Horst P. Horst’s “The Mainbocher Corset,” from 1939. Credit: Horst P. Horst/Klein Gallery, Los Angeles
My father was a first generation American, born to Russian immigrants, and, although he became a bigtime lawyer (he was President of his Bar Association and they closed all the courthouses in Nassau County, Long Island, for half a day in his honor when he died), he and my mother were more intent on making a success of his practice than on paying attention to the arts. I learned about being chic from a couple of years I spent working for Horst P. Horst, a Vogue photographer, booking the models and scouring New York antique stores for Faberge boxes and the like to put in his ravishing pictures. He’s one of the photographers featured in a show that’s at Los Angeles’s Getty Museum now, that’s written up on the front page of yesterday’s Arts and Leisure section of The New York Times, with this picture of Horst’s included in the article. They say that “the bastard stepchild of the fine art world is finally getting its birthright,” in Icons of Style: A Century of Fashion Photography, 1911-2011.
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