Horst – Vintage Fashion Photography

Horst’s photography captured glamor and fashion during 1930s-1960s. He started working in black and white format, taking photos of iconic film stars (Vivien Leigh, 1936 and Joan Crawford, 1938) and mastering light effects to give his photography exquisite atmospheric shadows.  A perfect example of his use of shadow photography was in 1937 when he photographed a model wearing a Chanel dress standing inside a column portraying a abstract illusion.


“Fashion is an expression of the times. Elegance is something else again (Horst).”

During his years at Vogue the camera had become more advanced, colour film was now available which made photography more technically developed. This gave Horst the technical media to create some of the most striking Vogue covers. His photos were bold and of-the-time, expressing fashion in it’s most vibrant.


Some of his most interesting work was with Salvador Dali in the 1940s where models were photographed as part of a painting. Horst was inspired by Dalis’ work and wanted to achieve the same surrealism results through his photography, giving a abstract illusion and blurred lines between art and fashion.


Horst never stopped exploring new photography techniques as he wanted to challenge himself and continue to create photos that stunned and captured the imagination. From his portrait photos to his fashion photography, he always made a visual  impact. This is why he is renowned for his contribution to fashion photography through a multitude of decades.

Written by Daniella Christina