Calling on the most renowned artists of their era, Condé Nast and Vogue magazine assembled a corpus of photographs that made fashion history. This one was taken in May 1946 by German-American photographer Erwin Blumenfeld (1897-1969). A visionary inspired by dadaism, he knew how to present his experimentations in fashion photography to best advantage. He plays with colour, layers and montages, filters of all kinds, make-up, framing, fragmenting, de-composing, re-editing, in search of a modern perspective, original movements, and a sophistication that was quick to showcase femininity in the wake of World War II. As for colour, Erwin Blumenfeld treated it not as a decorative accessory, but well and truly as a central subject. The women that he photographed are at once sensual yet distant, stylised in the extreme and sketched out through striking details.
From his models’ makeup (which he often did himself) to the various technical manipulations conducted in the darkness of his laboratory, he never stopped playing with colour by saturating, decomposing, fragmenting, filtering, combining tone on tone, etc. Resolutely turned towards the future, he was an innovative artist and his work remains very influential.