Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Norman Parkinson: A Very British Glamour

Need testament to the glamour of the good old days? Then by all means, pick up a copy of Norman Parkinson: A Very British Glamour by Louise Baring. Parkinson, one of 20th century's most innovative photographers, captured the sophistication that was fashion during the 1930s through the 1980s. What was unique about his work was that Parkinson was one of the first photographers to shoot models outside of the studio, often posing them on the street or in some incongruous setting. (Look at the cover, above, which features a model in a butcher shop.) Much of Parkinson's work was featured in Vogue (both British and American) and Harper's Bazaar, magazines at which Parkinson worked with the likes of Alexander Lieberman and Diana Vreeland. In fact, it was Parkinson to whom Vreeland remarked "How clever of you, Mr. Parkinson, also to know that pink is the navy blue of India."- this in response to Parkinson's photo of a model posing in a pink coat in Jaipur.

While the text is quite interesting, it's the glorious photographs that make this book a must-have for you glamour pusses and fashion hounds. And if you're a fan of the legendary model Carmen, then you're in luck; there are lots of photographs of her posing for Parkinson through the years.

Celia Hammond photographed for a Wetherall advertisement, Paris, 1962

Carmen Dell'Orefice on a crane in front of Old Bailey, London; Queen magazine cover, September 1960.

"Young Velvets, Young Prices" photographed for Vogue, 1949, from the roof of the Conde Nast Building.

(All images copyrighted Norman Parkinson Ltd., provided courtesy of the Norman Parkinson Archive, London. Norman Parkinson: A Very British Glamour, by Louise Baring, Rizzoli New York, 2009)


  1. Carmen's a braver girl than I; Celia's daring is more my speed. Feet firmly on the ground.

  2. Love these pictures!!


  3. This is my kind of book & needs to be on my Christmas list. Thanks for sharing these incredible photos of an incredible era.

  4. Amazing photography and of course gorgeous fashion! Thanks for the book recommendation!!

  5. Amazing pictures, love the last one particularly. As for Carmen...what a personality!

  6. Love the look of this to Amazon, xv.

  7. Wonderful. I have always admired his photos and the gloves and hats. I think it is time for a new hat and gloves!