High Fashion Poses vs Glamour poses

Discussion in 'Portraits and Fashion' started by delta-photography, Jun 26, 2008.

  1. This might seem a silly question to many, but I am struggling to understand the difference between high fashion
    poses and typical glamour.

    I have been watching America's Next Top Model and it keeps going on about High Fashion poses compared to
    Glamour type poses but for the life of me I can't find any resource which explains the difference.

    Your thoughts would be appreciated.

  2. Not my specialty, to say the least. But I've always thought this way: high fashion is about showing the clothing (or the setting, or atmosphere, or other showcased accessories, or hair, etc, to their best advantage). Glamour is about the person doing the posing. While that doesn't speak in practical terms about the differences between one arm placement or chin position and the next, it dictates what it is that's important as lighting and posing is considered.

    As with most any deliberate photographic process, it's all about being able to answer one question: "Why am I taking this picture?" It all trickles down from there. High fashion is about ... the fashion. Glamour is about (usually) the woman. It's simple enough, as one looks through the viewfinder, to ask: "Is the way the model is arching her back makeing the most of the dress, for the sake of the dress ... or is it making the most of her bust?" Not that those two things (so to speak) are mutually exclusive. But I can see how being vigilant about asking those questions throughout every moment of the shoot would be one of the things that differentiates a skilled fashion photographer from someone who is more green.
  3. mike dixon

    mike dixon Moderator

    Look through issues of Vogue and Harper's Bazaar for examples of fashion poses. Look through Stuff and Maxim for examples of glamour poses. And keep in mind that America's Next Top Model is a "reality" show designed to entertain; it's not a realistic look at the world of fashion. About 95% of the girls who appear on that show wouldn't get a second look if they walked directly into a fashion agency.
  4. The difference is functional. A fashionista may want to keep fashion magazines on her coffee table, but she may also not want her significant other giving them a second, or even a first, glance. Likewise a dominant female can walk into a room and behave in a manner that instantly draws the attention of other women and establishes her social rank, without drawing the eye of a single heterosexual male. Women have to do this for essentially the same reason professional wrestlers go through a glare-grunt-and-groan performance that is obviously staged--to avoid putting each other in the hospital. Peck rights are negotiable and recreational, competition over males is a serious business.
    I agree with the comments about Top Model above. Tyra has a forte for doing whatever is Bankable, and she goes all out to make her show persuasive. Watch the other professionals, particularly Twiggy and Paulina Porzikova. Their comments are usually restrained and quite vague, and they seem to be holding their noses.
  5. I will also add Cosmopolitan Magazines can help too!
  6. Without getting into a long explanation of product advertising, board meetings, art directors, market segements, product placement, etc... VERY simply put high fashion poses showcase the product, glamour usually showcases the model.
  7. Glamour is eye candy, and the girls often "make love" to the camera.

    Commercial fashion has been described above, and can be seen in a Victoria Secrets catalog and the above mention magazines.

    High Fashion, often now, refers to Couture Fashion-- the poses are unnatural and bizzare. They are often seen done by Benny Ninja on the show, and look like the Vogue dance moves from the 90's. None of the above magazine features these poses on a regular bases, but can oft be found in high end (e.g. Neiman Marcus) fashion retailer's catalogs, and of course promotional ads for such shows.
  8. Absolutely agree with everything said here. Certainly TV is not a good place to go for inspiration. Try the library and the fabulous history of fine art portraiture represented in books by the great photographers. You may never get there, but those are the people to emulate. To say nothing of all the things to be learned from the great painters (e.g. the Flemish) and their way with light, bodies, expressions, etc. and especially COLOR!

    To my mind, what goes for 'glamour' these days is usually more like what used to be called pinup or cheesecake photography. Worse yet, when it's awkwardly done (which is typical) it makes both models and photographers seem cheesy.
  9. My take is easy... Glamour - Rude, High fashion - Classy!
    Another aspect is this... a high fashion model likely COULD move to glamour if they wanted to, the other way around is VERY unlikely. Even those with some level of fame at best got to host tv shows and never made it past the gate.
    Also, High fashion requires a model to have a certain stature, typically, you don't see that in glamour. If the model is curvy it works in glamour, not so in high fashion.
    So, apart from the posing aspect, the shapes that are struck, most glamour models wouldn't be able to replicate it due to their body shapes. (typically)
    Look at the shots... feel the image, seeing the difference is relatively easy!

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