Inside The Mark Shaw Exhibit of Haute Couture Fashion Photography
During Paris Haute Couture week earlier this summer an unprecedented exhibition of Mark Shaw’s glamorous photographs of 1950s couture fashion houses, such as Dior, Balmain and Balenciaga, opened at Paris’s Galerie MR14. If you are in Paris before September 3rd and love fashion as much as we do at KOKET you must make time to visit the Mark Shaw exhibit!
Melissa Regan Agency’s luminous ground floor gallery, Galerie MR14, located in the north part of Paris’s Le Marais district at 14 rue Portefoin is the perfect setting for this intriguing array of 50 photographs by the late Mark Shaw (1921-1969).
One of the leading fashion photographers of his time Shaw is globally recognized for the captivating photographs of fashion, celebrities and public figures he took for prestigious magazines like LIFE, Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar, and Mademoiselle. Shaw began his career in New York City managing the photographic studio at Harper’s Bazaar in 1946 and soon afterwards started contributing images to Mademoiselle. Then in 1952 he began working as a freelancer for LIFE where he spent the next 16 years shooting 27 epic covers, and more than 100 editorials.
Although he was best known for his photographs of Jacqueline and John Kennedy, Shaw was first and foremost an advertisement and fashion photographer and is renowned for having been the first photographer to use color when shooting the runways and for capturing the rarely-before seen action backstage at fashion shows. By 1965 Shaw had become a film director as well, filming award winning TV commercials and working as a photographic consultant to directors.
Then in 1969 at only 47 Shaw died from a controversial “vitamin shot” which contained high doses of amphetamine that poisoned him. These shots were administered by Dr. Max Jacobson, nicknamed “Dr. Feelgood” and “Miracle Max”, who was also treating numerous high-profile celebrities such as the Kennedy’s. Shaw’s death drew attention to Jacobson’s practice and led to the eventual lose of his medical license.
On the year of Dior’s 70th Anniversary it is delightful to see images such as the one below in which Shaw captured Christian Dior at work during a fitting session.
The Mark Shaw exhibition brings together photographs never before shown in France, a film, and an authentic reconstruction of a salon de couture. Emerge yourself in the history of Parisian Haute Couture fashion and the glamorous 50’s decade!
For more must see fashion exhibitions this year check out our article, 12 FASHION EXHIBITIONS TO VISIT IN 2017!