Outside Fashion- Fashion Photography from the Studio to Exotic Lands (1900-1969)

Huis Marseille is Amsterdam’s first photography museum and features many different exhibitions throughout the year, which are showcased across many different levels and platforms within the museum. The exhibition I visited was Outside Fashion- Fashion Photography from the Studio to Exotic Lands (1900-1969), which was very interesting for me to be able to see as it closely links to my own personal practice.

I was grateful to be able to visit this exhibition in person as I am currently working on building up my fashion/editorial portfolio, so to be able to see the different way fashion was photographed, from the studio to grand, beautiful and picturesque locations, along with the different methods and size of printing/exhibiting work, has enlightened me of potential methods I can use in both the creation of my upcoming studio/location photo shoots, and how I can display my final piece at our exhibition.

I was intrigued by the collection of photographs by Henry Clarke, which showcased fashion in the aftermath of the second world war, whereby Haute Couture, moved from fabricated studio settings, to the streets of Paris. These new and, what were to become, idealised Parisian locations, set fashion photography apart from its typical conventions and started the new trend for the type of photography we see and create today. Henry’s black and white series of photographs reveal a sense of elegancy and beauty surrounding fashion, whilst adding character, culture and the reality of the clothing being worn in an outdoor location.


The exhibition also featured a large scale full-blead projection of Henry Clarke’s fashion photographs taken from the series ‘Exoticism,’ a series of work produced on behalf of Vogue between 1963 and 1969. These photographs captured fashion worldwide, from places such as Brazil, Jordan, Ceylon, Mexico, Spain, India… This series reveals a fashion narrative, through bringing cultural beauty, psychedelic colours, tourism and landscape and incredible photographic skill into one image. For me, Clarke’s work not only captures a piece of clothing, the large scale projection of these images draws the audience into its colour, beauty and fascinating backdrop settings which helps to keep the viewer enticed and interested.