the untouchables

I visited the bookstore after work today, with the aim of checking out the magazines and seeing there was anything in particular I should buy home and drool over. To put it shortly, there wasn't anything. Tilda Swinton on the cover of Another magazine was quite nice, but there wasn't enough to justify the price. And that's about it. Why does it seem that really good editorials, or even just one good photo, are so hard to find these days?

To cheer myself up, I went home to flip through one of my favourite books - it features the works of Horst P. Horst, better known as just Horst. This one is my favourite -

Chanel Beauty, 1987

His images, while rarely losing its focus on fashion, are confident statements in form, composition, and style. His work spanned decades, and the best of his work are unique, timeless, spellbinding, in a quiet, soothing way, and not at all misty and nostalgic.

Round the Clock I, 1987

Mainbocher Corset, 1939

Mainbocher dress, 1936

Alix dress, 1936

Goya Fashion - Mrs. Stanley G. Mortimer (later Mrs. William Paley) & Mrs. Desmond Fitzgerald (later Mrs. Ronald Tree) modelling matador hats, 1940

Black Corset, 1948

Of Horst, Bruce Weber put it really well in a 1992 documentary: "The elegance of his photographs ... took you to another place, very beautifully ... the untouchable quality of the people is really interesting as it gives you something of a distance ... it's like seeing somebody from another world ... and you wonder who that person is and you really want to know that person and really want to fall in love with that person"

His work makes a lot of the editorials today look empty, facile, meaningless. I'm not asking for Horst standards in every magazine, but there are so few photographers in fashion these days that inspire awe. Plenty of like, but no love.

Images from


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