F. Scott Fitzgerald’s belief that there are no second acts in American lives simply did not apply to photographer Lillian Bassman.
Bassman, who died Monday at the age of 94, initially distinguished herself for artistically minded fashion and advertising photography and later in life transformed her career to that of a fine artist. Along the way, she influenced scores of other photographers and artists. Mary Ellen Mark said Tuesday, “Her absolute singularity set her apart. She was like no other. You just had to look at her images and you knew it was hers. That’s what great photographers like Helmut Newton, [Richard] Avedon, Irving Penn and her do. They don’t look like anyone else.”
Having recently seen photos Bassman took of women on the streets of Paris when she was in her 20s, Mark said these nonfashion shots hinted at her “fantastic vision and eye. She had such a range. Her fashion work was beautiful, too.”
Far-reaching as her portfolio was, Bassman’s work should continue to influence all sorts of artists, according to Mark. “When you look at the great photographers, their work carries on. It has to influence everybody, young photographers, graphic designers, artist, painters — it influences all of us.”
Bassman was always her own biggest critic, and she saw herself in every image she took, according to designer Joanna Mastroianni. “What was amazing about her was how passionate she was about her work right to the end,” she said, noting that her most recent project was a body of work on male bodybuilders.
A prolific artist, the Brooklyn-born Bassman worked tirelessly throughout her nine decades. Ever the visionary, she was always very much about what her next assignment would be. Her white hair, soft-spoken voice and frail frame belied her determination to keep tackling the new. “This is a woman who every day of her life looked forward to creating, but at the same time she gave herself permission to walk away from it for a while in the mid-Seventies. And when she decided to return, she was even more excited about it,” said Mastroianni.
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion