Five Pictures From Vincent Peters “Timeless Time” At Palazzo Reale In Milan

Emma Watson by Vincent Peters, London, 2012

As I have already mentioned in the article where I reviewed some Milan Fashion Week looks, one of the few moments free from work that I had in February was the afternoon that I visited the retrospective of German photographer Vincent Peters at Palazzo Reale. I was very excited to be able to see his work live, partly because in the preceding weeks I had read the enthusiastic opinions of friends and acquaintances who had already visited the retrospective. Vincent Peters is known for his fondness of black and white, which I personally love very much, in fact I often apply black and white to my own photos. He was perhaps one of the first to recognize how inspiration from the outside world influences the photographs he takes; he once said, “You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring into the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.”

His images always tell a story, which can be felt even from a single shot. Alessia Glaviano, the curator of the Timeless Time retrospective, said, “Each element that converges and condenses in each of his single shots forms a layer that never loses its own identity and distinction. And in the coming together of these singular layers, here is where each of Peters’ images comes to tell a story. [Vincent Peters] is one of the great masters of telling a story even through a single, individual image.”

A photographic style reminiscent of Italian neorealism is evident in the portraits Peters has taken of film personalities such as Emma Watson, Scarlett Johansson, Matthew McConaughey and others.

Rarely I have seen portraits that trigger a whole range of emotions in me; undoubtedly his photos are incredibly glamorous also because of the nature of the people photographed. I chose this series of images of Emma Watson as the opening of the article because Vincent Peters has photographed her several times over the years; all of those shots are wonderful and bring out the personality of Emma, an actress and activist who I also included in my article on inspiring women for International Women’s Day. Vincent Peters gives each of his subjects a depth that manages to reveal their inner selves. The dreamlike atmosphere of the images makes the subjects almost take on the characteristics of a deity, and we can perceive not only their charm and beauty but also a kind of fragility that shines through. The unforgettable elegance of every single picture can also be seen in his homage to Italy through the photos of the Ferrari Trento (sponsor of the event together with Boglioli Milano), symbol of Trentodoc bubbles for 120 years and part of the series of shots that close the retrospective.

A retrospective that I have truly enjoyed and of which I have gathered the five photos that I loved the most; they render better in person because of the size of the prints and it was difficult to capture them on camera because the halls were very crowded, but I hope you will appreciate the photos I have chosen, which constitute only a small part of Vincent Peters’ magic universe:

1) Adriana Lima, Monaco, 2017:

2) Scarlett Johansson, New York, 2017:


“Richard Avedon: Relationships” At Palazzo Reale in Milan

Richard Avedon – Vogue covers

In December I had the opportunity to visit a retrospective titled “Richard Avedon: Relationships” at the Palazzo Reale in Milan. It was an amazing experience for me because I love photography and fashion very much, so it was a great opportunity to explore the many aspects of this legendary photographer’s work.

Avedon’s images are divided into several rooms and the portraits are grouped by theme; each gallery reveals a group of related images that provide visual pleasure and appreciation for his immense body of work.

The photographer famously said: “My portraits are more about me than they are about the people I photograph.” In the course of his career, he created a series of iconic images in fashion and portraiture. Between 1989 and 2004, Avedon placed a magnificent group of photographs at the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, Arizona, meant to represent five decades of his work.

The “Richard Avedon: Relationships” exhibition includes a selection of fashion photographs and portraits that allow the audience to explore his approach to photographing people. It explores two ideas: the first is how multiple photographs of the same subject reveal aspects of Avedon’s process, his relationship with the people he photographed and certain sides of their personality as well. The second is that fashion images and portraits shift when he includes multiple people because in this case Avedon’s goal was to convey relationships among the subjects. Palazzo Reale had already hosted an exhibition dedicated to Avedon titled “Evidence 1944-1994” that chronicled 50 years of the artist’s work.

This new retrospective offers a chance to see the illustrious career of one of the best American photographers of the 20th century, focusing on his relationships with the people he has photographed over the decades.

Sophia Loren – New York, 1970

Domenico Piraina, director of Palazzo Reale, stated: “Avedon was an innovator in many aspects. He eliminated everything that was superfluous from the scene, to underscore the sole presence of the person being portrayed. […] Models were no longer statues dressed in beautiful clothes, they were real people. Characterful people, in many cases. […] The precociousness of his huge talent made him a famous and much sought-after photographer. Indeed, he was the inspiration for the character of Dick Avery in the famous 1957 film Funny Face, featuring Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn. […] One cannot imagine the history of photography without Richard Avedon.”


Throwback Thursday: “Mario Testino: Unfiltered” At 29 Arts In Progress Gallery In Milan

Sienna Miller (2007) and Malgosia Bela (British Vogue, 2000)

In October 2021 I attended the first major solo exhibition in Milan dedicated to the renowned artist and photographer Mario Testino. The exhibition was structured into two parts; I was able to attend only the first one because I was very busy with work by the time the second one was available for the public to see (it enclosed a body of intimate snapshots and authentic moments from the photographer’s life with some people that have positively influenced his career).

The gallery presented some of Mario Testino’s most significant works in large format, including a body of unpublished works, available in new formats and editions, for a total of fifty works carefully selected by the gallery directors and Testino himself.

I found this exhibition very interesting and insightful because it showcased a variety of iconic and previously unseen shots of the photographer’s muses, like Sienna Miller and Cara Delevingne. Mario Testino is one of the most famous and talented fashion photographers in the world. Peruvian-born, he started his career in London in the 1970s, when he began to collaborate with magazines like Vogue, Glamour, GQ and Vanity Fair. Over the years, he has worked with known and talented fashion designers like Versace, Gucci, Calvin Klein and Dolce & Gabbana. When I was a teenager, I really loved the campaigns he did with Burberry at the time, especially the campaign shoot with Emma Watson for Burberry Fall/Winter 2009/10. I also own his book “Diana: Princess of Wales”, which he published with Taschen in 2006, following the eponymous exhibition at Kensington Palace in 2005 (my grandma loved Princess Diana and the book was one of her favorite).

Mario Testino has also taken numerous portraits of international stars like Naomi Campbell, Julia Roberts, Madonna and Gisele Bündchen. Some of these portraits were included in the “Mario Testino: Unfiltered” exhibition in Milan, with other unreleased shots.

Jude Law by Mario Testino.
Jude Law (V Magazine, 1999)
Mario Testino - Portraits.
Cara Delevingne (Allure, 2014), Meghan Douglas (Vogue Paris, 1995), Malgosia Bela (Vogue UK, 2000)

There was also a section dedicated to the photographer’s love for Italy, with a selection of works from the recent “Ciao” publishing project in collaboration with Taschen. Around the time of the exhibition, Mario Testino said: “Discovering Italy was a powerful experience that captured my imagination. I felt a deep connection with everything I saw around me. I loved the people, the landscape, the architecture and the fact that art and beauty were naturally, simply part of life.”


Throwback Thursday: Christian Dior, Designer Of Dreams At The V&A In London – June 2019

The Dior Line, 1950s

I have always loved visiting London’s Victoria & Albert Museum and it is one of my all-time favorite museums because every season they hold great fashion retrospectives that are usually displayed in a very sophisticated and scenic way, like “Cristóbal Balenciaga” in 2017 and “Fashioned from Nature” in 2018 (also, it’s impossible not to mention Alexander McQueen’s “Savage Beauty” in 2015, one of the most popular and successful retrospectives ever held at the museum). I am grateful to have been able to attend some of these exhibitions throughout the years; “Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams” has definitely been my favorite so far.

Since it had already been showcased at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, the exhibition was very much hyped even before opening at the V&A and it did not disappoint expectations. According to MF Fashion, “Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams” had a record number of spectators, selling almost 600,000 tickets in seven months. I was very lucky to be able to attend the exhibition because it was extended until September 2019 so I got to see it in the month of June during a trip to London.

The exhibition presented about 200 rare Haute Couture garments, starting from the birth of the House of Dior in 1946 and tracing the evolution of Dior’s signature style over the years. It allowed visitors to examine various illustrations, photographs, videos, magazines, accessories, vintage perfumes and make-up, for a total of about 500 objects extracted from the immense Dior Archives. It basically turned out to be one of London’s biggest cultural events in 2019 and I was happy to become a V&A member on the day I attended the exhibition. One of the first pieces displayed was the iconic Bar Suit, which is part of the V&A’s permanent collection, since it was gifted to the museum by the Maison Dior in 1960.

Christian Dior showcased his first haute couture collection in February 1947 at 30 Avenue Montaigne in Paris. The designs offered a great alternative to the masculine style of women’s fashion after World War II and they were widely praised and highly acclaimed by the press, as Harper’s Bazaar editor in chief Carmel Snow told the designer: “Your dresses have such a new look!”

The term New Look was chosen to name the collection and its two silhouettes, Corolle (featuring full skirts similar to flower petals) and En 8 (hip-hugging pencil skirts). The Bar suit was inspired by the bar at the Hotel Plaza Athénée in Paris and became the symbol of the New Look, creating a new fashionable silhouette that was unprecedented for the time; the rounded shoulders and the flowing, elongated shapes made to highlight the waist, along with the voluminous corolla skirts, helped reshape women’s bodies by bringing back feminine beauty and reviving sensuality. At the same time, garments from the past such as corsets and guêpières were brought back into vogue so Dior found itself at the center of a fashion revolution thanks to his innovative spirit. The New Look designs on the walls of the V&A were presented in a majestical way, followed by a section that highlighted the looks from 1947 to 1957 that defined this revolutionary fashion era and a section dedicated to Christian Dior’s love for Great Britain.

Dior - The New Look.
The New Look – Dior
Dior Romanesque dress (1950)
Dior Ulysse coat (1952)
Dior Aladin dress (1953)
Christian Dior: Great Britain

The exhibition was divided in eleven different theme sections; the first one started with Christian Dior’s earlier years and was followed by the New Look section that showcased his groundbreaking approach to fashion.