The poetic eye of Cathleen Naundorf

Fashion photography is a profession but is it art? In the case of German-born, France-based Cathleen Naundorf it is more than as this woman literally paints with a camera. In fact, it was with a brush rather than a camera that she took her first forays into the world of art in the 1980s. The following decade put her on the photographic map as she traveled the world with a camera in hand, capturing the many indigenous tribes of Earth before landing her amazing skills in the world of style.

L'amore, I - Valentino

Inspired by her friendship with the truly iconic Horst P. Horst, her mentor one might say, Naundorf refocused her career on fashion. In 1997, she used her reportage background to document the controlled chaos of backstage Paris fashion shows for Condé Nast publications and ever since, magic happened.

A midnight summer dream I

Cathleen Naundorf photographs her interior scenes using an analogue large-format camera in a rare combination with Polaroid films, which are hard to source these days. The method that she has chosen has the effect of blurring the images sporadically, highlighting their atmospheric as opposed to documentary character.

Magic Garden, II - Valentino

Her day-dreamlike portfolio is stunning as  Cathleen Naundorf’s style of photography combines poetry and meditation with theatrical presentations of Haute Couture, taking account of the traditional lines of classic glamour photography, which she captures especially well in her black/white photographs.

Beaute ideale

With their highly individual pictorial language, the works of Cathleen Naundorf are unique in the world of fashion photography and this is why leading fashion designers such as Valentino, Gaultier and others granted the German freelance photographer exclusive entrée to their exceptional collections, as well as free access to their most precious garments to capture their immaculate elegance.

Prima ballerina, I - Valentino

Her elaborate and cinematic work, more than refreshing in an industry dominated by flawless skin and hair, grace the pages of Haute Couture: The Polaroids of Cathleen Naundorf (Prestel) and if you are lucky enough you can catch a poetic universe  from January 14 through February 27, 2016 at Edwynn Houk Gallery of New York.

In these images Cathleen Naundorf’s explores the Italian beauty of Valentino.

Magic Garden VIII - Valentino L'allure glamour III The bird tower, II - Valentino Magic garden, I - ValentinoModella italiana - Valentino Magic Garden, III - ValentinoThe lost Spring I  Magic Garden, IV - Valentino