Stereo Imaging In Fashion Photography

How Hollywood (May Have) Inspired a Swiss Knitting Company In The 1950s

  • Leonie Häsler FHNW University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland, Academy of Art and Design
Keywords: Fashion, Fashion Photography, 3-D, Stereoscopy, Photography


Fashion photographs are generally two-dimensional images showing one side of a three-dimensional model. This paper, however, deals with far less well-known stereoscopic fashion photographs. Stereoscopy is a technique that creates the illusion of a 3-D image. Based on the image collection of Swiss textile and clothes company HANRO, the article analyzes the composition of 3-D pictures by putting them in a broader media-historical context. The archived stereoscopic photographs date back to the 1950s and show a series of women’s fashion. In the same period, Hollywood experienced a 3-D-boom that may have had a technical and aesthetical impact on these photographs. Although fashion is not mediated in moving images in this case study, codes or formal languages of a film are inscribed in the images, as will be shown in the following text. Building on these findings, this paper further discusses the influence of cinematography and other media practices on the fashion industry’s attempt to free its fashion imagery from the confines of a two-dimensional page.

Author Biography

Leonie Häsler, FHNW University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland, Academy of Art and Design

Leonie Häsler works as a Junior Researcher at the Institute of Experimental Design and Media Cultures/Critical Media Lab at the Academy of Art and Design FHNW Basel ( She is a PhD candidate at the University of Basel. Her dissertation takes a look at the design processes and manufacturing in the fashion and textile industry. It is settled in the field of design history and aims at leading the wide-spread concept of designing (in the sense of the German term “entwerfen”) back to the industrial context. To gather her data, Leonie is working with the archives of the former Swiss fashion company “Hanro”, mostly known for its underwear. Leonie received her B.A. in Literary, Cultural and Media Studies (German/French) from Siegen University in Germany and holds an M.A. in Media Culture from the same institute.

April 30, 2018
How to Cite
Häsler, L. (2018, April 30). Stereo Imaging In Fashion Photography. Networking Knowledge: Journal of the MeCCSA Postgraduate Network, 11(1), 38-55.