ca. 1943 — Model wearing double-breasted mustard-color tweed coat from Henri Bendel.
Extraordinary Color Fashion Photography Taken During the 1940s by John Rawlings
John Rawlings (1912-1970) was a mid-20th-century American modernist photographer who worked for Condé Nast for 30 years.
He grew up in Ohio before moving to New York in the early 1930s, and was hired by Condé Nast in 1936 as an assistant to Horst P. Horst and George Platt Lynes during their time at Vogue.
Rawlings was promptly sent to England in 1938 to set up an in-house photography studio at British Vogue. He shot more than 200 Vogue and Glamour magazine covers, as well as working on commercial print and television ads, portraits, and nudes.
Rawlings returned to America in 1940, and by the end of the decade was experimenting with light, using a combination of reflective materials with natural and artificial light.
The 1940s and 1950s were important decades in American fashion that photographers like Rawlings helped create and document. His iconic images capture the less theatrical and pared-down American aesthetic perfectly.
Charles Dare Scheips Jr., former director of the Condé Nast archive, has said, “Rawlings was certainly the first major Condé Nast photographer to demonstrate a truly American eye.”
ca. 1940 — Standing model in red wool slack suit emblazoned with eagle figure, with white shirt and white turban, surrounded by mythological illustrations.
ca. 1943 — Model on striped couch wearing a deep green wide-neck knit dress by Hattie Carnegie, jewelry from Seaman Schepps.