawing stories and ideas of his commissioned fashion shots and arranging every detail on set, so that nothing is left to chance and all is meticulously planned. The dramatic film noir style of his works is countered by their intense colour palette, heightening their drama and mood. Home Works #3 (2008) from his Italian Vogue commissioned shoot is a perfect example of his work, deceptively beautiful in colour and composition when we realise on closer inspection that the calm and in control model is not only lighting her cigarette but dangerously close to setting her hair alight as well.
MILES ALDRIDGE’S HOME WORKS #3, 2008. ESTIMATE £7,000–10,000.
With this exceptional selection of some of the most iconic fashion works from the 20th century through to the present day, collectors have an exclusive opportunity to acquire works from masters of the medium who each in their own way redefined fashion photography.