Would These Photos Change Fashion?
Tonight BBC Four ran Seven Photographs That Changed Fashion in which fashion photographer Rankin seeks to re-create his favourite iconic photographs. David Bailey made an appearance (the only one of the respective group of greats who is still alive) to witness Rankin's attempt at reproducing the magic of his portrait with Jean Shrimpton (and taunt him a bit as well), as did Lillian Bassman and the original model from Helmut Newton's Le Smoking photo - taken more than 30 years earlier - who was around to share her reminiscings about that night in the backstreets of Paris.
The re-creation models included Erin O'Connor, singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor (who looks best without make-up), Jade Parfitt, and Daphne Guinness, who got right into her sexy shoot. The one that least hit the mark was the re-staging of Bailey's Jean Shrimpton portrait with Rankin's girlfriend posing - a blonde with arms that were just too long to get the shape right. And there's nothing like the Shrimpton nose. Bailey even joked "You might as well have brought in Naomi!"
It's supposed to be about the Yves St. Laurent jacket, right? Le smoking? In the re-stage you don't think about the jacket - you notice Jade's forward left leg, the stiff, bent arm. Her pants were too tight to fit a hand into a side pocket comfortably. I can't recall the name of Newton's model - she nailed the chic and confident Parisian woman. And she's still a stunner 30 years later.
Rankin. Homage to Erwin Blumenfeld - Vogue, 1950
Erwin Blumenfeld. Jean Patchett. 1950