View more of Melvin Sokolsky’s work here.
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View more of Melvin Sokolsky’s work here.
What happened to Sante?
13 years ago when his book A Private View came out, he was the shit, at the top of his game and the industry, gracing the covers of all the major magazines, shooting choice editorials with the top celebrities and models at the time.
I rarely see his name these days and the editorials I do see feature second-tier subjects. His work used to be so playful, sensual and light. There was a warmth in his portraits and a lushness in his black & white work. Some of the recent work that I’ve seen is flat and cold, and very anonymous.
Regardless, his book A Private View is a shooting diary of his work with some personal notes, outtakes, and lists of films shot. It is a book full of charm and beauty.
It is always the dress; it is never, never the girl. I’m just a good clothes hanger.
Award presenters Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly waiting backstage at the RKO Pantages Theatre, during the 28th Annual Academy Awards, Life Magazine, March 21, 1956.
An amazing series of candids shot by the fashion photographer Tom Palumbo in Paris, 1962.
Images from Paris cafés and nightlife in 1962, the same week Yves St. Laurent’s runway show vaulted Dior to new heights.
Many scenes around Les Halles (which no longer exists as it did then).
There is nothing more naked than seeing a photographer’s contact sheets. Here are a few from the great editorial shooter Tom Palumbo who was a staff photographer with Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.
I love all the old pictures–of spanking and Bettie Page and corsets. But you can’t do spanking in fashion, so I wanted to do a project where I could really let go and get girls who also love those things. I thought it would be even more sexy when there was a story to go with it, so it wasn’t that difficult to write a little storyboard.
I had chapters, so there were 10 drawings in total. Each girl had a character and I used the storyboard to explain the story to the girls. But there was still freedom to play.
-Ellen Von Unwerth
For more than twenty-five years, Ellen Von Unwerth has celebrated movies through her fashion photography. Her photographs are generally straightforward, without special effects of the allusion to a more complicated narrative; she simply uses characters from noted films as the protagonists of her fashion essays, such as the piece for the October 1990 issue of Vogue (available here, wm) in which models are used to reincarnate Jean Seberg and Jean-Paul Belmondo in Jean-Luc Godard’s New Wave counterculture film Breathless (1959). Von Unwerth’s fashion essay concentrates on the breezy life of the doomed lovers as they tool around Paris riding a motor scooter, smoke at cafés, and snuggle in bed. Von Unwerth exploits readers’ identification with the characters in the film, especially the generation that came of age in the 1960s, when European culture and bohemian antiestablishment lifestyle were the vogue. More specifically, the New Wave French films radically changed the way movies were made. They were consonant with the disjunctive and nonlinear literature of the time. Their off-beat characters (often based on American movie gangsters) and the details of their behavior and dress helped create an identity for members of the American couterculture.
-Susan Kismaric & Eva Respini, Fashioning Fiction
“Fabelhaft” with Audrey Tautou in German Vogue, April 2002.
Technique undoubtedly helps make photography magical, but I prefer to work with atmosphere. I think that the obsession with technique is a male thing. Boy’s toys. They love playing… but once you’ve perfected something you have to start searching for a new toy. I would rather search for a new model or location.
-Ellen von Unwerth
I think that a lot of people, especially people who work for fashion magazines, feel that their photographs at times are really pretty much discarded or thrown away immediately because when you work for a magazine people today really don’t save magazines like they used to. I just think that as long as one can work and have a good time at it and at least learn something then you’re not discarding what you do. You go out and do a photograph. It should be all about getting onto another photograph.
Featuring Daria Werbowy, Kate Moss, Lara Stone, Sasha Pivarova and styled by Alex White for the July 2008 issue of W Magazine.