Gold Coast City Gallery: 'Coming into Fashion'

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Albert Watson, American Vogue,
May 1977 © 1977 Condé Nast

Fashion and art collide this Summer as Gold Coast City Gallery presents Coming into Fashion: A Century of Photography at Condé Nast. Fashion lovers will flock to the exhibition to admire some of the most iconic images from the past century of fashion as the publisher of Vogue, Vanity Fair and Glamour opens up its photography archive to the public.

Produced by the Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography (based in the United States and Europe) the exhibit includes images by Cecil Beaton, Irving Penn, Helmut Newton and Mario Testino. It will also look at early works by luminaries such as Horst P. Horst, Erwin Blumenfeld, David Bailey, Guy Bourdin, Corinne Day, Deborah Turbeville, and more.

Photography curator Nathalie Herschdorfer has chosen a selection that shows the sharp contrast in the first fashion photographs from the early 20th century compared to the modern day.

"Fashion photography is a way to understand how we represent the construction of female beauty and how it has changed over the years," said Herschdorfer. "While it's about selling beauty, selling fashion, it's also about selling dreams. It can show precisely how the clothes are done, but it can also reflect an idea, an atmosphere, a feeling," she said.

With unprecedented access to the Condé Nast archives in New York, Paris, London and Milan, Herschdorfer navigated through millions of original prints and pages from the actual magazines to create a collection that showcases a taste of every era.

"I was not looking for specific photographers or icons," she says. "I wanted to make a selection that represented the history of fashion photography but also included those iconic photos that stood well enough on their own, across any era," Herschdorfer said.

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Sebastian Kim, Teen Vogue, January 2011
© Sebastian Kim

“Some images made in the 1940s could still work today on a magazine cover. They belong to a specific period but are still visually strong today, without regard to the page it was on, the era it came from or the product it was selling," she said.

Whether you’re a design student, well-heeled beauty or style dreamer, this is a rare opportunity to witness a rare collection of fashion imagery that has been associated with some of the most famous names in the history of photography.

Gallery Director Tracy Cooper-Lavery says, “The exhibition brings together 100 years of the world’s greatest fashion photography; ranging from 1920s shots of Broadway actresses to some of the most recognisable photos of the supermodel era. It is such a thrill for Gold Coast City Gallery to be the only venue in Australia presenting the exhibition in its entirety.”

To celebrate the exhibition, there will also be a selection of events for the style obsessed. The first affair is the Talk Suite on 25 November, with guest speakers including Sophie Tedmanson, Vogue Australia Deputy Editor, Amanda Shadforth from Oracle Fox, Giuseppe Santamaria from Men in This Town along with the Exhibition Curator Nathalie Herschdorfer and Exhibition Manager Todd Brandow.

Then on 20 January, a Fashion Forum will include talks by international guest, Ari Seth Cohen from Advanced Style, Gail Sorronda, Charlotte Smith of The Darnell Collection and Sophie Tedmanson, Vogue Australia Deputy Editor.

And that’s not all! In addition, the exhibition will also include a selection of vintage couture fashion from The Darnell Collection - Australia’s largest private collection of fashion from the late 1700s to the 20th century.

All that’s left is to grab your squad and book your tickets. You’ll know where to find us this summer! Don’t be fashionably late.

Coming into Fashion: A Century of Photography at Condé Nast is a ticketed exhibition on display at the Gold Coast City Gallery 25 November, 2017 until 18 February, 2018.

Tickets for the exhibition are on sale now. See The Arts Centre Gold Coast website for further details at

***Article thumbnail image credit: Sølve Sundsbø, Love, (detail) Spring/Summer 2011 | © Sølve Sundsbø/Art + Commerce