Fashion Images

A cultural and media history

Despite a large number of fashion publications and photobooks of famous fashion photographers, there is so far no detailed history of fashion pictures. Neither exists a historical outline, nor a complete classification of the topic in the own contemporary history.

The history of fashion images, their cultural and historical significance as well as their future are to be discussed here so that a finished book is created at the end.

My book project

Fashion photography is more than just a commercial link between client and consumer. The depiction of fashion – including fashion dolls, fashion plates, and illustrations – is more than a cultural-historical phenomenon and always a mirror of its time. It does not matter if we move to the 15th or in the 21st century. Here, trends and taboos are touched, technical progress becomes visible, beauty ideals and moral concepts are deliberately staged.
In short, the visual ambassadors of fashion are the pure zeitgeist, which calls for a more detailed analysis and summary.

Writing a book is an ongoing process. I would like to share my thoughts, research, and progress on this project. Besides, I will reveal my inspirations and sources in the form of blog posts and present first results. In doing so, I hope for a lively exchange, constructive criticism and suggestions of any kind. In this way, a coherent cultural history should emerge, which will finally be available as a print version and/or e-book.


About me

Gerlind Hector
 As a fashion journalist and lecturer, I have been working intensively for many years on communicating fashion and Zeitgeist topics. I am not only interested in the textual information of trends and tendencies, but also in their chosen way of mediation.
Colleagues, fashion photographers and, last but not least, my students, whom I teach in Fashion Photography at the AMD Akademie Mode & Design since 2002, have often asked me for a particular book tip that deals with the history of fashion photography. I would like to be able to offer this special tip in the future.
Fashion Images

Table of contents

1. First Ambassadors of Elegance – From the Middle Ages to the Modern Age
1.1 Robe Studies of Old Masters
1.2 First textile trade fairs provide for the fashionable exchange
1.3 Fashion dolls as the first ambassadors of fashion
1.4 The French Revolution also frees fashion
1.5 Paper dolls facilitate manufacturing and shipping
1.6 First journals and almanacs
1.7 Caricatures testify to the importance of style
1.8 Department store as a platform for fashion and emancipation

2. Fashion pictures – from the first fashion plate to fashion photography
2.1 From 1800: Copper Engraving as the most important illustration technique
2.2 From 1840: Steel engraving brings fine detail
2.3 From 1850: Woodcut combines text and image
2.4 1880-1900: First fashion photography does not convince
2.5 From 1900: Fashion photography and graphics complement each other

3. 100 years of fashion photography
3.1 1910 – 1920: The first artistic fashion photography
3.2 1920 – 1930: Chiaroscuro in black and white
3.3 1930 – 1940: Great depression, art and experiments
3.4 1940 – 1950: ‘Fashion is indestructible’
3.5 1950 – 1960: Twinset and pearl necklace
3.6 1960 – 1970: ‘Youthquake’ and Flower Power
3.7 1970 – 1980: Politics, polyester and plateau
3.8 1980 – 1990: Coming Out and Brand Mania
3.9 1990 – 2000: Supermodels and Heroin Chic
3.10 2000 – 2010: Capitalism crisis, photoshop, fashion film
3.11 2010 – 2020: #Diversity #NoMakeUp #MeToo


Criticism, praise, and suggestions are welcome! Do you miss topics, aspects, names? I am happy to be inspired by your ideas for my book project and am pleased about additions, updates or even links that can contribute to the completion of "Fashion Images." Thank you!