Calling fashion historians and old souls alike: There's a new photography exhibit that was made just for you. Running now through September 3 in Paris, the Mark Shaw, Paris Haute Couture retrospective features never-before-seen images of behind-the-scenes magic at couture fashion week during the 1950s and 1960s. Taken during a tumultuous era of France's history, the photos are some of the only fashion pictures to come out of the war period.
Shaw, known for his photographs of celebrities, editorials in fashion magazines like Harper's Bazaar and Mademoiselle, and of the Kennedy family, was the first photographer to use color in his pictures of fashion shows. The photos in the exhibition, of which there are more than 50 (including a film), serve as an illustrative history of French fashion, and notably, Parisian couture. There's your typical backstage chaos, with a little bit of glitz and a whole lot of glam mixed in. Because, lest we forget to say it (yet again) for the people in the back: fashion is art.
Before his untimely death in 1969, Shaw would go on to profile many industry legends through his lens: Coco Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Brigitte Bardot, Grace Kelly, model Suzy Parker, and more. Even though most of his fashion photography has been missing for many years, his snapshots of the couture shows in Paris are some of his most intimate, as he favored working with as little equipment as possible. They just don't make them like they used to, do they? Click through to see some of our favorite images from the exhibition, and if you can make it to Paris within the next few weeks, be sure to take in the experience at Galerie MR14 for yourself.