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STYLE / FASHION

Through The Lens Stylishly

September 08, 1996|JUDY PROUTY

Photographer Peter Lindbergh has spent most of his 23-year career shooting beautiful women in beautiful clothes. Yet in his photographs, the subject of a Los Angeles exhibit and a new book, fashion seems somehow beside the point. Take the 1990 image of Helena Christensen in the Mojave Desert with a "martian" by her side. One in a series of photographs shot for Vogue, the picture is Lindbergh's fantasy, "a contemporary love story." Or the 1992 Harper's Bazaar photographs of Linda Evangelista, dressed in a designer frock, flying (with the help of a movie crane) through the streets of New York. "The editor and I just wanted to do something crazy," he says.

Lindbergh seems to delight in pairing sophisticated clothing with offbeat locations. A bleak urban landscape sets the stage for a model in a black and white spotted trench coat walking a quartet of Dalmations. A beach becomes the backdrop for soignee eveningwear. "You could shoot at Hearst Castle," he explains, "but with a beach, there's a feeling of air and light." Lindbergh never lets the weather get in the way either. A sudden downpour in Paris or a sandstorm in the desert only enhances the drama.

In the quest for the unconventional fashion shot, the 51-year-old German-born photographer prefers to let the model's personality shine through all the posing and pretention. Shooting on a Los Angeles beach in 1988, he captures a playful group of then-unknown models in simple white shirts. "I like to show women the way I want them to look--natural, without perfect hair, perfect makeup," Lindbergh says. "Fashion is important, yes, but a woman should wear a dress, not the reverse."

These photographs are from an exhibit organized by Fahey-Klein Gallery, 148 N. La Brea Ave, and will be on view through Oct. 12 before going to New York, Paris and Tokyo. The book "10 Women by Peter Lindbergh" will be published this month by te Neues Publishing Co.

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