About this artwork
In July 1950, Vogue magazine sent Irving Penn to Paris to document that year’s fall couture collections. Over the course of ten days, clothes by Balenciaga, Dior, Rochas, and others were rushed to an old top-floor studio, where Penn posed models against a discarded theater curtain. The resulting photographs, spread across two September issues, marked a stark departure from the elaborately staged sets favored by fashion photographers of the previous decade. Among the models, Lisa Fonssagrives was a standout—in 1949, at age 38, she had become the first model to grace the cover of Time magazine, earning the title “Billion-Dollar Baby.” The statuesque icon first captured Penn’s attention at a 1947 photo shoot, and in the years that followed she became his muse and collaborator. Just a few weeks after this photograph was taken the two were married.
- Currently Off View
- Photography and Media
- Irving Penn
- Rochas Mermaid Dress (Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn), Paris
- Made 1950
- Platinum-palladium print; edition 8/25
- 50 × 50 cm (image); 63.1 × 56 cm (paper); 66.1 × 56 cm (mount)
- Gift of Irving Penn
- Copyright Condé Nast Publications, Inc.