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One of the key events in fashion photography was the purchase of Vogue by the American publisher Condé Nast (1873-1942) in 1909. He transformed a weekly society journal for the New York City elite (established in 1892) into the pinnacle of beauty and fashion.
 
The influence of Vogue has been extraordinary with most of the best known names in fashion photography working for full-time or for individual assignments. The global influence was also assured by an early decision of Condé Nast to publish it in three separate editions in Paris, London, and New York. Over the last century it has hired many of the greatest photographers including: The early style of Vogue was heavily influenced by soft focused back-lit pictorialism and it's first fashion photographer Baron Adolf De Meyer, hired in 1913, was a proponent of this both at Vogue and when he moved on later to Harper's Bazaar. This was the style used by other fashion photographers such as Emil Otto Hoppé (1878-1972) and some of the early work of Cecil Beaton (1904-1979).
Fashion: Adolf de Meyer (1868 - 1946)
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Baron Adolph de Meyer
Miss J. Rankin 
[Camera Work, 40] 
1912
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Baron Adolph de Meyer
Mrs Wiggins of Belgrave Square 
[Camera Work, 40] 
1912
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Baron Adolph de Meyer
Woman in black in Mosque Archway 
1900
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Baron Adolph de Meyer
Woman in black overlooking Florence, Florence 
1900
There are parts of the life of Adolf de Meyer that are shrouded in mystery, his origins are not entirely clear, whether he was actually a Baron even though he referred to himself as one, and his homosexuality is confused by his marriage to Olga. The one thing that is clear is his pictorialist style of photography had a considerable influence on fashion photography in Vogue with the use of soft focus lens and lighting.
 
If we examine the images from 1900 they show the style of fashion photography that was common at that period - basically very boring. It was in the decade that followed that he really developed a different style as the later photographs show. He was a member of the Linked Ring Brotherhood that was promoting pictorialism through its exhibition and this connection gave De Meyer access to people of social standing and photographers of influence. The soft focused shots with refined elegance imparted a misty desirable world of upper class society.
 
His photographs were highly regarded by Alfred Stieglitz who showed them at his 291 Gallery in New York and they were included as photogravures in the seminal publication Camera Work - particularly Issue 40 in 1912. It is perhaps no coincidence that De Meyer was hired by Vogue the following year.
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Vogue photographers
 
Helmut Newton
Helmut Newton: Private Property (Schirmer's Visual Library) 
  
Helmut Newton; & Philippe Garner (Contributor)
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George Hoyningen-Heune
The Photographic Art of Hoyningen-Huene 
  
George Hoyningen-Huene (Photographer); William A. Ewing; & George Cukor
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Edward Steichen
Real Fantasies: Edward Steichen's Advertising Photography 
  
Patricia Johnston
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Irving Penn
Irving Penn 
  
Colin Westerbeck
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Vogue photographers
 
Clifford Coffin
Clifford Coffin: Photographs from Vogue, 1945 to 1955 
  
Clifford Coffin (Photographer); & Robin Muir (Editor)
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John Rawlings
John Rawlings: 30 Years in Vogue 
  
Kohle Yohannan; Charles Dare (Introduction); & John Rawlings (Photographer)
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Vogue
 
Unseen Vogue: The Secret History of Fashion Photography 
  
Robin Derrick (Editor); & Robin Muir (Editor)
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People in Vogue: A Century of Portraits 
  
Robin Derrick (Editor); & Robin Muir (Editor)
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