Steven Meisel is a genius. He is also a photographer. Each day when searching for beautiful photographs to accompany my various posts, I seem to stumble upon one of his and instantly fall in love. I realize this is not a coincidence but a tribute to just how amazingly talented he is.
Steven Meisel himself is difficult to describe. He is elusive and intensely private. He is even known to photograph behind a curtain or inside a black box. I assume he feels his photographs speak for themselves. They definitely speak to me.
According to Wikipedia,
“His fascination for beauty and models started at a young age. At that time Meisel didn’t play with toys, but would instead draw women all the time. He used to turn to magazines like Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar as sources of inspiration for his drawings. Meisel dreamt of women from high society like Gloria Guinness and Babe Paley, who personified the idea of beauty. Other icons were his mother and sister. One of Meisel’s first jobs was to work for fashion designer Halston as an illustrator. He also taught illustration part-time at Parsons. Meisel never thought he could become a photographer. He admired photographers like Jerry Schatzberg, Irving Penn, Richard Avedon and Bert Stern. He felt that illustration was a thing of the past and found photography as a lasting medium.”
(Click on the photo below for an amazing compilation of his career by Ana Lee on Live Journal.)
In February of 2005, I was at fashion week in New York City. VOGUE ITALIA sponsors a portion of it every season and always gives out its newest issue. After looking through this one, I absolutely fell in LOVE with Steven Meisel’s editorial on Victorian era couture. I tore off the cover and one of the looks inside and had it on my vision board in my office for five years. It wasn’t until I did a bit of research online that I found the rest of the stunning photos I had long since forgotten.
If you know me, you know how much I love British & European period films. (Hold your breath as this will be a post in the near future.) These photos evoke the same reaction in me.
Luella says…Regarding Steven
This is the first of many Through the Lens posts. I will even be revisiting Steven Meisel, as he is one of my favorite contemporary fashion photographers and his work is so stunning, I couldn’t sum it up with just this editorial.
Similar to an amazing movie, a great book or the perfect song, the right photograph; no matter the subject, can transport you. Go with it.
- Madonna’s 1991 Letter To Steven Meisel, Unearthed [Rag Trade] (jezebel.com)
- Vogue Italia’s High Style Cover (mymodernmet.com)
- Steven Meisel Douses Model In Oil For Vogue Italy (thefrisky.com)