Fashion photography constantly plays with its subject matter, clothes, hairstyles, body postures, notions of beauty, and these elements are neither fixed nor do they need have a purpose. They are there to be explored. The images are not just about surface idealism, desire or triviality or the chemical magic of promotion, and are not necessarily a reflection of society’s preoccupations. Rather they are “far more variously even densely anchored” .
The photograph went from a record and a form of entertainment to the explicit creation of consumer desire. Thus the growing circulation of fashion photographs, in the first two decades of the 20th century, also saw the emergence of modern advertising techniques.
With the explosion of digital cameras and social media, the content of fashion photography is now whatever may attract attention in that cultural moment of time. There is now infinite content and no standard of quality, and so photographs depict fashion images in any number of ways.
The image does not communicate a message about clothes, instead it conveys an aesthetic effect. Images in fashion are mostly fictional, their ‘reality’ is a construct designed to present value to the consumer, and to elicit a response.