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Guy Bourdin, Jardin des Modes, 1965

April 17, 2017

Photos by Guy Bourdin from the Jardin des Modes of August 1965 pictured women in the modernist spaces of ambiguous urbanity, between public, professionalism and the domestic low-income housing estate. Minimal and high-end readymade clothing befitted the setting, with its cold marble, transparent glass and shiny metallic surfaces. In one image, descriptions of suits by Léonard-Fashion and Chloé connected them to the aesthetic of modernism, with their “precise cut [and] sober fantasy.” Models stood within portals, in gridded compositions of vertical and horizontal planes of architectural mass. Thus framed and camouflaged by the building’s features, the models displayed a similar monumentality and structure. Within this ambiguous setting, they were dressed less for function, than for protection and anonymity as, increasingly into the 1960s for the French, the dream of modernist progress waned alongside the corporate shift to La Défense and the discovery of realities of housing estates, both part of the same panoptic, governmental system.



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