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Exotic fashion photography
The more far-flung and exotic the location, the greater the glamour. One of the biggest gifts of fashion photography has always been that it allowed women to dream. Diana Vreeland, with her visionary mind, was the one who made fashion gorgeously global and exotic and awoke in the readers of Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue the sense of adventure with her fantastical, dare-to-dream editorials. “Discover your inner lioness”, was her prime directive.
Pioneer photographers like Norman Parkinson, Henry Clarke, Franco Rubartelli and Gleb Derujinsky took models out of the confines of the studios and into faraway locations all over the world. No matter how foreign and picturesque the destination, the highest heels and the most glamorous gowns were de rigueur. Clothes ill-suited for exploring the African savannahs, Moroccco, Bali, India, Taiwan, Syria and Jordan, but which triggered the imagination of the viewer. Women were also being taught for the first time that they must have fun with fashion. Why follow the rules?
Travelling to exotic places has long ago stopped being a privilege for the wealthy, but it still provides a constant backdrop for fashion photography, retaining a certain allure that impels to adventure. It may have become a cliché in the pictorials shot on location, but the truth is I don’t think I will ever get tired of the safari theme and of my romanticised idea of the African safari. Morocco comes a close second. Some may argue that fashion magazines have created a westernised version of the rest of the world in their pages, but I’ve decided to play along, for the sake of fashion, art and a bit of day-dreaming. I love seeing glamour in the unexpected.
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