Glitterati: Shooting Fashion, Fame & Fortune

Image of Glitterati: Shooting Fashion, Fame & Fortune
Release Date: 
February 13, 2018
New Holland Publishers
Reviewed by: 

Glitterati might be considered a photographic diary of the lensman Robert Rosen. It is incontestably the visual record of the times, places, and people that this photographer has encountered and photographed during a decades’ long, well-traveled career. One might even make the connection and say that Robert Rosen was a still life version of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.

The big difference here is that the Rosen’s highlighted personalities are those who are mostly from London and Australia rather than the USA, which will make many of the personalities/designers unknown or little known to most readers. Rosen is a native Australian, hence the predilections and preferences.

“It’s hard not to see I am a little obsessed by elegant actresses.”

What is most intriguing about this monograph, aside from its images, is how the book is divided into chapters named Portraits, Performance, Designers, Fame, and Fortune and each one of these is then subdivided by location. It is rare that a book such as this is segregated by locational subtopics, but this is part of what enables the reader to grab onto Rosen’s context.

As Lynne Franks says, “During the days when I was organizing London fashion week, the wonderful Robert was always everywhere with his camera. From the fashion shows, the parties, the celebrities and the backstage moments, Robert was always therein his charming Australian way taking some of the best photographs of the seventies and eighties—”

The book is extremely intimate in terms of the photographer’s engagement with his subjects and the little tidbits that accompany so many images; suddenly the book transforms into a sort of visual dairy or personal scrapbook if you will of his travels and social life.

This is definitely not the usual fashion book as there are so many ancillary tangents that are offered by this photographer’s body of work. This is one of those books that can be assessed and appreciated on multiple levels and for that reason alone, the book requires a reader’s attention and notice.