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The Art of Couture

Can’t get enough of Fashion Week? Visit this Manhattan gallery for two artists’ visions of what’s haute.



“The Crying Game.” Models wearing Dior, 2008.

© Courtesy of Cathleen Naundorf Bernheimer Fine Art Photography

The glitz and flurry of Fashion Week may be over, but dedicated fashionistas still have a chance to see some of the best designers’ couture in an exhibit at Trinity House in Manhattan.

In a unique collaboration between Bernheimer Fine Art Photography, Trinity House has brought together the work of photographer Cathleen Naundorf and Gilded Age illustrator Paul Cesar Helleu, for a special exhibition dedicated to glamour and fashion.

The Trinity House gallery, located at 24 East 64th Street, was originally the Manhattan home to Pucci, according to gallerist Simon Shore, who hopes this arresting collection of Naundorf photographs and Helleu illustrations will appeal to collectors and fashion devotees alike.

Beauty Endures,” the exhibit that will run through September 29, offers the visitor an extraordinary collection of fashion images.  Cathleen Naundorf  is a celebrated fashion photographer whose work has been commissioned by Vogue and other Conde Nast publications. Her artist’s eye has won her unprecedented access to the ateliers of fashion icons at Chanel, Dior, Gaultier, Lacroix, Elie Saab and Valentino, among others.

What’s astonishing about the hand made prints of Naundorf’s large format Polaroids is how they capture in fine detail the intricate elements of couture design that make these clothes unlike others. Fit, cut, stitching and incredibly intricate detail are all captured by the appreciative eye of  Cathleen’s camera.

At the same time, the photographer’s choice of models, locations and poses bring each design alive; each one tells an enigmatic and alluring story. Naundorf, who lives in Paris, recalls her early inspiration, and artist’s background: “I come from paintings, so the composition, the light is very painterly. I was not thinking photography at all initially. I think I took my first picture at 12, with my grandfather.” Cathleen notes that while she was always interested in fashion, her immersion in the world of Paris couture helped her discover the art inside the clothing.

Cathleen Naundorf

For those who can’t get to the city before the show closes at the end of this month, Naundorf’s amazing photographs are captured in a new book, Haute Couture: The Polaroids of Cathleen Naundorf  (New York: Prestel Publishing, 2012).

 

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