In 1909, Conde Nast purchased Vogue. Some believe that was the origin of modern-day fashion photography. Conde Nast, in case you do not know, is the name of an individual, not a corporation, though it could be one now. Conde Montrose Nast was a native New Yorker born in 1873. He started his magazine work at Collier's, where he remade the struggling weekly into a profitable machine. Nast left and subsequently made Vogue the premier fashion magazine in the world, along the way also developing Vanity Fair, House & Garden and Glamour.
Others claim the origin of modern day fashion photography to the pictures Edward Steichen took of of couturier Paul Poiret's gowns in 1911 which were published in Art et Decoration.
These photographs, while as far from the work of Steichen, Horst P. Horst, Irving Penn, Louise Dahl-Wolfe and Richard Avedon as they can be, none the less illustrate in 1928 "fashion" a staple of today's magazines for women...the makeover. Maybe not glamour, and maybe not even possible to determine which was "before" and which was "after" they are none the less primitive and early examples of what has become a billion dollar plus-sized industry. Speaking of plus-sized...the September 2007 issue of Vogue, the creation of which is documented in the recent Anna Wintour documentary, was 840 pages and weighed five pounds. I question whether Vogue can sustain their plus-sized magazine through another decade. I hope so. I don't read it, but the wall full of past issues on the shelve behind the bangs bedecked dynamo in "The September Issue" sure look nice.
Best Makeovers 1928 Set of four "Before and After" Portraits Photographs mounted on cardstock. Anonymous Photographer. Dated 1928 Collection Jim Linderman