50 Amazing Fashion Photographs From Between the 1930s and 1950s

As a staff photographer for Harper’s Bazaar, Louise Dahl-Wolfe introduced a witty naturalism to the staid conventions of fashion photography and helped pioneer the use of color film.

After studying painting, figure drawing, and design at the San Francisco Institute of Art, Dahl-Wolfe began experimenting with photography in 1921, inspired by Anne Brigman’s photographs. In 1928, Dahl-Wolfe married American sculptor Meyer (Mike) Wolfe and soon established herself as a professional photographer.

Dahl-Wolfe often juxtaposed her models with famous works of art, resulting in surprising and irreverent compositions. Fashion assignments led her to locations around the world, where she posed her models outdoors, in natural light. Throughout this period, Dahl-Wolfe also created striking portrait photographs of society figures and art world celebrities, including authors Carson McCullers and Colette, designer Christian Dior, and sculptor Isamu Noguchi.

(Photos by Louise Dahl-Wolfe)

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