The godfather of fashion photography

A Vogue shot by Horst P Horst
With a life spanning the whole of the 20th century, Horst P Horst (1906-1999) documented a number of momentous changes in the worlds of photography and style. One of the first fashion photographers to perfect the use of colour, the German-American also charted the glory days of haute couture in pre-war Paris and the explosion of ready-to-wear in post-war New York. As a Vogue photographer for 60 years (the magazine dubbed him “photography’s alchemist”) there wasn’t a star of the Hollywood Golden Age that Horst didn’t shoot. In the 30s he took iconic portraits of Bette Davis, Ginger Rogers, Marlene Dietrich, Joan Crawford, Rita Hayworth and many, many more. He also had favourite models that he photographed again and again including Carmen Dell’Orifice and Muriel Maxwell (pictured).

Horst: Photographer of Style is being billed as a definitive retrospective and also includes lesser known works such as nudes and photographs he took while living in the Middle East.

Horst: Photographer of Style opens 6 September at the V&A