Horst exhibition at the V and A

Summer Fashions, American Vogue cover, 15 May, 1941. © Condé Nast/Horst Estate

Source V&A

Last week I saw the Horst photography exhibition at the V&A. Horst was a fashion photographer who came to prominence in the 1930s working for Vogue. Most of his work is in black and white and shot in a studio setting. He was a master at lighting and composition and his most iconic photograph is The Mainbocher Corset. Looks familiar? Madonna clearly paid homage to Horst in her Vogue video.

Source V&A

Towards the latter part of his career Horst started to work in colour and there are some lovely 50s era Vogue covers in the exhibition too, as well as travel and still life photography.

Dress by Hattie Carnegie, 1939. © Condé Nast/Horst Estate

Source V&A

As an added bonus, the V&A displayed a few dresses from their costume archive. I adore 1930’s evening wear and these were Hollywood starlet A-list glam. I don’t think they’d look out of place on the red carpet today. All the dresses are haute couture and the detailing is exquisite.



My favourite is this one.


I love the diamante bows on the dress on the right.

If you are interested in fashion photography or period costume, this exhibition is a real treat. It’s on until the beginning of January so there’s still time to catch it.

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