Patrik Demarсhelier

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About

Patrick Demarchelier (1943-2022) was a seminal photographer who revolutionized the canons of fashion and advertising photography. Renowned for capturing world-class celebrities, icons in fashion, and political figures, Demarchelier made numerous covers for leading fashion magazines, such as Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue. He brought a true revolution to fashion photography and, more broadly, the fashion industry.

In the 1970s, Demarchelier relocated to New York from his native France and vigorously collaborated with globally renowned brands and publications including Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair, Chanel, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Versace, Calvin Klein, and Celine. Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of American Vogue, wrote in her introductory article for Demarchelier’s monograph, “Patrick was one of the very first photographers to make the connection between fashion and lifestyle; his pictures convey how a woman interacts with style and the stylish world around her. The rest of the industry has been catching up with his vision – the ease, the charm, the naturalism, and the endless sunny optimism.”

As a portraitist, Demarchelier was known for his ability to capture the natural beauty of his models, which included Madonna, Hillary Clinton, Anthony Hopkins, Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, and many others. He created a series of photographs of Princess Diana and her sons, Harry and William. Remarkably, defying conventions, he became the first non-British official photographer of the British royal family.

Demarchelier’s artistic signature is easily recognizable: a distinct graphic quality, graceful lighting to which he paid special attention, sincerity, and natural beauty that revealed the character of world-famous stars. A signature trait of Demarchelier’s photographs is the “aesthetics of the candid shot”, as he endeavored to capture moments of natural beauty. “I try to create an atmosphere where the person feels at ease. I dislike the feeling that there’s a camera between me and the person being portrayed, so I do everything possible for them to forget about it,” Demarchelier once stated about his approach.

Over a career that spanned more than 40 years, Patrick Demarchelier achieved astonishing success due to his refined taste, elegant style, and unparalleled technique. Anna Wintour wrote, “Every woman looks more beautiful and more like herself in Demarchelier’s lens.”

In recognition of his contribution to the arts, the French government knighted him as a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2007. The following year, in 2008, he received the prestigious Lucie Award for his achievements in fashion photography.

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