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Louise Dahl-Wolfe retrospective to open at Fashion & Textile Museum

London’s Fashion and Textile Museum have announced that they will stage the UK’s first Louise Dahl-Wolfe retrospective, Louise Dahl–Wolfe: A Style of Her Own. Set to open October 20, the retrospective will explore the famous work of Dahl-Wolfe, taken over a period of 30 years from 1930-1959.

As a pioneer of modern fashion photography, Dahl-Wolfe is known for her defining images of the post-war woman. Both in black and white and colour, her photos were mostly shot outside, on location in countries such as Cuba, Mexico and South America, making her the pioneer of ‘environmental’ photography.

“This long overdue show at last gives British audiences the opportunity to see the first career retrospective of the world’s leading woman fashion photographer. Dahl-Wolfe worked from the 1930s to the early 1960s and not only excelled at fashion but also triumphed as a still-life, nude and portrait photographer.” said Terence Pepper, Photographs Curator for the Fashion and Textile Museum.

The retrospective will focus on Dahl-Wolfe’s work for Harper’s Bazaar, where she spent 22 years as a leading contributor - influencing photographers such as Richard Avedon and Irving Penn with her ‘fresh and spontaneous’ photographs found on 86 covers of the fashion magazine.

The exhibition will consist of 100 of Dahl-Wolfe’s photographs, featuring the work of couture designers Chanel, Balenciaga and Dior as well as American fashion innovators Claire McCardell and Clare Potter.

“Her fashion pictures are the definition of elegance and beauty. They present an aspirational portrait of the mid-century woman as she newly wished to be: independent, self-assured and in control of her own destiny. ‘Louise Dahl Wolfe: A Style of Her Own’ highlights the power of photography and magazines to change people’s perception of what they can do and who they might become,” said Celia Joicey, head of the Fashion and Textile Museum in a press statement.

In addition, the Museum will stage a display of other photographic highlights celebrating Harper’s Bazaar’s 150th anniversary.

Louise Dahl–Wolfe: A Style of Her Own will be on display from 20 October 2017 – 21 January 2018.

Photo courtesy of Fashion & Textile Museum