SINCE the post-war boom of the fashion industry, fashion photography has become an effective instrument of creative expression. No longer just marketing tools, fashion and photography have merged into a new artform.

This is what Visions 01 Fashion Photography exhibit is all about—capturing and presenting the art form that fashion photography has become.

Presented by the Association Française d’action Artistique (French Association for Artistic Initiatives), the exhibit features the works of top French photographers Marcus Jans, Daniel Stier, Banu Ennteglie, Emmanuelle Mafille, Christian Lesemann, François Rousseau, and Morgane Le Gall, as well as articles of French couture to complement the photographs.

While each picture bears the name of its photographer, the accompanying clothes on display are nameless—suggesting that the exhibit is not about fashion, but photography—now an independent territory of creative freedom. The exhibit brings photography in the limelight and turns the clothes into mere accents.

Each brilliantly captured photograph carries images familiar to fashion lovers all over the world, and reminds one of print ads of fashion houses such as Marithé + François Girbaud, Mossimo, and Guess? Jeans.

Minimalism is a recurring theme of the photographs. Most of the images are characterized by wide, uncluttered spaces and solid, economical shapes.

Mafille’s black backgrounds shot through with spectral colors and images of barren rooms with sunlight pouring through the window, give the pictures a quiet tone. The same is true with Rousseau’s images of men yachting and boxing. It is hard to tell if the pictures are scripted or not because they convey a certain feel of time standing still.

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In contrast to Mafille’s and Rousseau’s pictures, Lesemann’s and Ennteglie’s images depict movement.

Brisk movement is the theme of Lesermann’s shots of people doing everyday things. Images of people walking down the street, entering a store and standing in the cashier line, almost give off the sound of a real bustling city.

Meanwhile, Ennteglie’s black and white pictures depict leisurely afternoons spent walking by the woods. Jans’ retro collection uses pastel and beige colors against industrial backdrops, while Vivier’s chrome-and-black pictures fall under the typical fashion picture—glossy, stylized, and elegant.

As long as fashion and photography stay on their ever-evolving track of revolutionizing our generation’s vision of style, our perspectives and perceptions of things will continually change.

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