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August 21, 2021

Stunning Fashion Photography by Serge Balkin in the 1940s

Born 1905, Serge Balkin was a celebrated photographer during his twenty-plus year career at Condé Nast Publications. An undeterred workhorse, Balkin’s images ran in Vogue, Glamour, and House & Garden. He used both black & white and color film to capture urban street scenes, celebrity portraits, fashion spreads, and home interiors, all with a sense of immediacy and elegance.

Fashion photography by Serge Balkin in the 1940s

In 1950, Balkin collaborated with fellow Condé Nast photographers Fredrich Baker, Constantin Joffé and Herbert Matter in opening a studio for advertising photography called Studio Associates, Inc. Outside of his career, Balkin was also known for his marriage to Nina Leen, one of the first female photographers to work for Life magazine.

Balkin died in 1990 at the age of 84. These stunning photos are part of his work that Serge Balkin took portraits of classic beauties in the 1940s.

Model in a double-breasted navy blue suit from a Vogue pattern, photo by Serge Balkin, Vogue, October 1944

Actress Carole Landis wears a short-sleeved blue dress from a Vogue Pattern together with matching gloves and John Frederics veiled hat, photo by Serge Balkin, 1945

Bijou Barrington in grass-green shantung dress with slot neckline, unpressed pleats, Coro pin, Vogue belts, photo by Serge Balkin, Glamour, 1945

Model is wearing fisherman blue beach-suit with green belt by Carolyn Schnurer, photo by Serge Balkin, 1945

Model is wearing knotted-fringe beach stole of unbleached printed muslin by June Groff, photo by Serge Balkin, Vogue, January 1945

Model is wearing mattress ticking capri pants with red trim together with sleeveless turtleneck from Hi-Dee, photo by Serge Balkin, Vogue, April 1945

Model wearing gray V-midriff swim suit with polka-dot ascot, by Claire McCardell, photo by Serge Balkin, 1945

Charlotte Payne in long brown jersey blouse, Farnsworth Black Watch plaid skirt, both by Tilly Schanzer, photo by Serge Balkin, Glamour, 1946

Charlotte Payne wearing white trench coat of Russian ermine from Reine, photo by Serge Balkin, 1946

Dorian Leigh in robin’s egg blue dress with bows on top of bare arms, gathered skirt, gold belt by Belt Creations, gold sandals by J & J Slater, jewelry by Hattie Carnegie, photo by Serge Balkin, Glamour, 1946

Fashion photo by Serge Balkin, Vogue, December 1946

Fashion photo of batik-style print summer wear, photo by Serge Balkin, Vogue, December 1, 1946

Lily Carlson wearing long white stole of Russian ermine and Russian fox, photo by Serge Balkin, Vogue, August 1946

Model in backless beach-dress, photo by Serge Balkin, 1946

Model in cocoa, short-sleeved blouse and beige skirt, wide leather belt with gold buttons by Criterion, gold sandals, photo by Serge Balkin, 1946

Model in corduroy white scoop-necked blouse with white skirt, both by Korday, photo by Serge Balkin, Glamour, 1946

Model is wearing batik printed shirt over white shorts, photo by Serge Balkin, 1946

Model is wearing striped rayon jersey dress with wrapped bodice by Mildred Orrick, photo by Serge Balkin, Vogue, 1946

Model is wearing yellow doeskin gloves and cigarette holder by Alfred Orlik, photo by Serge Balkin, 1946

Model wearing Claire McCardell's 'Arabian Nights' trouser set in gray rayon jersey, photo by Serge Balkin, 1946

Models one standing holding a cigarette case, the other holding red Morocco purse, both wear white hand-stitched pig skin gloves, photo by Serge Balkin, Glamour, 1946

Summer fashions in studio setting, photo by Serge Balkin, Glamour, December 1946

Actress Bambi Lynn, star of "Alice in Wonderland", in dress from Vogue Pattern #3173 and hat by Chanda, photo by Serge Balkin, Glamour, 1947

Dorian Leigh and Meg Mundy in print dresses by Traina-Norell, background painted by Eugene Berman, photo by Serge Balkin, Vogue, March 15, 1947

Joan Pedersen in silver mink fur coat, photo by Serge Balkin, Paris, Vogue, July 1, 1947

Meg Mundy is wearing grey muted plaid wool suit with teal blue hat, photo by Serge Balkin, 1947

Model in polka-dot shorts and jersey top, photo by Serge Balkin, 1947

Model wearing short-sleeved print dress by Joseph Halpert, background painted by Eugene Berman, photo by Serge Balkin, Vogue, March 15, 1947

Ford model Sandra Nelson in wool-alpaca coat by Originala paired with winter navy accessories and ocelot hat, photo by Serge Balkin, 1948

Jean Patchett in a black velvet theatre suit with white collar and cuffs worn with matching beret, photo by Serge Balkin, October 1948

Model is wearing white jacket with gold trim with two-piece bathing suit to match, all by Carolyn Schnurer, photo by Serge Balkin, June 1948

Model Joan Petit wearing navy, worsted wool coat by Lassie Maid and Madcaps’ pique hat in white, photo by Serge Balkin, Glamour, 1948

Model kneeling on white background wearing calico top based upon Jr. Vogue Pattern #6453 and black skirt based on Jr. Vogue Pattern # 3165 with cummerbund in calico, photo by Serge Balkin, Glamour, 1948

Model wearing dress with embroidered collar and cuffed sleeves by Nelly Don, gloves by Meyers, dyed linen shoes by Mademoiselle, and parasol by Town Umbrella Co., photo by Serge Balkin, Glamour, 1948

Mrs. William Paley (aka Babe Paley) in a light green wrap dress, photo by Serge Balkin, 1948

Katherine Cassidy in uncomplicated travel coat of Worumbo Polo Cloth, felt hat and cowhide bag, photo by Serge Balkin, Vogue, May 15, 1949

Lisa Fonssagrives in two tones of copper shantung, lighter tone dress and darker tone duster coat from Vogue Couturier Pattern no.477, photo by Serge Balkin, Vogue, January 1949

Mary Jane Russell in Juilliard wool tweed coat with black fox collar, photo by Serge Balkin, 1949

Model in yellow petal-top beachwear, photo by Serge Balkin, Vogue, 1949

Model wearing deep-throated two-piece dress in navy with straight little cardigan jacket in red, photo by Serge Balkin, Glamour, 1949

(Photo © Serge Balkin)




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