Fashion's anti-Helmut Newton passed away last Thursday. Here she is in her own words.
Deborah Turbeville died last Thursday in Manhattan, New York, at the age of 81. Turbeville first gained acclaim in the early 1970s for her dark, moodily avant-garde approach to fashion photography, which stood in stark contrast to contemporaries like Helmut Newton and Guy Bourdin. She spoke to Dazed for the July 2013 issue on her anti-sleek aesthetic.
Turbeville’s photographs may evoke wistful memories of bygone times, but she shudders at the word “nostalgia”. The subdued romance and languid elegance of her images have a timelessness that has made her one of the last half-century’s defining fashion photographers. After arriving in New York from Boston, Turbeville became a fashion editor for the likes of Harper’s Bazaar and Mademoiselle. She began taking pictures in 1966, soon developing a soft-focus style that stood out from the sleek aesthetic of contemporaries like Bourdin and Newton. Turbeville’s intuitively rebellious work, ambiguously positioned between fashion and fine-art photography, has had a lasting influence on both fields.
I love that style is something you have innately – it can’t be bought