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Horst P. Horst

Room 100 – currently closed

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Fashion is an expression of the times. Elegance is something else again.

Horst P. Horst

One of the 20th century's premier photographers, Horst P. Horst (1906 – 99) was a master of light, composition and atmospheric illusion, who conjured a world of sensual sophistication. The V&A's collection features a wide selection of work from across his 60-year career – including his work for Vogue, celebrity portraiture, nudes, travel images and botanical studies, in both black & white and colour.

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Working mainly in Paris and New York, Horst created images that transcend fashion and time. His photographs graced the pages of Vogue and House and Garden under the one-word photographic byline 'Horst', which became synonymous with his use of dramatic lighting and atmospheric style.

Exploring Horst P. Horst

Photo of Mainbocher Corset (pink satin corset by Detolle), Paris, 1939. © Condé Nast/Horst Estate
Mainbocher Corset (pink satin corset by Detolle), Paris, 1939. © Condé Nast/Horst Estate

Photo of Hat and coat-dress by Bergdorf Goodman, modelled by Estrella Boissevain, 1938. © Condé Nast/Horst Estate
Hat and coat-dress by Bergdorf Goodman, modelled by Estrella Boissevain, 1938. © Condé Nast/Horst Estate

Photo of Salvador Dalí’s costumes for Leonid Massine's ballet Bacchanale, 1939. © Condé Nast/Horst Estate
Salvador Dalí’s costumes for Leonid Massine's ballet Bacchanale, 1939. © Condé Nast/Horst Estate

Photo of Marlene Dietrich, New York, 1942. © Condé Nast/Horst Estate
Marlene Dietrich, New York, 1942. © Condé Nast/Horst Estate

Photo of Dinner suit and headdress by Schiaparelli, 1947. © Condé Nast/Horst Estate
Dinner suit and headdress by Schiaparelli, 1947. © Condé Nast/Horst Estate

Photo of Male Nude, 1952. © Condé Nast/Horst Estate
Male Nude, 1952. © Condé Nast/Horst Estate

Photo of Summer Fashions, American Vogue cover, 15 May, 1941. © Condé Nast/Horst Estate
Summer Fashions, American Vogue cover, 15 May, 1941. © Condé Nast/Horst Estate

Photo of Dress by Hattie Carnegie, 1939. © Condé Nast/Horst Estate
Dress by Hattie Carnegie, 1939. © Condé Nast/Horst Estate

Photo of Muriel Maxwell, American Vogue cover, 1939 © Conde Nast, Horst Estate
Muriel Maxwell, American Vogue cover, 1939 © Conde Nast, Horst Estate

Learn more about Horst P. Horst

Background image: Muriel Maxwell, American Vogue cover, 1939 © Conde Nast, Horst Estate