The Palais Galliera is rich in a collection of 130,000 photographs, including 40.000 pictures covering the period from the 1870s up to the present day and an exceptional fund of 90.000 views focusing on the work of the photographer Henry Clarke.
The photographic collections of the City of Paris Fashion Museum retrace the history of fashion photography, clothes and the great couture houses, but also looks into the ways fashion has been publicised and the body represented. Two major types of photography emerge from this mass of material.
The first is strictly professional and intended to document and protect garment models: collection albums from Carven and Jacques Heim; photos for late 19th-century magazine illustrators; copyright registration images to prevent piracy, especially in the 1920s and 1930s; plus press prints from the 1950s up until now, issued by the fashion houses to publicise each new collection; slides of haute couture and ready to wear parades from the 1980s to the 2000s, including the archives of photographer Jean-Louis Coulombel.
The second type is more directly aimed at press promotion and catching the eye of potential buyers. In the past these images – used in leading magazines, fashion house catalogues and advertising campaigns – were often the work of top studios and fashion photographers like Reutlinger, Scaioni, Dorvyne, d’Ora, Kollar, Meyer and Beaton, and featured such well known models and actresses as Génia de Gorlenko, Ann-Emily Lacey and Nelly Martyl.
The early photography is complemented by the work of leading contemporary practitioners including Sarah Moon, Peter Knapp, Corinne Day, Juergen Teller, Miles Aldridge and Marcus Tomlinson.