"Irving Penn is a favourite photographer of mine and his work continues to inspire me...his aesthetic is something I can really relate to"
Irving Penn was arguably one of the most influential fashion photographers of the 20th century. His work redefined the language of fashion photography and carved a new path for photographers following in his footsteps.
Penn’s work discarded the traditional norms of elaborate staging. Instead, he opted for plain backdrops and minimalist settings which allowed an intense focus on form, detail and light.
This is also mirrored in Richard Avedon’s work. Similar to Penn, Avedon broke away from the tropes and formality of traditional photography. In contrast, his images were often full of life and movement, with models running, jumping and even roller-skating!
Both photographers’ immense skill allowed them to distil a subject to its essence and thus capture personality in a completely new way, blurring the line between art, fashion photography and portraiture.
Theirs works had a huge influence on advertising campaigns and editorial shoots alike – both dedicating large portions of their careers to American Vogue, where Avedon worked for over twenty years and Penn shot an unprecedented 165 covers!
They continue to hold great importance, not only to fashion photography, but their approach also provided powerful inspiration to Roland Mouret for his latest SS21 collection and look book.
The SS21 collection is shot against the simplicity of a white backdrop, allowing each piece of the collection to stand out in stark relief, with an emphasis on silhouette, colour and technique.