Published December 15, 1936
As the ocean liner Hansa prepares to leave port, a model looks on longingly. She wears a wool mesh cape over a belted jacket, with a dark blouse and skirt. She holds a black alligator bag by Koret. The dramatic composition and sense of plot make this work reminiscent of a film still. Toni Frisell's photograph appeared in the December 15, 1936, Vogue.
(American) One of Vogue's first female photographers, Toni Frissell is considered among the magazine's most pioneering artists. Where earlier photographers relied upon controlled studio settings and static poses, Frissell placed her subjects en milieu and in motion. By the end of the 1930s the action photography she made famous became a leitmotif of fashion photography generally. Also noted for her imaginative camera angles she would go to great lengths, often at the risk of personal injury, to get her shot. While pregnant she was discovered by Mr. Nast lying on the floor. She recalls: "I saw next to me a beautifully creased pair of pants and perfectly polished shoes. I looked up and there was Condé Nast himself looking down at me. He said 'What are you doing down there?' I answered 'Well, I'm interested in the way it looks from down here.'" Her adventuresome spirit took her all over the globe. During World War II she was commissioned by the Women's Army Corps to photograph the movements of the Red Cross. Her subsequent photographs are some of the most harrowing of the war and detail it's very real human cost.