The Man Who Gave Us Dirty Swank

Helmut Newton brought hard-edged sex to fashion photography. Now he looks back on his own libido

Alexander Liberman, the legendary art director of Vogue, once put it this way: "A fashion photograph is not a photograph of a dress; it is a photograph of a woman." That's not the half of it. Like a building, even a bad one, a fashion photograph is the picture of an age, full of signposts to whatever spirits are at large. You sense that right away in just about any picture by Helmut Newton, photographer of consequence, full-time provocateur, dirty old man. In the 1970s Newton became famous with fashion shots that introduced to the pages of Vogue the black leather...

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