The first picture is Joan Bennett, taken by Edward Steichen in 1928. I seriously thought about Mona Lisa at the first sight. The light is on the right and the darkness makes her dress even darker, kind of hard to see. But from this picture, what the audiences get is a sense of attracting through her eyes and her tiny forwarded pose. Her eyes are amazing that I even felt sweat and satisfied just looking at her. The picture size is towards the formula of Golden Ratio for me and even how her face and body weights in the frame is based on kind of vertical Golden Ratio.
The other picture is a campaign post of Gigi Hadid. When I found the first picture, this advertisement is what I thought directly. Different from the first picture, the second one is brighter and attracting people in another way. Because this is an advertisement, the character only has half of the frame and has to leave the other half to the brand and product. She is wearing shirt that opened to half of her body and sitting in a casual way. There’s a huge difference of gestures because of societal movements so I don’t think that women in the 1920s can even sit like Gigi Hadid.
However, it is quite clear that fashion photographies in the early decades, like 1920s, or even before, are more artistic, rather than fashionable. Photographers were selling a sense of beauty through the atmosphere but not simply focusing on body parts to remind people of sex. I like the old way better because it includes the audiences’ personal ideas and understandings, and it is much much better to see something subtle rather than too straight forward to the nasty.