Dorian Leigh, pour Elle collections Haute Couture, 1955
© Georges Dambier
Silver gelatin print
Georges Dambier was born in Paris in April 1925.
It was at the beginning of 1942, during the war that Dambier started working for the famous artist and poster designer Paul Colin. Colin was responsible for introducing this budding young apprentice to fashion, interiors, antiques and most of all beautiful Parisien women.
At the end of the war, Dambier got his first job with a magazine. Here at “Presse” Dambier met and assisted the up and coming photographer Willy Rizzo.
But he quickly moved on from assisting and became a photographic reporter himself working on a range of stories for “Le Tout-Paris”. It was his taste in graphics and women that started him to specialise in fashion and within a few years he was regularly photographing the likes of Dorien Leigh, Suzy Parker and Brigitte Bardot.
It was not long before Helene Lazareff, the famous editor of ELLE phoned him up one day and offered him a position on her magazine This was a fantastic opportunity and obviously Dambier jumped at the chance. It was while working with ELLE that he became one of the first French photographers to take models out of the studio and in to the street for their shoots. It was in the streets of Paris that Dambier took some of his most memorable photographs.
It was in May of 1954, that his friend Robert Capa suggested to George that they start up a “Fashion Department” of the photo-agency Magnum. This unfortunately never happened due to Capa’s unforeseen death in Vietnam few days later.
As Dambier continued, he became one of the most prevalent fashion photographers in Paris in the 50’s. He opened a large studio in the centre of Paris and started working for all the leading fashion magazines and clients, including Vogue, Elle, Jardin des Modes, Loréal , and all the Grands Couturiers.
Now, at the age of 80, he lives in the Dordogne in his family house.