Old Knowledge, New Ideas

Historical fashion photographs are reviving through the lens of the photographers of our times

Text: Konstantina Livaditi


Fashion history continues writing new pages, but the greatest moments of it, left a mark until today in each and every part of it and especially in the department of fashion photography.

Memorable fashion photographers, who were innovators at their times,stayed until today examples to be followed. That’s why the current photographers, from the biggest names, until the less-known, have the work of the oldest as guidance. As a result, old concepts have been transformed and reissued in today from a modern point of view. These are some of the most well-known:


Irving Penn VS Steven Meisel

Jean Patchett was photographed by Irving Penn in her first Vogue assignment, in Lima, Peru. This specific image was taken unexpectedly, while she didn’t know that the camera was upon her. In 2009, Steven Meisel recreated the famous photo for Vogue, with Natalia Vodianova, as a protagonist.


Horst P. Horst VS Norman Jean Roy

Bettina Bolegard, Helen Bennett and Muriel Maxwell were the three models that have been photographed by Horst P. Horst in 1939, for Vogue. The perspective play influenced Norman Jean Roy, who photographed Dakota Fanning, Ashley Greene and Bryce Dallas Howard for Vanity Fair UK.


Helmut Newton-Le smoking

Yves Saint Laurent launched in 1966, “Le Smoking”, a woman’s suit borrowed by the basic man’s wardrobe, which was a true innovation. The most well-known photograph of the suit was shot by Helmut Newton in 1975 for French Vogue. YSL’s 2013 Baby Doll mascara video campaign was reissued the concept of the Newton’s photograph, with Cara Delevigne at the basic role.


Norman Parkinson VS Tim Walker

In 1955, famous English photographer, Norman Parkinson, photographed Audrey Hepburn in front of a fuchsia-colored flowers background. In 2013, Tim Walker shot Natalie Portman in a similar position, for Miss Dior Cherie’s fragrance campaign.


Richard Avedon VS Peter Lindbergh

The innovator Richard Avedon, the man who launched movement in fashion photography, shot model Jean Shrimpton in an evening dress by Pierre Cardin, in a photograph that exhaled a swift movement. In 2009, Gisele Bündchen posed for Peter’s Lindbergh lens, for Harper’s Bazaar, recreating the historical photograph.


Art Kane VS Camilla Akrans

Art Kane, a protégé photographer of famous Art Director Alexey Brodovitch, photographed a model for Harper’s Bazaar UK, on a beach, distorting the perspective so that the model appear as if it was elevated above the sky. Camilla Akrans recreated the photo for T Magazine’s Travel Winter 2009 Issue.


Cecil Beaton VS Steven Meisel

In 1948, Charles James dresses were features in Vogue, with a photograph by Cecil Beaton. In 2010, Steven Meisel recreated Beaton’s image, in order to “celebrate” the rise of Asian models on the runway.


Guy Bourdin VS Terry Richardson

Guy Bourdin is well-known for his photos, which were full of provocative poses and aggressive sexuality. This specific image was for a campaign for Charles Jourdan shoes, in 1979. Terry Richardson, photographing the footwear campaign for Aldo, created a new “Bourdinish” image, shooting bodiless legs, wearing high heels.


JeanloupSieff VS Mariano Vivanco

Jenloup Sieff was the photographer that shot the iconic naked photo of Yves Saint Lauren, for the “pour Homme” campaign,the brand’s first male fragrance, in 1971. Mariano Vivanco revived this specific image, wanting to advertise Dolce and Gabbana’s F-W 2011 eyewear campaign.


Edward Steichen VS Paolo Roversi

American actress Gloria Swanson was shot by the famous photographer Edward Steichen in 1924, in an effort of captivating the glamour of Hollywood’s Golden Age. The photographer created a mystery in the image, by putting a piece of black lace in front of his lens. Acne Paper in 2009 featured an editorial with TildaSwinton starring not as Gloria Swanson, but as Marchesa Luisa Casati, with the same use of lace, shot from the lens of Paolo Roversi.