“Fifties, fashion and emerging feminism” – John French

25th May – 21st September

Collyer Bristow Gallery

4 Bedford Row
London WC1R 4TF
United Kingdom

Viewing is by appointment Monday to Friday during office hours. Any enquiries please contact the gallery on 020 7242 7363/ 020 7468 7219 or email gallery@collyerbristow.com

The exhibition features 40 iconic John French prints, from the V&A Archive, alongside highlights from the Museum and Study Collection at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, work by Fabric and Wessieling, Carole Evans and new commissions by artists Alice Angus of Proboscis with Fee Doran (aka Mrs Jones) and Freddie Robins responding to the world of fashion.

John French was an excellent English fashion and portrait photographer. He originally trained and worked as a commercial artist, becoming a photographic director in an advertising studio just before World War II, during which he served as an officer in the Grenadier Guards. Yet in 1948 he took a change in direction by setting up his own photographic studio, where French was able to progress to become a pioneer for a new form of fashion photography, involving where possible reflected natural light and low contrast. French devoted a lot of attention to the set and posing of his models, but left the actual triggering of the shutter to his assistants. I think any one can agree by looking at his stunning work that he composed elegant and classic images, putting him amongst the great fashion photographers, like David Bailey and Terence Donovan.