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KRIS Likes… The Photography of Mark Shaw

“When you are building a room, 

you are building character, and character

is the strength and wisdom of a home.” 

– Rose Tarlow

A noted American fashion Photographer of the 1950’s and 1960’s, Mark Shaw, is best known for documenting scenes from the family life of John F. Kennedy.  However, it was Shaw’s earlier work, shooting European fashion collections for LIFE and various other publications as a fashion photographer, that inspired Jacqueline Kennedy to hire him as the family photographer.  Over the years Shaw photographed an impressive list of celebrities which included: Pablo Picasso, Brigitte Bardot, Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly, Danny Kaye, Cary Grant, Yves St. Laurent, Nico of the Velvet Underground, Audrey Hepburn & Coco Chanel.

 “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only.  Fashion is in the sky, in the street,  fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”   Coco Chanel

I am obsessed with all of Mark Shaw’s photographs, but have a special affinity for the pictures he took of models, socialites & celebrities in some of the most elegant, luxurious and famous interiors of the time.  The fashion and interiors in each one is stunning and seamlessly flawless.  The combination is captivating.  Especially for those of us with a passion for both.  Yet, it is the simple elegance conveyed in each photograph that I find most alluring.  There is an ease to the women in these pictures.  They just exist.  Fabulous creatures among all of this extravagance and decadence as if being the epitome of glamour was not a choice but just who they are.

Shaw was an innovator.  He became the first photographer to use color while shooting the Runway and “backstage” at the couture shows.  Perhaps more importantly, he was able to capture a rare “behind the scenes” look into a highly glamorous and stylized world.   As a result there was a feeling of authenticity and rawness to his work that was rarely seen during this time.  Enjoy!

Model in Apartments of Dior/Luling. France. 1960’s

Model in Mirror-Paris 1960

Model in Chateau Manon Lescault #3

Model in Chateau of Jacques Fath #2, France, 1950’s

Model in Teal Dress #1, France, 1960’s

Model in Home of Christian Dior, France 1953
Vicki Reynaud #1, Paris, 1953

Model in Home of Elsa Schiaparelli, Paris, 1953

Model in Apartment of Henri Samuel #4, France, 1960’s

Model in Dior in Paris Apartment, 1960

Model in Chateau Manon Lescaut #4, France 1960’s

Portrait of Henrietta Tiarks #3, 1959, France

Portrait of Coco Chanel #17, Paris, 1954 (In the living room of her Paris apartment.)

** Photograph at top of page: Model in Home of Christian Dior #2, France, 1953

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