Collection Online

No title (Fashion illustration. Model Patricia Tuckwell)

gelatin silver photograph
39.8 × 28.8 cm
Accession Number
Australian Photography
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased through The Art Foundation of Victoria with the assistance of The Ian Potter Foundation, Governor, 1989
© Estate of Athol Shmith
Gallery location
Not on display
About the work

In a career spanning more than 60 years, Athol Shmith applied his elegant style to portrait, advertising and fashion photography.

Shmith's photographs of the 1940s highlight the opulence and sophistication of the haute-couture garments of the time. His photographs also suggest an implicit promise to the viewer that such style and beauty could be theirs.

This elegant photograph, taken in 1949, shows the clean lines of a Christian Dior dress to wonderful effect. A reference to internationalism is neatly suggested by Shmith who shows the model holding an illustration of another model in a baroque French interior. However, unlike the lushness of the illustration, Shmith's photograph has a pared down quality that draws the viewer's attention to the distinctively lean shape of the dress.