Lindbergh is best known for introducing a new realism to photography, playing with the idea of authentic, strong, and self-willed women, from femme fatales to heroines. He gave curator Thierry-Maxime Loriot unlimited access to his archives going back to 1978, which Loriot has arranged over eight sections: Supermodels, Couturiers, Zeitgeist, Dance, The Unknown, Darkroom, Silver Screen, and Icons. It shows how Lindbergh redefined standards of beauty, completely changing the course of fashion photography.
One key observation is Swarovski’s considerable role in haute couture over the years. As Loriot points out: “Many of Lindbergh’s timeless photographs of designs show Swarovski’s mastery on couture pieces created by leading couturiers.” To this end, in addition to a jaw-dropping platform encrusted with Swarovski Crystals Rocks, there will be four fine art prints on display: a ball gown from Giles worn by Helena Bonham Carter, which features burnt-edged holes embroidered with Swarovski crystals; an intricate haute couture cage corset embellished with Swarovski crystals from Jean Paul Gaultier, modeled by Milla Jovovich for a Vogue Italia series; magnificent pantyhose studded with statement crystals by Viktor & Rolf, again worn by Jovovich; and an intriguing photograph of model Shirley Mallmann dressed in a tuxedo jacket and pants with Natalia Semanova wearing a mini slip-dress shimmering with Swarovski crystals, all by Versace.
Peter Lindbergh: From Fashion to Reality is at the Kunsthalle Munich from April 13 to August 27. If you can’t get to Munich, treat yourself to a trip to Italy, instead: next stop will be the Consorzio di Valorizzazione Culturale La Venaria in Turin from October 6, 2017.
Photography: S. Brauer Photos