Lillian Bassman

suality. Liberated from their former contexts, the pictures allowed Bassman to write herself back into the history books at age 80 with a sexy self-titled monograph released in 1997 and edited by Harrison.

In the years after the release of her book, Bassman's work enjoyed a renaissance, and she began photographing couture in Paris once again—this time with her models swathed in (he creations of John Galliano and Christian Lacroix. These seductive, smoky, black-and-white prints, perhaps more than any images that precede them, show off Bassman's classical sensibilities at a moment when fashion photography seemed desperate for new ideas and innovation.

"I didn't find that fashion had changed that much," she says. "You know, through the many years of photographing, fashion went up and down, up and down a number of times. By the time I got back to Paris for the go-round with The New York Times Magazine, we were back where I'd been before. Galliano, aside from the fact of making some dresses 40 feet long, had basically designed the dress the way I'd always seen that kind of dress ... I concentrated on what was elegant about the body and the face and the gesture."

Despite the undeniable presence of women photographers in fashion today, many believe the industry is

Lillian Bassman Herself

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