Celebrating Vogue's inimitable fashion photographer as a retrospective on the late great's dazzling career goes on show at The V&A
Step back to 1931, and fresh-faced photographer Horst Paul Albert Bohrmann, now known as Horst P. Horst to the fashion world, was a new arrival in Paris. Heading straight into the epicentre of high fashion as an apprentice under renowned architecht Le Corbusier, the German fashion photographer was about to become one of the most talked about shots in the game. Mentored by Vogue's go-to photographer, George Hoyningen-Huene, Horst was quickly introduced into the whirlwind world of aspirational, high fashion, going on to take US and British Vogue by storm with his innovative adaptation over to colour photography when it first hit the scene in the earlier '30s. In a career that spanned six decades, Horst was a risk-taker and a luminary in the world of photography – from shooting Bette Davis to the ruins of Persepolis, his vision was anything but predictable. Surrounding himself with the creme de la creme of creativity, Horst collaborated with everyone from Coco Chanel to Jean Cocteau, putting him amongst the greats of the creative community like Richard Avedon and Irving Penn. Now, in a tribute to this extraordinary career, The Victoria and Albert Museum are hosting a vast array of detailed works including prints, drawings and even Horst's own personal scrapbooks and letters. Journeying through his impact on haute couture, Surrealist art and travel photography, the show is nothing short of illuminating. As Horst himself put it, “Fashion is an expression of the times. Elegance is something else again.”
Horst: Photographer of Style will run at the Victoria and Albert Museum from 6 September 2014 – 4 January 2014.