Rochas Mermaid Dress (Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn), Paris

A work made of platinum-palladium print; edition 8/25.
Copyright Condé Nast Publications, Inc.

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  • A work made of platinum-palladium print; edition 8/25.

Date:

1950, printed June 1979

Artist:

Irving Penn
American, 1917–2009

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.

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Photography

Artist

Irving Penn

Title

Rochas Mermaid Dress (Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn), Paris

Origin

United States

Date

1950

Medium

Platinum-palladium print; edition 8/25

Dimensions

50 x 50 cm (image); 63.1 x 56 cm (paper); 66.1 x 56 cm (mount)

Credit Line

Gift of Irving Penn

Reference Number

1996.237

Copyright

Copyright Condé Nast Publications, Inc.

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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