Model, muse, fashion and war photographer… Lee Miller is a woman who truly defied categorization, having spent her life evolving constantly, and always remarkably. So we’re thrilled that historian Becky Conekin chose Miller’s role in fashion as the subject for her latest book—and even took a minute to tell us more about it! “Lee Miller in Fashion” recounts the story of a girl who overcame trauma to become undeniably successful, strong and seductive—Man Ray was just one of many admirers who immortalized her in numerous works. But she immortalized herself as well, primarily through fashion self-portraits that illustrate how her talent defied boundaries.
In a world where models become designers and actresses, Miller’s relevance as a woman who moved from model to fashion photographer to war correspondent is apparent, yet she isn’t a household name. Conekin’s interest in the artist was piqued as she taught at the London College of Fashion and realized “women academically a generation ahead of me… who taught at art colleges used her as an example of a kind of strong artist, assertive beautiful woman who takes her career into her own hands. They were obviously very impressed by her…and that moment seemed to have passed …I just said well, there’s more to be known about her.”
Filled with striking images of Miller and her own work, “Lee Miller in Fashion” takes us through the journey of a woman whose influence may often be overlooked, but can never be forgotten. “She was a glittering young thing on somebody’s arm as well as being feisty and opinionated, an autodidact and funny,” Conekin told us. Many designers have based collections on her (like Frida Gianna’s very first for Gucci) but we wanted to know what all women could learn from such a remarkable life. Conekin’s take away? “No matter what life throws at you, you can probably survive it and keep creating yourself and you’ll end up at the end of your life some kind of spectacular renaissance woman even though you feel that’s not true when you’re doing it.”
That’s some advice we can get behind.