hoyningen huene, photographer

Model, with artwork, wearing an evening dress by Maggy Rouff for Harper’s Bazaar, 1939. Photographed by George Hoyningen-Huene.

An advocate for subtle elegance, the French designer Rouff created refined evening gowns addressing the 30s vocabulary that appreciated drapes, tight waists and plunging backs. She also imagined modern sportswear that she mastered thanks to her technical virtuosity and the taste she had for asymmetry.

Toto Koopman with sculpture in “Toto Koopman in a Dress by Augusta Bernard, Paris” (1934) for Vogue. Photograph by George Hoyningen-Huene.

Koopman descends a set of three stairs with the train of her simple but stylish dress following her. Careful lighting sculpts the dress on her figure. At the top of the stairs is the statue of a female torso in the classic Greek mode, a reference to eternal beauty and glamour’s pagan origins. Hoyningen-Huene frequently uses references to ancient Greece for this purpose.

George Hoyningen-Huene :: Divers, Paris, 1930 

Probably Hoyningen-Huene’s best-known photograph.It shows two bathers: one, his lover and protégé, Horst P. Horst, the other, an androgynous female model; both facing away from the camera, staring across an infinite horizon toward the ‘sea’ [actually, the balustrade on the roof of Vogue’s Paris studio]  

Models reading at kiosk, Avenue des Champs-Élysées, Paris. Vogue, May 15, 1933. Photographer: George Hoyningen-Huene.

Huene admired the couture of Madame Grès (“fluid, harmonious and sculptural”), Madame Vionnet (“Her clothes were built like great architecture”), and Coco Chanel, whom he appreciated for her “absolute assurance of her own talent, competence and authority.”