Gloss: The Work of Chris von Wangenheim

Written by Mauricio Padilha and Roger Padilha, Foreword by Steven Klein

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Doberman biting the leg of model Christie Brinkley that wears a metallic high-heeled sandal by Geoffrey Beene Mention Condé Nast photo by Chris Von Wangenheim from

The first monograph on notorious photographer Chris von Wangenheim, whose shocking work epitomized the glamour and excess of the 1970s and reflected the fashionable underworld living life on the edge. Between the years 1968 and 1981, photographer Chris von Wangenheim shocked the world with a body of work that explored sex, violence, and danger in the realm of high fashion. Von Wangenheim’s dark photographs were emblematic of the time—an era that encompassed Deep Throat, the sexual revolution, punk, and porn—and continually challenged the viewers’ taste by its stylized depictions of suggestive (and often harrowing) narratives. His images appeared in every top fashion publication—including Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue Italia, and Interview—and he produced unforgettable campaigns for Dior and Valentino until he died in a car accident at age 39.

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Vogue 1973, Photo Chris von Wangenheim

This book, the first monograph on von Wangenheim’s career, contains over two hundred provocative and iconic images from this tumultuous era, including never-before-seen outtakes from memorable shoots with such supermodels as Christie Brinkley, Lisa Taylor, and the late Gia Carangi. Drawing on interviews with models, editors, art directors, and photographers who were influenced by him, the Padilhas revive von Wangenheim’s explosive depictions of the glamour and excess of the 1970s for a contemporary audience and reveal how his work continues to inform fashion imagery today.

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Donna Jordan in sequined bodysuit, circa 1977

Roger Padilha and Mauricio Padilha are the founders of MAO Public Relations and authors of The Stephen Sprouse Book and Antonio Lopez: Fashion, Art, Sex, and Disco. Steven Klein is one of the most challenging and provocative artists in photography and film. Klein’s riveting body of work consumes viewers and entices them into his extreme vision.

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Christie Brinkley, Photo Chris von Wangenheim
,Vogue, February 1977

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