Strike A POSE


One of the most significan­t photograph­ers of the 20th century, Leica fan Frank Horvat incorporat­ed reportage within the context of staged fashion imagery, taking his models out onto the streets of Paris, into the metro, to the racetrack, and onto building rooftops to produce arresting images often reminiscen­t of film stills. This was in stark contrast to the convention­al approach to fashion photograph­y during the late 50s and early 60s when he burst onto the scene, as was his insistence that models shouldn’t smile during photoshoot­s.

A stunning reminder of his talent, 30 photograph­s taken from the ‘50s to the 70’s were exhibited at the Ernst Leitz Museum in Wetzlar this spring, including an image of a model wearing an outlandish Givenchy hat at the races surrounded by race goers looking through binoculars, and one of model Monique Dutto wearing couture at a metro exit, with commuters in the background.

Given Horvat’s innovative approach, his works are highly prized by collectors and often sell above auction estimates. At Philips auction house last year, a limited edition print of his Givenchy Hat C image, signed, numbered and limited to 30, fetched £11,970 (US$14,307) – well above its estimate of £4-6,000 (US$4,780-7,170). Also in 2022, Sotheby’s sold Evening Dress, Lanvin (B), L'Officiel, a model wearing a lavish Lanvin dress in a Parisian bistro, for €3,780 (US$4,000).

You can pick up limited edition Horvat prints on art platforms including Artsy, which currently has a gelatin silver print of Givenchy Hat A hand-signed by the artist on for US$35,000. Just don’t forget to check they have a certificat­e of authentici­ty before you purchase. — HELEN DALLEY

With Frank Horvat’s trailblazi­ng fashion photos recently exhibited at the Leica Museum in Germany, we assess the collectabi­lity of his inspiring images.

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