Norman Parkinson was undoubtedly the father of fashion photography. From the 1950s onwards he transformed the way models are shot and brought them to life with movement and expression. Prior to this all fashion shoots were stiff portraits taken in studios. He preferred to shoot them out in the world hence many shots are at dockyards, in the street or at markets. 

This weekend a fabulous exhibition, Eye for Fashion, of his work opens in Bristol (UK) showing sixty original vintage prints, most of which have never been seen before. They are owned by Angela Williams who was his assistant. She eventually became independently successful and was known for shooting famous faces but she has devoted the last fifteen years to sorting out these Parkinson prints.

BELOW: July 1959 in the Bahamas Norman Parkinson and the model Carmen Dell'Orefice who is still modelling. They were shooting a Bahamas-themed edition of Vogue.

BELOW: Photograph: Norman Parkinson. This shot is from 1963 and was for the cover of Life magazine but wasn't used (models include Melanie Hampshire and Celia Hammond)

BELOW: Photograph: Norman Parkinson. A vintage print from April 1964 Queen magazine: 'How to Kill Five Stones with One Bird' featuring Nicole de la Marge with Rolling Stones Bill Wyman, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts and Brian Jones.


BELOW: Photograph: Norman Parkinson. Jaeger Advert.


BELOW: Photograph: Norman Parkinson. Jean Shrimpton in a Cadbury's Bournville advert from Queen magazine June 1963.


BELOW: Photograph: Norman Parkinson. Queen magazine March 1960 models showcasing Saxone & Dolcis shoes.

Which of these prints do you love? Do you have a favourite fashion photographer or are you a budding one? I love to read your comments so please do comment on this blog.

Plus of course do take a look at the FOUR pages of fantastic vintage pieces from the 1960s we have here on Lovely's Vintage Emporium. Click on this link! Lovely's Sixties Fashion

*The exhibition 'Eye for Fashion of British fashion photography by Norman Parkinson from 1954-1964 is at Bristol’s M Shed from Saturday 21st January until Sunday 15th April. Original 50s and 60s clothing from the museum's collection will also feature, showcasing high street fashion designs from this period. Entry free every last Wednesday of the month: Wed 25 January, Wed 29 February & Wed 28 March. Normal Entry fee £5/£4.

Love Lovely x


All photographs copyright Norman Parkinson Ltd and are courtesy of Norman Parkinson Archive