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Dovima With Elephants

Written by: George Chittenden : 22 Nov 2019

This photo was taken in August 1955 for Harper’s Bazaar, at the Cirque d'Hiver, in Paris. It is referred to as ‘Dovima With Elephants’, and some people say it’s one of the most famous fashion photographs of all time. The model, Dovima, was one of the world’s most famous models in the 1950s and she was also the first model to use a single name. Her actual name was Dorothy Virginia Margaret Juba. The photograph was taken by American fashion and portrait photographer, Richard Avedon.

Dovima With Elephants, 1955

Dovima With Elephants, 1955

In the photo Dovima is wearing the first Dior dress designed by Yves Saint Laurent. The photograph marked a turning point in fashion photography, as up until that point models had been mannequins, meant to stand still while the clothes got all the attention. Avedon realised that by taking models out of the studio and putting them against exciting backdrops, he could blur the line between commercial fashion photography and art.

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