Friday, 5 August 2011

Clifford Coffin - The Fashion Photographer

     I relatively recently discovered the photographer, Clifford Coffin, by accident really. I've been so interested in the fashion images of the last century. I was on one of my many 'image searches' one day, for some old Vogue photographs that particular time, when I kept noticing the name 'Clifford Coffin' cropping up so often attached to quite a few of my favourite 'Vogue' images that I decided to start another 'image search', exclusively devoted to Clifford Coffin.
     My efforts were swiftly rewarded! Since then, I've become quite familiar with his images, such wonderful captures of a second in time - encapsualised forever, when I realised that I didn't know anything about the man behind the camera. As is so often the case, the images are so recognizable, but I think that I've only seen one self-portrait of the man in question. Here is a little information that I managed to glean:

"Clifford Coffin, Photographer 1913-1972

Coffin is known as one of Vogue's "lost" photographers.
For over a decade, he produced some of its most elegant fashion pictures.
His portraits are equally fascinating as a document of art and society across the globe in the early post-war years. As well as covering the couture collections for Vogue on two memorable occasions (1948 and 1954), he took one of the few photographs of Christian Dior at his inaugural 'New Look' collection in 1947. He also nurtured the careers of a generation of models including Barbara Goalen and Suzy Parker, and discovered Elsa Martinelli and Audrey Hepburn, who modelled for him before turning to acting. Many of his sitters were captured at the outset of their careers: Truman Capote and Arthur Miller (1948), Gore Vidal (1949), Lucian Freud and Richard Attenborough (1947), as well as more established figures such as Gloria Swanson and Ernest Hemingway."

      I feel that he managed to capture the elegance and sophistication of the era; the women always looked poised, posed and self-assured. The clothes are chic, the epitome of glamour, and styled to perfection.
     He manages to capture a mood with his talent and some are quite atmospheric. I've also found some humour in a few of his photos image of swimming hats springs to mind! A real essence of fun captured with the snap of the shutter.
     Anyway, enough of my ramblings! Here are a few of Clifford Coffin's photographs, I hope that you enjoy them as much as I have!


  1. Hello:
    These photographs are indeed absolutely wonderful. As you say, they capture the spirit of an era and a sense of place and time so beautifully and in such detail. The compositions are so carefully done, clearly CC had a most discerning eye and a meticulous attention to the smallest detail.

    We had never heard of CC before and so are pleased to have been introduced, as we are to your own blog which we have found captivating in terms of its images and fascinating in terms of its content. We discovred you via the remarkable Jacqueline at Home and are delighted to have arrived. We have signed up as Followers in order to stay in touch.

  2. Hi there!
    Thank you so much for your comment and for following my blog too! I'm so pleased that you like CC's work - I have also been researching other 1950's photographers, and will blog about that soon. I've found some fascinating images!

    I have to admit that I'm intrigued as to how you found me through Jacqueline at Home - I've never heard of her before and would dearly love to have the link, as I tried to google her, but to no avail!

    Thank you again!

  3. These are soooooooooooo beautiful :) As always impeccable taste Win! LOVE
    Jess x

  4. Check out Vogue like a Painting, exhibition held this days at Thyssen Museum in Madrid

  5. Check out Vogue like a Painting, exhibition held this days at Thyssen Museum in Madrid

  6. Check out Vogue like a Painting, exhibition held this days at Thyssen Museum in Madrid