5 posts tagged "Deborah Turbeville"
News broke late last week that photographer Deborah Turbeville died in Manhattan on Thursday from lung cancer at the age of 81. Having served as a fit model for Claire McCardell and an editor at Harper’s Bazaar early in her career, Turbeville introduced a personal, heady, and refreshingly feminine aesthetic to the world of fashion photography when, with the support of Richard Avedon, she began seriously taking pictures in the 1970s. “My photographs are extremely feminine,” she said in an interview with Style.com last year. “But it doesn’t have to do with any kind of conviction on my part. It’s all instinctive and spontaneous with me. There is a certain approach that women have. They do get into some kind of inner thing more than the male photographers do.”
That approach landed her editorials in publications like Vogue, W, and The New York Times. She worked alongside icons such as Diane Arbus, Polly Mellen, and Isabella Blow and even got arrested with Bob Richardson during a shoot for Harper’s Bazaar in Texas. Her legacy will live on through her moody, sometimes controversial images, which have been inspiring editors, stylists, and fellow photographers for decades. Here, a look back at the legendary lenswoman’s most memorable shots.
In a new series, Style.com sits down with the best in the field of contemporary fashion photography to talk about both the process and the product. Here: Deborah Turbeville.
Considering the high romance of Deborah Turbeville’s work, it might seem odd to think of her as a little bit punk rock. But to hear the 73-year-old photographer describe her untrained, just-go-for-it DIY beginnings, comparing Turbeville to Sid Vicious doesn’t seem so far off. “There would be a strange cropping or one girl in focus and three out or a blur,” she said at a recent interview at her Upper West Side apartment. “But I would end up liking the mistakes and incorporating them into my work.” Well, and there’s also the time she got arrested in Texas with Bob Richardson, with whom she worked with regularly while a stylist at Harper’s Bazaar.
It was actually Richardson and his “cinematic” way of working that precipitated her eventual leap from fashion editor to fashion photographer in the early seventies. (She also had encouragement from Richard Avedon and Harper’s Bazaar art director Marvin Israel.) But even though she’s shot editorials for Vogue, Italian Vogue, and W and campaigns for Barneys New York, Oscar de la Renta, and Valentino—for whom she did the current Spring campaign—Turbeville still bristles at the F word of fashion. It’s one of the reasons it’s taken her so long to put out her most recent book, Deborah Turbeville: The Fashion Pictures ($85, www.rizzoliusa.com). Style.com caught up with Turbeville to talk about being Claire McCardell’s fit model, what’s so great about St. Petersburg, and the very Hollywood shoot for her new Valentino campaign.
Why do The Fashion Pictures now?
I have difficulty with realizing that’s what I’m supposed to do. [Laughs.] I don’t really think of myself as a fashion photographer. I’m kind of in denial about it. People kept saying, “You should do a book of fashion pictures. We’d like to see them, after all.” A friend of mine was doing books with Rizzoli, and he said, “You know, that would be a fun little airy project, to do something on my house in Mexico.” I knew I had a lot of photographs hanging about. So I made an appointment to go in to see Charles Miers, the publisher, and he said, “I’ll do the book, but would you also do a book on your fashion pictures?” And that’s how it happened.
They did a nice job. I like the scrapbook format.
Well, the book is really a way to show how my work developed. How it all started. It goes chronologically. It just shows more or less the progression of my work. It’s a bit autobiographical. And I always do that anyway, putting pictures together in a narrative way.
It’s funny, I never realized that your first job was working for Claire McCardell for three years.
Yes, I was a fit model but I also did the shows. But because I had such a long waist, it was hard for the other models to fit the clothes. In the end, she said, I’m going to fire you and hire you back as my assistant. So I was very happy. She was one of the few designers who would use a lot of European fabrics. She used incredible fabrics. She was really a Renaissance woman. She designed shoes for Capezio. She was probably the first one to put girls in flats, in ballet slippers. We all wore flats. Or we wore tiny little heels that were stacked, made out of lizard. She did jewelry, this Chanel kind of jewelry. She was like the Chanel of the United States at that point. It was an incredible learning experience. Continue Reading “The Image Makers: Deborah Turbeville” »
It might be too late to order that YSL gold-plated ring on Net-a-Porter that your sister really wanted for Christmas, or that leopard-print 3.1 Phillip Lim iPad case you meant to get your mom, but don’t give up hope of finding the perfect gift for your fashion-minded friends and family just yet. Throughout the year, a host of fashion-centric books have been released, from Christian Louboutin’s tome ($150) celebrating the art and history of his sexy stilettos to the more recently released retrospective book from Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, Pretty Much Everything ($700). (To preview the book, check out images and an interview with the husband-and-wife photography team on Style.com). I have compiled a list of a few of my favorite good reads and coffee table-worthy books from the year (below). You can pick them up at a bookstore near you (click the links to locate a local retailer) or even easier, buy the Nook Book gift version (select books) on Barnesandnoble.com.
Chanel, Her Life, $58, www.steidlville.com
Christian Louboutin, $150, www.rizzoliusa.com
Deborah Turbeville: The Fashion Pictures, $85, www.rizzoliusa.com
Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel, $55, www.abramsbooks.com
Provocateur Paz De La Huerta, McQueen Exhibit Could Be Bound For London, Donna On Deborah Turbeville, And More…
Paz de la Huerta is the new muse for lingerie label Agent Provocateur. The Boardwalk Empire star will appear in a series of short films to be shown on their Web site, along with a series of stills. [WWD]
In case you missed the record-breaking Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Met, you could get a chance to redeem yourself if it opens in London. British Vogue reports that the McQueen design house has been in talks with several London venues about hosting the hugely popular exhibit. [Vogue U.K.]
Fashion photographer Deborah Turbeville’s Tainted Beauty exhibition at Donna Karan’s London boutique is set to open next month, along with a Rizzoli book featuring her works. Nowness spoke with Donna Karan and the exhibit curator on the photographer’s legacy. [Nowness]
Marc Jacobs isn’t the only designer impacted by Hurricane Irene. Olivier Theyskens’ Theory runway show has been moved from Monday, September 12, to Tuesday, September 13, due to this weekend’s wild weather. [WWD]