The Princess Bride by Kenneth Heilbron

Copyright Kenneth Heilbron

Copyright Kenneth Heilbron

There’s just something about this vintage fashion photo that makes me breath ‘Ooh la la’. Aptly titled “Princess Bride,” it was shot and signed by Kenneth Heilbron, a well-known photographer who did fashion shots such as this one for countless newspapers, magazines, department stores, models, and designers. His clients included large editorial names such as Time, Life, Fortune, and Chicago Sun-Times, just to name a few.

Heilborn was born in Chicago in 1903, and was apprenticed by his family to a milliner in 1920s Paris. Talk about being in the perfect decade for artisans in the perfect city. After he finished his apprenticeship in Paris, he returned to Chicago in 1932 and taught at the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as authored a textbook that is still used by fashion students to this day. He continued to shoot in and be inspired by Paris, which I think is prominent in this picture. The model’s expression, the glitzy crown and jewelry, her posture, and the way she is playing with the veil just all tie together in an elegant way, making it a visually pleasing fashion shot. Très couture.

Having died in 1997, Heilborn left his estate to the Art Institute of Chicago. Believe it or not, this was one of his works the school decided not to keep. Rejected or not, I wouldn’t mind having this special print hanging on my wall!

Warmly, Julia  Wedding Story Writer

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