Seven fashion photos that changed the world

Cecil Beaton-1930s, Designer of My Fair Lady. The  ‘White Panama hat’ photo was to promote the hat, not the model. The composition makes it much easier to focus on the hat rather than her. His photo is soft and the model has a look of sadness/awe. Rankin’s photo is too crisp (from lack of age) and the model’s head is too prominent and stiff.

Erwin Blumenfeld– 1950 cover of vogue, pop art effect. The idea of just an eye and lips shouldn’t work but it does. Erwin would actually  paint over his images and the image looks moody, soft and seductive, whereas, Rankin’s looks cheeky and very sexual. The original photo wasn’t as cheeky. The original was smooth and it reminds me of a film when the girl, or man, is across the room and is giving another person a seductive look. It is subtle in the facial movement but when you see the eye you see real emotion. With Rankin’s photo you cannot see that.

David Bailey– vogue 1963. He used a Roliflex double lens reflex camera. When Rankin used the Roliflex he admitted that he had no clue on how to use it. To say he wanted to recreate the images he didn’t use the same props or models. What I mean by this is that he used a blonde model instead of a brunette which changed the dynamic of the photo. It went from an intimate photograph between boyfriend (David Bailey) and his girlfriend to a photo between Rankin and his girlfriend staging the original photo.

Richard Avedon– He was more into European photography and in 1955, Dovina with elephants, became famous for the fashion industry. The original photo is much more natural than Rankin’s. The original image makes it look like the model is actually touching the elephants and that there is nothing holding her back. The elephants, though chained, look more natural and free.

Herb Ritts– 1984, Fred with Tires. Rankin had trouble doing this photo, perhaps due to his sexuality. Rankin, a heterosexual, mentioned that he couldn’t get as intimate with his male model as he could with a female model. Most of Ritts’ photos emphasized peoples bodies and it was rare that he ever emphasized vulnerability or flaws. The photo has perfect exposure and shows the veins and muscles well because of the shadow and light.

Helmut Newton– The Rue Aubriot from 1975 seemed lonely and intimate but it catches the viewer straight away. The image where the girl in the suit is on her own is as if she just paused in the street for a shot whereas, Rankin’s looks like she is uncomfortable, stiff even. It isn’t just one photo in the series, though, no, it is three. The first one is where she stands alone, the second is when the two women stand next to each other and the third is the naked woman and the woman in the suit kissing. Rankin only did the first two images and made the images seem awkward. Helmut made the images new and daring. The story of a tall woman on her own to then meet a naked lady and then to kiss, this was very intimate and could’ve been classed as pornographic.

Guy Bourdin– 1970 vogue. He made his images pop with color and has a great eye for lighting and shadow. The black floor, pink wall and paleness of her skin made it so the outfit she is wearing is the main focus of attention. Rankin’s version is terrible in comparison to Bourdin’s. He dresses the model in red tights, blue heals and her hair is blonde and brown when Bourdin only dressed his model in the black body suit, thin strapy gold/silver heals and her red-brown hair is soft instead of striking. Bourdin’s photo has a more natural feel to the light where as Rankin’s is harsh.




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