Photography junkies will be happy to learn of photographer Viviane Sassen’s latest publication, “In and Out of Fashion”, which compiles selections of her award-winning fashion photography over the past seventeen years.
The beautiful volume features hundreds of images alongside essays on her work, and a bibliography that documents every fashion editorial Sassen has shot from magazines including Purple, AnOther Magazine, i-D, and Fantastic Man. “In and Out of Fashion” accompanies Sassen’s first retrospective on view at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.
Sassen’s clear-cut aesthetic is unmistakable; saturated bright colors, high contrast, surrealism, and a pronounced usage of shapes mark her work as that of a true innovator. Sassen spent three years as a child living in Kenya, and the experience greatly influenced her visual sensibility. About her experience, she states, “I remember looking at women and children sitting under the trees sheltering from the sun and, even as a child, seeing these graphic shapes.”
Despite the fact that “In and Out of Fashion” features exclusively fashion images, Sassen has spent her career working in two very different (though aesthetically cohesive) milieus of photography: in both documentary and fashion. Sassen maintains that the two are very separate for her, though the two bodies of work clearly derive their aesthetic from her formative years in Kenya.
Inspired by artists including Nan Goldin, Larry Clark, Nobuyoshi Araki and Richard Billingham, Sassen has long advocated the use of the photography book as a medium. “In and Out of Fashion” joins her roster of stunning photo collections, and provides a well-deserved context for this maverick’s body of fashion photography.