26 October 2013

Adieu Deborah Turbeville!

I don’t like mourning. Nor the news of blues. The death or illnesses are not dreamy at all in reality. But they are part of this petite world we know. We just cannot avoid them, I guess. We rarely talk about these kinds of things here. Therefore, misslikey is so sad to share among the others the tragic news that Deborah Turbeville, one of the most influential female photographers passed away of lung cancer on Thursday in Manhattan. She was 76. 
Deborah started her fashion career at the end of the 1950s as a fit model for Claire McCardell in New York. After working for mentioned designer as an assistant, she had a decade long career as editor at Harper’s Bazaar and Mademoiselle. Inspired by avant-garde cinema and influenced by great photographers of her time whom she worked with, Deborah at Mademoiselle started to photograph her own sittings. At the beginning of 1970s she fearlessly decided to pursue career as a freelance photographer. As a self- taught she didn’t really understand photography techniques but she knew she likes soft focus and grainy films. From the thing that most of “professional photographers” would name as a mistake, such as models out of focus or scratches she created a really unique and dreamy photography style. ‘The imperfections in my pictures were the things people found charming’, she said in one interview. 

With this kind of aesthetic where images are more oriented on characters, story and interior than to product is hard to survive in the commercial world of fashion but Deborah somehow managed by staying faithful to imaginary world she was creating with her lenses. 
Filmmakers like Jean Cocteau, Jean Renoir, Alain Resnais and Andrej Tarkovsky and vibe of lost aristocracy influenced surreal world of Deborah Turbeville. She never called herself a fashion photographer, or neither photographer nor she was taking fashion seriously like most people in the industry do. Nevertheless, she created one of the most important fashion images. She had a special ability to create a connection with the models she was photographing which were often in groups and as a female she tended to capture inner spirits of females and their femininity that on her photos would become deep, opaque and mysterious. Now that new generations will remember her mostly because of beautiful and surrealistic spread in Vogue Italia featuring enchanting Valentino Haute Couture, Vogue readers from 1970s would remember her spread Bathhause that caused lots of controversy back in the days and she became embroiled in a debate about the morality of fashion imagery. October 24th will be remembered in the world of fashion as the day when vogue society lost one of the visionaries that were portraying fashion in another dimension by not showcasing fashion itself.

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