— Lillian Bassman Photography

Beautiful and elegant lingerie photography by the late American photographer Lillian Bassman.

Lillian Bassman is well known for her work as a fashion photographer for Junior Bazaar and Harper’s Bazaar from the 1940’s until the 1960’s.


Bassman was fascinated by modern dance. She photographed friends in nightgowns and tried to capture the sense of movement.  She gained a reputation of being good at ‘that type of photography’ and these pictures got her her first commercial assignment.


Bassman did a lot of lingerie photography. Lingerie simply came her way – there was so much of it.


In the late 1940’s, after WOII , woman started to wear underwear that went with “the New Look’; underwear that would clinch and gather and smooth, that would give them barely there waistlines, strange pointy busts and hips of just the right proportion.  These were the women that Bassman photographed in her own style – mainly in black and white


As lingerie photography was not quite yet respectable in the late 40’s, Bassman shot the models so as to hide their features. She talked to her models and tried to make them feel as comfortable as possible.


Her images are involved, kind and loving.


Her book, Lillian Bassman: Lingerie’, published this month, is visual testament to how she captured not merely a new style but also a new female spirit and, as she put it, ‘a feeling of a woman being intimate with her own body’.



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