In the ’80s, Peter Lindbergh’s photos shirked the decade’s definition of beauty and instead aimed for something at once simpler and more visceral—photos that turned glamour inward and celebrated the subject. In doing so, his work not only served as aesthetic counterprogramming, but also redefined the limits of fashion photography. Now a new book, Peter Lindbergh: A Different Vision on Fashion Photography (Taschen), tracks his storied collaborations, over 40 years, with designers such as Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs, Versace, and Yves Saint Laurent.
“I thought it was a very interesting idea,” Lindbergh says of the book’s layout, which is organized by designer, “although dangerous for a photographer who has tried to keep a healthy distance from the fashion business.”
Despite his tremendous output of work, the book makes clear Lindbergh has remained unwavering in vision. Any of the over 400 photos featured could be from any decade and—were it not for the clothes—for any brand. There is only his largely monochrome simplicity, his penchant for realism (with a slightly subversive edge, à la Diane Arbus, one of his heroes), and, above all else, his desire to capture the emotional truth of his subjects. Capturing the “invisible” part of them, Lindbergh tells editor Thierry-Maxime Loriot in the book’s essay, is his ultimate goal as a photographer. “I realized that I’ve worked quite independent from the fast-changing trends over all these years,” he says. “I’m happy that my views have evolved, but never really changed.”