Fashion Lesson- The Grace, Glamour & Gravitas Of Beautiful Women In America

Photographer and ex-Vogue assistant Claiborne Swanson Frank has just published a fantastic coffee table book for Assouline titled, “American Beauty” Capturing the true essence of Americana the women are all superstars of the creative persuasion, editors, socials, models, designers, musicians and artists.

"My goal is to find something that takes your breath away...I dream to shoot my vision of spirit and soul. I set out to take portraits that capture women in their greatest beauty and truth, whatever that may be." - Claiborne Swanson Frank
During her two years as an assistant to the infamous Vogue Editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, Claiborne Swanson Frank decided to change directions. Born in Naples, FL and growing up between Florida, London, and San Francisco, this self-taught photographer chose to take a road traveled by many, but with only few reaching success. In such a short time, the now fine art photographer has been making quite a name for herself. Since her start in 2010, Swanson Frank already has one book, Indigo Light, under her belt. Released as a collection of 29 portraits of women in her life, Indigo Light lead to the inspiration for her second release, American Beauty.

To Swanson Frank, portraiture is a collaborative process; she works with each woman to present her at her very best, but also remembers that the clothes should always be the woman’s own; it’s not a fashion shoot, but a moment of being, crystallized in time.

In an interview with The Huffington Post Swanson Frank was asked what was different about being a woman in America, “To be a woman in America is such a gift because we have such a freedom to express ourselves and to celebrate our accomplishments. I wanted to tell that story through portraits of these women, through these conversations. There’s been two wars, the collapse of the economy, 9/11, and women in America are wildly different now than ever before -- this really hasn’t been explored on this level before. This is the new creative guard, in a sense.

When asked about the fact that the women in the book are young she responded, “I purposely wanted to keep it young – up to the mid-forties, because I wanted to really explore how these women became who they are today, and I thought it was important to have a mix of women in their twenties figuring it out, and then a women crushing it in their thirties and forties. It made me explore the journey of women as I was going through it myself.”

The oversized book showcases 100 photographs in total with a beautiful cover featuring model Lily Aldridge.

Clairborne Swanson Frank
This self-portrait was taken on the banks of Lake Hennessy in Napa Valley. Claiborne is clad in her favorite army jacket, sitting in the back of her tomato-red Land Cruiser with her dog, Gator.

Jenna Lyons, J. Crew Executive Creative Director

Erin Fetherston, fashion designer

Isca Greenfield-Sanders, artist

Serena Nikkah
Serena Nikkhah, fashion publicist

Ashley Bernon, Philanthropist

Images VIA Assouline

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