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Distinction. A Century of Fashion Photography

A lesser known genre


For the first time an important part of fashion photography collection which the museum has put together in recent years will be put on display. This exhibition highlights its uniqueness, originality and the influence which extends to many aspects of our day-to-day lives. What are the common features of fashion photography over the years? How has it evolved? Why does it exercise such a fascination? To explain the exhibition curator Juan Naranjo has chosen the concept of Distinction, which has a double meaning: the elegance which is an intrinsic characteristic of fashion photography and difference, which connects with the avant-garde. Since the modernist era, when print journals in high quality paper began to reproduce photographs of models and dresses to today's digital media: seduction, provocation and glamour.

All the big names in fashion photography in Catalonia and Spain: Josep Sala Leopoldo Pomes, Oriol Maspons, Manel Sluice, Espeus Maria Jose Manuel Ferrater, Antoni Bernad, Manuel Outumuro, Txema Yeste, Eugenio Recuenco or Sergi Jasanada AMONGST others.

  • Distinction. A Century of Fashion Photography

    Area: Moviments

    Author: Antoni Bernad

    Year: 1968

    Collection of the Museu del Disseny de Barcelona

  • Distinction. A Century of Fashion Photography

    Area: New Vision

    Author: Ramon Batlles

    Year: 1934

    Collection of the Museu del Disseny de BarcelonaCompra

    Photography and fashion. Before Fashion Photography

    The first section, Before fashion photography, includes the work of pioneers like Pere Casas Abarca, who opened the way in the world of photography. They were connected with the vanguard of the moment, which in the early twentieth century was the modernism artists. At that time, illustrated magazines began to use photography regularly, something which caused a change in the perception and sensibility of the public. Modernism was a popular movement that transcended everyday life including areas not only like decor and furniture design but also fashion design and how they were represented. Photographs of Casas Abarca show sumptuous interiors where the dresses are integrated into the environment and define an aesthetic and a way of life.

  • Distinction. A Century of Fashion Photography

    Photo: Ramon Batlles

    Interiors, exteriors

    From idol to action woman

    With the civil war ended this era of fashion in Barcelona, Spain. After the conflict a new era begins marked by Haute Couture which constitutes the most important magazine of that time. Driven by the Alta Costura Cooperative whose president at that time was Pedro Rodriguez, it brought together the high society of Barcelona, around catwalk shows organized in the Hotel Ritz. Specialized fashion-photographers also appear in Madrid at this time, till then the activity was concentrated mainly in Catalonia. At first the image of woman as an idol on a pedestal was promoted, inspired by Hollywood films, portrayed under very theatrical lighting (John Gyenes, Josep Compte). Another series of photographs show a more modern and active woman who goes out, unabashed and provocative. The difference between inside and outside, the house photographed as a set and the street is much more pronounced than before.

  • Distinction. A Century of Fashion Photography

    Photo: Manuel Outumuro


    From the sixties to the seventies.

    The fifties were marked by the poetic realism of photographers such as Leopoldo Pomes and Oriol Maspons, inspired by humanistic photography and neorealist cinema. They adopted critical, ironic premises and have a more human and intimate vision of women. The sixties are represented within the fourth part of the exhibition, Movements.

    This re-imagining is focused on younger and more modern models and images that challenge the establishment: These are the pop and psychedelic years. Fashion photography is experiencing a revolution. Bodies are painted or simply wearing the simplest and most popular clothes of the time, a printed advertising slogan on a tee-shirt. It is the time of Oriol Maspons and his photographs of Bocaccio models.

  • Distinction. A Century of Fashion Photography

    Area: Settings and Fantasies

    Autor: Biel Capllonch

    Year: 2006

    Donación del autor / Colección del Museu del Disseny de Barcelona

  • Distinction. A Century of Fashion Photography

    Area: Identity and Difference

    Author: Enric Galcerán

    Author donation / Collection of the Museu del Disseny de Barcelona

  • From 25 November to 27 March
  • Museu del Disseny de Barcelona
  • Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes, 37-38 08018 Barcelona
  • www.museudeldisseny.cat
  • Telf. 93 256 68 00