Donna Karan on Deborah Turbeville and the Power of Woman

Deborah Turbeville


Deborah Turbeville Atmosphere, Milan train station, 1978, Photographed for Italian Vogue

While photographer Deborah Turbeville’s photography isn't strictly of the fashion variety, her dreamy images have left the industry enamored for years—Donna Karan included.

The designer will host Tainted Beauty, an exhibition of Tuberville’s work at her London boutique, including work form her famous "Bath House" series for Vogue.

“She captures the beauty and power of a woman, as only a woman can,” Karan told Nowness in an interview with the site. “Deborah’s style is so distinctive and original, soft, yet with a strong presence.”

The designer is a collector of Turbeville’s work. “I've always put the woman before fashion, making her look good and feel good, rather than making a fashion statement of the moment,” she said. “Like Deborah, everything I do is to capture the spirit of a woman with sensuality and sophistication.”

Though the work on display with Tainted Beauty is mostly images originally shot for fashion magazines like Vogue and W, “it’s not obviously fashion photography,” said Jules Wright, founder of London gallery the Wapping Project and the curator of Tainted Beauty. “It is always her models that are powerful within the image, much more so than the client… Her heyday was before branding overwhelmed the images.”

It’s an apt pairing for Karan, whose designs eschew branding almost entirely in favor of real clothes that real women can wear.

“The Donna Karan woman embraces her femininity with confidence,” Karan said. “That's where her power comes from and she knows it. That's why I know my customer appreciates the intelligent beauty and grace in Turbeville’s work. It's all woman.”

Deborah Turbeville: Tainted Beauty opens in London on September 8, as part of Fashion’s Night Out.

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