In 1957, French philosopher and critic Roland Barthes wrote: "In France, you are not an actor if you have not been photographed by the Studio Harcourt."
Founded in 1934 by Cosette Harcourt, in conjunction with couturier Robert Ricci and the Lacroix brothers, Studio Harcourt has immortalised many of the 20th and 21st centuries' most glamorous individuals - Karl Lagerfeld, Michelle Yeoh, Marion Cotillard, Jean Paul Gaultier, Coco Chanel, Brigitte Bardot, Fan Bingbing, Salvador Dali, Anthony Wong Chau-sang, Simon Yam Tat-wah, John Malkovich, Spike Lee and Jia Zhangke, to name but a few.
And now Hongkongers can undergo the Harcourt treatment - the Parisian institution is coming here this week for the first time, in the guise of a pop-up studio.
The studio's trademark approach to portraiture harks back to that beau monde of the 1930s by using tungsten lighting and producing 24cm by 30cm prints.
"The lighting effects capture the character's soul, depth and three-dimensionality," says a spokesman. "Photos are taken at close distance to the subject in its best light, creating a halo of light and dark."
Studio Harcourt's pop-up will be at the Four Seasons hotel in Central on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, from 10am to 10pm. For more details and bookings, call 2179 5534.
Studio Harcourt has photographed celebrities including (from left) Anthony Wong, Marion Cotillard, Salvador Dali and Fan Bingbing. Photos: Studio Harcourt