Models in Vogue often pose jumping, ponytails trailing in the air behind them, feet hovering above the ground, a grin on their face. Did you ever wonder why? That is the influence of the great Richard Avedon, whose work is the subject of a retrospective at the International Center of Photography from May 15 to September 6. He died five years ago at age 81. His images were a reflection of him — energetic, cheerful, always "jumping around," according to his friend Adam Gopnik, the writer. He treated his models wonderfully, always asking what food and music they'd like for their shoot. And they wanted to please him in return. Though Twiggy's career didn't last that long — America's Next Top Model judging gigs aside — Avedon's photographs of her make us see her as the definitive sixties girl.
Avedon was also groundbreaking in how he viewed beauty. Avedon shot portraits of everyday people in addition to fashion models. And in these he saw no distinction.
“I certainly think — I know — that the apparent line between his fashion photography and his portraits was false, that he saw it as continuous work,” Mr. Gopnik said, adding that Avedon was amused at how people could look at the empty face of a model and find it more beautiful than the worn face of a coal miner.
Avedon received harsh critiques of some of his portrait work. Gopnik supposes that was simply because he was good-looking and vivacious and critics were jealous. However, the idea of ugly beauty is what defines, for one, the house of Prada. You can see Avedon's work from 1978 on in the ICP show.
How Avedon Blurred His Own Image [NYT]
Most Viewed Stories
It’s Harder to Be Thin Than It Was in the ’80s
Why Do I Jerk Awake Right As I’m Falling Asleep?
From Up Close, Raf Simons’s Vision for Dior Is Clear
The World’s Easiest Way to Highlight Your Face
A Pregnant Supermodel Explains What She Eats
Meet the Prom Queen of Instagram
Michelle Obama: No Boy Is Cute Enough to Keep You From Getting an Education
Sleater-Kinney on Riot Grrl, Reuniting, and Portlandia
Selfie Sorority Uses Media Frenzy for Good Cause
Guess Who Renovated This Grand Upper West Side Penthouse
From Our Partners
15 Ways You Know a Girl Studied Abroad in Paris
Thrillist: Things No Self-Respecting Adult Should Be Doing on Facebook
Who What Wear
The Zara Outfit Every Girl In New York City Is Wearing
How Fashion Girls Find The Best Sh*t At Target, H&M & Forever 21
powered by PubExchange
Latest News from The CutThis Santa Monica Loft Is a Neon Escape From New York Winters
Where an Upper East Side couple flees when the cold becomes unbearable.The Retired Modeling Agent Who Loves Empire
“I started my own agency — we represented Twiggy — but went off to be assistant to the actor Yul Brynner, who was dating my roommate at the time.”Witness a Photographer’s Affair With Los Angeles
Bruce Davidson captured the city in 1964, and again almost 50 years later.Bright Coats for Cold Days
New York women in winter's least-boring outerwear, from bright-green alpaca fur to leopard-print mohair.Céline’s Woman-Friendly Triumph
Phoebe Philo remains in touch with what women want to wear.Sleater-Kinney on Riot Grrl, Reuniting, and Portlandia
10 things we learned from their New Yorker Festival panel.Watch the Akris Livestream
Enjoy!From Up Close, Raf Simons’s Vision for Dior Is Clear
And don't count John Galliano out at Margiela yet.5 Things I Want to Wear From Paris: Part 2
Cropped sweaters, a spangled skirt, and more.Cool Cocktail Dresses Inspired by the Philippines
From the up-and-comers behind Mestiza.
Along with Cindy Crawford, Anjelica Huston, Rita Ora, and Lena Dunham.Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid Partied in Balmain
Plus: more highlights from Paris Fashion Week's parties, including Jared Leto.Even Barbie Wants Kim Kardashian’s Makeup Artist
Life in plastic, it's fantastic.This Is How You Should Smell for Fall
Hint: not like a pumpkin.8 Actually Good Things That Happened This Week
Baby sea turtles wearing bathing suits and a necklace for your pizza.See All the Street Style From Paris Fashion Week
Featuring wooden platforms, velvet robes, and floor-length ponchos.A Lesson in Beauty Grammar at Dior
What "past future perfect" means in terms of hair and makeup.Selfie Sorority Uses Media Frenzy for Good Cause
Take that, sportscasters.Who Won Best-Dressed at Milan Fashion Week?
Another city, another people's choice Peacock.Why Does My Heart Feel Like It’s Exploding?
A girl's guide to chest pain.