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Rose Hartman’s ’Incomparable Women Of Style’ Opens At FIT

Originally Posted: November 08, 2011

Edward Callaghan

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Bianca Jagger rides into Studio 54 on her birthday, 1977. (Courtesy Photo: Rose Hartman)

Photographer Rose Hartman and Rosemary Ponzo. (John Wegorzewski)

New York City - For more than 30 years, photographer Rose Hartman has been chronicling iconic moments in fashion, style, and culture, capturing the glitterati at nightclubs, fashion shows, galas, clubs, openings. From Studio 54 to the Mudd Club to Hamptons' galas, Hartman's career has yielded a treasure trove of material that portrays incomparable women of high fashion, street style, and New York society through the eye of a social documentarian.

"Incomparable Women of Style: Selections from the Rose Hartman Photography Archives, 1977-2011" displays more than 60 photographs, including rare vintage silver prints developed by Hartman in her home studio, as well as some of her most well-known work reproduced on a large scale such as her classic image of Bianca Jagger astride a horse at Studio 54, rara avis the bejeweled Iris Apfel

The women shown in these photographs are a varied selection of style icons. Not necessarily Eleanor Lambert's Best Dressed List makers but women of unique personal style. The women - Jagger, Colette, Larissa, Jerry Hall, Margaux Hemingway, Nan Kempner, Diana Vreeland, Isabella Blow, Anna Wintour, Grace Jones, Vivienne Westwood, Naomi Campbell, Betsey Johnson, Donna Karan, Iris Apfel, Isabella Rossellini, Lauren Hutton, Paris and Nicky Hilton, Courtney Love, Madonna, and Diane von Furstenberg - among many others, were captured at fashion shows, design studios, fabulous parties, art galleries, backstage at fashion shows, and on the street.

Jean Shafiroff, Janna Bullock and Lucia Hwong Gordon. (John Wegorzewski)

A group of never-before-seen images of New York City's underground style icons is also on display. These are the Fashionistas, as Hartman calls them, whose style drove high fashion from the city's club scene in the late 1970s and early 1980s into the mainstream.

The exhibition starts with the story of Hartman's transformation from an English teacher to a much sought-after photographer provided access to the most exclusive clubs, parties, and events. The exhibition shows the breadth and diversity of her career through the women of style that she has photographed at New York City's of-the-moment events.

Colette and curator Anna Yanofsky. (John Wegorzewski)

Hartman's definition of a "woman of style" includes the designers who created style, the models who wore it best, and the young women who originated trends as they dressed to impress their club-going friends. Not simply the ladies who lunch crowd.

With a special focus on the span of Hartman's career, the show also traces Hartman's unique position as a working photographer who successfully transitioned from analog to digital. While carting around a camera, rolls of film, and a hand-held flash in 1977, Hartman still managed to capture candid shots at Studio 54 and behind-the-scenes photographs of fashion shows before press was widely invited to cover the pre-show preparations.

Among the first to view this extraordinary collection and congratulate Hartman were hundreds of friends, fans and subjects including Jean Shafiroff, Lucia Hwong Gordon, designer Berry Brown, Baron Christophe von Hohenberg, Cassandra Seidenfeld Lister, writer Anthony Haden Guest, the artist Colette, International wine dealer Chad Turnbull with Sheree Yellin, Russell Bush and David Lotz with Sandra Long, uber stylist Phillip Bloch, Edmundo Huerta, Carmen D'Alessio, Tia Walker, Peggie Walker, Alva Chin, Debbie Dickinson, Anna Slonim, Michele Gerber Klein, Joakim von Ditmar, Phillipe Bigar, Allison van Dyck, Bree Nichols, Dovanna Pagowski, Tammy Prunty, Kamila Pagowski and Lothar Troeller.

Betsey Johnson and Chantal in her studio, 1979. (Courtesy Photo: Rose Hartman)

Following the exhibition, the crowd headed over to NoMad hotspot Duo for more cocktails and nibbles.

"Incomparable Women of Style: Selections from the Rose Hartman Photography Archives, 1977-2011" is beautifully curated by Anna Yanofsky, a Master of Arts candidate in FIT's Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice program, in conjunction with Hartman, and under the guidance of Karen Trivette Cannell, MLS, assistant professor and head of Special Collections and FIT Archives.

Presented by the Fashion Institute of Technology's Gladys Marcus Library Department of Special Collections and FIT Archives, the exhibition opened the first week in November and will be on view through January 20, 2012. This exhibition is the first large-scale installation in the library and celebrates Hartman's generous gift of her entire photography archives to FIT.

A companion book,"Incomparable: Women of Style," will be published by ACC Publishing Group (London/New York) in fall 2012.


Related Articles:

Guest (rose Hartman) from ny says::
Nov 10, 2011 12:33 pm

Guest (Cassandra Seidenfeld Lyster) from FIT says::
Rose and Hamptons.com: Many Thanks for Many Years of Artistic collaboration.
Nov 9, 2011 8:32 am

Guest (rose hartman) from guest says::
Insightful. A million thanks. Appreciatively RH
Nov 8, 2011 11:27 pm


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