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Photographs at the very beginning of London's Swinging 60's
September 1, 2008 2:29 PM   Subscribe

Forty years ago, Swinging London was yet to swing. Everything was in black and white and, in class-bound Britain, fashion photographers were trades-men – polite, smart, seen but not heard. A new breed of snappers changed all that – Terry O’Neill, Brian Duffy, David Bailey and Terence Donovan. Bailey and Donovan started their careers in the West End studio of the doyen of fashion photographers – John French.

Celebrated East London photographers at that time.

Terry O’Neill
, about.

Brian Duffy, a well known photograph of his, David Bowie.

Terence Donovan


David Bailey. A bit about him and his girlfriend, Jean Shrimpton, a popular model of the day.

The Counterfeit Body: Fashion Photography and the Deceptions of Femininity, Sexuality, Authenticity and Self in the 1950s, 60s and 70s
The Age of Sex: Bad Boys and the Sexualized Body in 1960s Fashion Photography


John French at the Victoria & Albert Museum
posted by nickyskye (11 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is an awesome post. As an aspiring fashion photographer, I find that the trends today tend to focus on overdone "stories" that try to make up for the photographers lack of ingenuity with his visuals. These guys proved that you can make a woman and her clothes look gorgeous without overusing props and Photoshop. They had to be good because there was so little to help them make up for it if they weren't.

Thank you!!
posted by arishaun at 3:01 PM on September 1, 2008


Awesome. I just watched Blowup last week too.

...so I'm really getting a kick out of these replies?
posted by Venadium at 3:39 PM on September 1, 2008


Smashing Baby!
posted by tellurian at 4:21 PM on September 1, 2008


This immediately made me think of Blowup, too. Great period flick.

Scrolling down to about the first 1/4 point of the John French link, the photos of models with light-projected patterns are really cool.

Great post, once again, nickyskye. Great to have you back around these parts again.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:33 PM on September 1, 2008


If you want some more back story on Swinging London, Shawn Levy's Ready, Steady, Go!: The Smashing Rise and Giddy Fall of Swinging London is excellent. It makes the interesting, if not entirely rigorously defended, point that the whole Shrimpton/Twiggy waif look came about through postwar rationing causing malnutrition.
posted by scruss at 5:41 PM on September 1, 2008


/aww shucks flapjax. Thanks.
posted by nickyskye at 6:37 PM on September 1, 2008


Wow, how did he find the time to drum for Captain Beefheart?
posted by StickyCarpet at 6:41 PM on September 1, 2008


Hmm, forty years ago, really? That was September 1968. Swinging London was over by then, really; the real party was 1964-67.

But the fashion photographers you list were marvelous, and these links are great, so thanks for that.

Another book that's even better than Levy is Jonathon Green, All Dressed Up, but good luck finding a copy.
posted by Fnarf at 6:44 PM on September 1, 2008


Fnarf, copies of All Dressed Up are available on AbeBooks for under $50.
posted by nickyskye at 9:25 PM on September 1, 2008


He, I was just watching Blowup yesterday. What a bunch of great links, thanks!
posted by dominik at 6:21 AM on September 2, 2008


There was an interview in the Observer recently with Penelope Tree which made for fascinating reading. Lily Cole reminds me of her a great deal.
posted by mippy at 1:33 PM on September 2, 2008


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