Whether it is strands sculpted into a frothy concoction or tendrils wildly unfurling in stilled momentum, hair is the central character Ara Gallant (Damiani 2010), the eponymous tome paying tribute to the work of the late American stylist and photographer. Were he alive today, Gallant might be dubbed the hair whisperer, for he made famous the “flying hair” that is featured in many of the book’s photographs, and he developed myriad ways of creating volume, including his ingenuous cardboard falls. From Anjelica Huston’s straight Egyptian-princess tresses to the wild tigress locks of Iman to the whipping tentacles of Twiggy, Gallant’s compositions, both photographs and coiffery, are featured throughout the beautiful, matte pages of this book compiled and edited by David Wills.
Gallant was born into a family of hair stylists and got his start at his uncle’s salon in the Bronx. His talent certainly belied his professed dislike of the work. As good friend and client Angelica Huston writes, Gallant did not style hair; he “did hair.” In addition to Huston’s introduction, contributions from an astonishing number of models, fashion editors and other who’s-who from the industry, including Lauren Hutton, Veruschka, Diane Von Furstenberg, Drew Barrymore and Steven Meisel, form a pastiche of Gallant’s life and work. With his talent for creating the ideal hairstyle to complement Read More »
Fashion photographer Louis Faurer, who died on this day in fashion in 2001, was generally more of a raw, moody, black-and-white street kind of photographer. Sure, his mid-20th century photographs captured the smart styles of his subjects, but they frequently featured a narrative, one that hearkened themes of the urban experience and the dramas that play out in the crowded metropolis. But he also had a sense of humor, and didn’t shy from homing in on the lighter side of life when shooting for fashion magazines. So it makes sense that “Funny Pages,” the color photograph Faurer shot for the February 15, 1963, issue of Vogue, also nods Read More »
Cyrinda Fox, American groupie and style icon; 1952
Jean-Francois Lepage, French fashion photographer; 1960
Drew Barrymore, American actress, model and style icon; 1975
Ekaterina Kiseleva, Russian model; 1987 Read More »
On this day in 1964, Sports Illustrated released it’s very first swimsuit issue. The idea was a bit of a lark, a one-off supplement to keep guys warm (and buying magazines and turning pages) during the cold weeks between football and baseball seasons. (In ye olden days, there were blissfully long months between the major sports seasons, with boxing, tennis and basketball filling in as secondary diversions. Sportswriters could get desperate for copy. For instance, in the month following the first swimsuit issue, SI featured Bridge—the card game—as a cover story.) The 10-year-old magazine had put a swimsuit model on the cover once before in 1955, but the companion feature story presented real-life muckety-mucks palling around their Caribbean vacation homes in sportswear and summer dresses, not pretty models posing in scant swimsuits.
What is surprising about the inaugural swimsuit issue is it actually seems…sporting. Photographer J. Frederick Smith shot model Babette March laughing in the Read More »
Thirty years ago on this day in 1980, the great fashion photographer, Sir Cecil Beaton, died at the age of 76. Beaton is one of those artists who was seemingly born at the just-right place and era, and managed to be everywhere cool and know everyone fabulous. It didn’t hurt that he was born into old money, and had no problems rubbing elbows with the rich, connected and famous. He was raised on an English estate and learned photography at home from his nanny. (Here’s hoping the family took care of her during her lifetime, because it was the nanny who nurtured the artistic inclinations that would become the man’s legacy.) But Beaton’s own perseverance landed his first photographs in Vogue before he was even out of college. From the magazine’s early days of publishing photography and well into the 1960s, Beaton continued to shoot for Vogue’s roster of magazines as well as Vanity Fair, and created stage and costume designs, usually historical ones, for films such as My Fair Lady, Gigli and On a Clear Day You Can See Forever. But it is his fashion and portrait photography he is most famous for, shooting what are now iconic and unforgettable images of personalities such as Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly and Truman Capote. By the time he died on January 18, 1980, he was a celebrity in his own right, Read More »