Investing in Fashion Week for a £500 to £1,500 Photograph
With London’s Fashion Week already a memory there is a good argument for capturing that memory in film imagery that will outlast the fashion and provide a longterm investment.
Jocelyn Phillips, Head of Bonhams Photography Department says: “This London Fashion Week the designer frocks were out in force. From Farhi to Westwood, McQueen to Williamson, six days of non-stop shows saw hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of cloth creation sashaying down the catwalks of WC2. How many of those masterpieces were made to be worn and how many simply to be looked at? And at what price? As the paparazzi click away, sometimes catching no more than a blur of the original, it is worth remembering that there is another fashion experience – static, but every bit as alive – running alongside the catwalks.”
“Fashion has long been a staple of photographic imagery. As a genre, fashion photography boasts some of the most celebrated photographers in the world: Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, Louise Dahl-Wolfe, Mario Testino, Patrick Demarchelier and Peter Lindbergh to name just a few. And closer to home, in the UK, the grand tradition includes Cecil Beaton, Norman Parkinson and John French, and is continued today by the likes of Nick Knight and Corinne Day. For many of these, their early careers were formed under the aegis of Condé Nast – who commissioned their work for Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, shaped their early experiences and put them in a position to go on to great things. Together they have photographed the artistry of Cristobal Balenciaga, Christian Dior, Calvin Klein, Yves Saint Laurent, and many others.”
“At what price, then, a piece of these artists? – Not the fashion designers but the skilled photographers who have immortalised their creations. A beautiful early print by John French can be yours for as little as £500; a Parkinson or Beaton for £1,500; and Demarchelier can offer you Claudia, Elle, Cindy, Helena or Christy for a little more. A sound investment? With the market for fashion and celebrity imagery continuing its upward trend, these beautiful photographic prints are likely to outshine that designer dress, and might just be more affordable too.”
Bonhams first stand alone Photgraphy Sale takes place in May 20 next year.