A New Book Reveals the Softer Side of Richard Avedon’s Fashion Photography
When Gianni Versace was a child, he stumbled upon one of the late photographer Richard Avedon’s most well-known images: Dovima With Elephants, which portrayed the American supermodel in a Dior gown delicately holding onto the animal’s trunk and ear. The picture enraptured the designer so much that Avedon became a favorite photographer of his—and they would go on to have a 20-year collaboration with one another.
Now, the Versace brand is teaming with Avedon once more—this time, for a book titled Richard Avedon, Relationships, out March 14 by the publishing house SKIRA, in collaboration with the Center for Creative Photography and The Richard Avedon Foundation. Avedon may be known as one of the founding fathers of modern fashion photography—but you’ve never seen his works like this. In Relationships, the celebrated portraitist’s most famed pieces are featured alongside lesser-known images: take, for example, the portrait of Penelope Tree wearing an Ungaro mask; or an arty, blurred image of Malcolm X. The tome is a tribute to the work of Avedon, who revolutionized editorial fashion shoots when he stopped portraying models in static poses, favoring instead to show them in more realistic environments. Within the pages of this book, you’ll find portraits of Marilyn Monroe, Andy Warhol, Bob Dylan, and many more iconic faces of the 20th century—most of whom were photographed multiple times at different periods throughout Avedon’s career. Below, a selection of iconic photographs from the book—and their lesser-known counterparts.