Perceptions of feminine beauty have changed throughout history, and the late 20th century saw them shift once more as German photographer Peter Lindbergh sought to redefine fashion iconography with a new kind of narrative realism. His muses were a roll call of original supermodels: Helena, Christy, Naomi, Linda, Cindy et alia, while his collaborators—dance legend Pina Bausch and conceptual artist Jenny Holzer—were drawn from the world of high art. Lindbergh’s campaigns helped to establish the reputations of couture kingpins Giorgio Armani, Prada, Donna Karan and Azzedine Alaïa. Powerfully cinematic, his image making played with the idea of the strong, self-willed woman, and it changed the course of fashion photography.
So it comes as no surprise that curator Thierry-Maxime Loriot has created a major international retrospective exhibition to examine his work and legacy: Peter Lindbergh: A Different Vision on Fashion Photography. Visit the Kunsthal Rotterdam to experience more than 220 photographs, as well as exclusive material varying from the previously unseen to personal notes, storyboards, props, Polaroids, contact sheets, films and monumental prints. You’ll be led through nine sections: Supermodels, Couturiers, Zeitgeist, Dance, The Darkroom, The Unknown, Silver Screen, and Icons. There’s also an exclusive Rotterdam Gallery shot for the October issue of Vogue Nederland with top model Lara Stone, specially made for the retrospective.
Don’t miss the spectacular array of exhibits starring Swarovski crystals, as well as a platform encrusted with Swarovski Crystal Rocks. They include the image of Helena Bonham Carter striking a vampish pose in a dramatic ball gown by Giles with burnt-out holes edged with crystals in Jet; the body-transforming Gaultier Paris crystallized cage corset; or Milla Jovovich in a second crystalline corset designed by Jean Paul Gaultier. Ms Jovovich’s legs also appear in stunning crystal-studded pantyhose, courtesy of Viktor&Rolf. Versace makes an appearance in a photo of model Shirley Mallmann androgynously attired in tuxedo jacket and pants, together with a gamine Natalia Semanova in a mini slip-dress shimmering with Swarovski crystals. While you’re there, take a look at Lindbergh’s 1991 film, Models, The Film—interviews with Grace Coddington, Nicole Kidman, Mads Mikkelsen, Cindy Crawford and Nadja Auermann make it a must-watch.
See the Peter Lindbergh: A Different Vision on Fashion Photography exhibition at the Kunsthal Rotterdam (www.kunsthal.nl) from September 10, 2016–February 12, 2017. Swarovski is supporting the Kunsthal’s touring exhibition in its role as Golden Partner.
PHOTOGRAPHY: © PETER LINDBERGH
(COURTESY OF PETER LINDBERGH, PARIS / GAGOSIAN GALLERY)