Cathleen Naundorf, My Paradise Bird I, Chanel - Haute Couture Winter 2006 - n°53, 2008

Cathleen Naundorf, My Paradise Bird I, Chanel - Haute Couture Winter 2006 - n°53, 2008. Gelatin silver print.

ZURICH.- Galerie Edwynn Houk is presenting an exhibition of photographs by Cathleen Naundorf (German, b 1968). This is the Paris-based photographer’s first exhibition with the gallery and her first within Switzerland. 

Cathleen Naundorf studied painting and photography in the 1980s in Münich. It was a longstanding friendship and mentorship with the acclaimed fashion photographer Horst P. Horst (1906-1999) that sparked her interest in fashion photography. Through Horst’s tutelage and guidance, she began photographing backstage at Paris fashion shows for Condé Nast from the mid 1990s. 

Cathleen Naundorf, La fille en plâtre VII, Dior Haute Couture Summer 2007, 2009

Cathleen Naundorf, La fille en plâtre VII, Dior Haute Couture Summer 2007, 2009

Since 2005, Naundorf has been working on a series called “Un rêve de mode,” focusing on famous couture fashion houses including Chanel, Dior, Gaultier, Valentino, Elie Saab and Christian Lacroix. Because of her extensive knowledge and understanding of the garments, and her close rapport with the designers themselves, Naundorf has been granted unprecedented access to these Houses’s couture collections. She has been able to personally select gowns from the couturiers’ archives, and with her team of models, assistants, make-up artists, and hairdressers, she constructs elaborate and almost cinematic settings for her photographs, capturing the grace, grandeur, and remarkable beauty of the clothes. 

Cathleen Naundorf, La parisienne I, Dior - Haute Couture Winter 2009 - n°10, 2010

Cathleen Naundorf, La parisienne I, Dior - Haute Couture Winter 2009 - n°10, 2010. 

For nearly 15 years, Naundorf has been using large format cameras with Polaroid film. After shooting the image, she then transfers the film onto a special paper. Using various techniques and manipulations directly on the transfer, she creates a plethora of surface particularities, visible on the final chromogenic prints – the bleeding and blurring of the images, the pooling of color. For the black and white pictures, also shot on Polaroid film, each is reworked and retouched by hand. In all of her pictures, the various marks, distortions, and reworkings give the effect of a passing of time to a long ago grand age of elegance and beauty. 

Cathleen Naundorf, Secret times (Grand palais I), Chanel – Haute Couture Summer 2010 – n°48 & 49, 2010

Cathleen Naundorf, Secret times (Grand palais I), Chanel – Haute Couture Summer 2010 – n°48 & 49, 2010. 

Naundorf has exhibited extensively in Europe and in America, and her work is frequently published in various fashion and lifestyle magazines including Harpers Bazaar and Elle. The book Haute Couture: the Polaroids of Cathleen Naundorf was published in 2012 in a limited edition by Prestel. Naundorf lives and works in Paris.

Cathleen Naundorf, Untitled, Dior Haute Couture Summer 2007, 2009

Cathleen Naundorf, Untitled, Dior Haute Couture Summer 2007, 2009. 

Cathleen Naundorf, La parisienne III, Dior - Haute Couture Winter 2009 - n°10, 2010

Cathleen Naundorf, La parisienne III, Dior Haute Couture Winter 2009 - n°10, 2010. 

Cathleen Naundorf, Le dernier été, Dior – Haute Couture Winter 2009 – n°27, 2010

Cathleen Naundorf, Le dernier été, Dior Haute Couture Winter 2009 – n°27, 2010. 

Cathleen Naundorf, Around the hat, Philip Treacy, 2009

Cathleen Naundorf, Around the hat, Philip Treacy, 2009

Cathleen Naundorf, 5pm Kensington, Philip Treacy, 2009

Cathleen Naundorf, 5pm Kensington, Philip Treacy, 2009. 

Cathleen Naundorf, The Evolution of Fashion I, Dior Haute Couture Winter 2004 - n°6, 2010

Cathleen Naundorf, The Evolution of Fashion I, Dior Haute Couture Winter 2004 - n°6, 2010.

Cathleen Naundorf, The Evolution of Fashion II, Dior - Haute Couture Winter 2004 - n°25, 2010

Cathleen Naundorf, The Evolution of Fashion II, Dior Haute Couture Winter 2004 - n°25, 2010.

An Ordinary Day, Valentino - Haute Couture Summer 2008 - n°20, 2008

Cathleen Naundorf, An Ordinary Day, Valentino Haute Couture Summer 2008 - n°20, 2008.

Prima Ballerina II, Valentino - Haute Couture 1959, 2012

Cathleen Naundorf, Prima Ballerina II, Valentino Haute Couture 1959, 2012.

Valentino en rose, Valentino - Haute Couture Winter 2007 - n°59, 2007

Cathleen Naundorf, Valentino en rose, Valentino Haute Couture Winter 2007 - n°59, 2007.

My little darling, Dior – Haute Couture Winter 2006 – n°30, 2009

Cathleen Naundorf, My little darling, Dior Haute Couture Winter 2006 – n°30, 2009.

Les deux camélias, Chanel - Haute Couture Summer 2009 - n°30 & 60, 2009

Cathleen Naundorf, Les deux camélias, Chanel Haute Couture Summer 2009 - n°30 & 60, 2009.

The doubt I, Jean-Paul Gaultier – Haute Couture Summer 2009, 2009

Cathleen Naundorf, The doubt I, Jean-Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Summer 2009, 2009.

La fille en plâtre VIII, Dior - Haute Couture Summer 2007, 2009

Cathleen Naundorf, La fille en plâtre VIII, Dior Haute Couture Summer 2007, 2009.

Dolly IV, Dior - Haute Couture Winter 2005 - n°7, 2009

Cathleen Naundorf, Dolly IV, Dior Haute Couture Winter 2005 - n°7, 2009.