Throughout history, artistic representation of the human body in a particular age has guided our understanding of issues such as sexuality, personal identity, gender and ideology of the time and culture in which it is embedded. In the last two centuries, photography has come into its own, and the genre of fashion photography in the last century or so.
This is because some of the basic characteristics of female representation, and its contradictions in fashion photography derive from the very nature of the genre itself.
Fashion photography is more than a photograph showing the clothes,accessories or the model, it is the creation of a fantasy. It embodies the fashion atmosphere of the moment and the mood of the time in a single image. It is an image that conveys a particular lifestyle,and is different from catalogue photography, which is intended to directly sell clothes. In a catalogue shot, a woman is shaped closer to real proportions in realistic settings, in keeping with the intent of direct marketing, and she looks, albeit a little blankly, at the viewer.
In a whole lot of fashion photography, however, the idea is far beyond clothes, it is about a particular fashion orientation, and so the model is fantastical in keeping with the image to be conveyed. ...