Monday, January 31, 2011

Norman's Better Half?

Knowing that some of Savoir Faire’s followers are feeling a bit left out with my series of postings on the SS France, here is a little something to break up the monotony.

No one can deny that Norman Parkinson was one of the greats of fashion photography in the 20th century. Many of his photographs have become icons of the art and are instantly recognisable as being shot by Parkinson. Perhaps no more than other photographer did anyone catch the spirit and savoir faire of the 1950’s and subsequent decades as much as Parkinson.

So, you may ask, he had a better half?

Parkinson first met the future Mrs. Parkinson, Wenda Rogerson when she was a young actress at The Arts Theatre Club. At the time it was quite the norm for young and aspiring actresses to supplement their rather poor salaries by modelling. Cecil Beaton who had worked with Wenda previously, alerted Parkinson to her beauty and photogenic qualities. And aren’t we glad he did?

After marrying in 1947, between both of them with her husband at the helm and behind the camera, and she in front they created some of the most iconic images of 20th century fashion and style.

As well as being Parkinson’s muse and lifetime companion, Wenda researched and authored a biography of Toussaint L'Ouverture the Haitian slave-tuned-revolutionary, entitled This Gilded African in 1978.

So was she his better half?? They worked as a team and what a team it was!


  1. Great Post! Great photographer and images! And what a wonderful story (I feel as if I read about them recently but I can't remember where).

    P.S. I don't mind "the boat" posts.

  2. Now, I want to ride an ostrich!

  3. Dear David Tom, thank you for dropping by like you do. I truly appreciate you and your opinions, knowing your sophisticated blog makes it all the better.

  4. Such a lovely story and such enchanting pictures!

  5. ===============================================

    Your choice is wonderful as always !
    And i like so much the huge dress " à la John Galiano ", the one between columns....

    And thank You Super David....
    Have a great day !

  6. So interesting! What a fascinating, glamorous life these two led...

  7. The photos are just STUNNING and AMAZING-it’s a pity the generation we live in has relied so much on photo retouching and graphic’s that it takes away the natural beauty that shows in these photos.

    Next time your back in OZ let me know ;)

  8. I am convinced that when two talents come together, they create very special something. This couple is a perfet example...I absolutely loved the pictures, everything about them spells beauty and chic and glamour. Thank you for sharing it with me. :-)

  9. Iconic indeed! I have seen so many of these amazing photos before, but never knew the story behind them! So great!!!

  10. David Tom every time I come here I feel a world of glamour, savoir faire and good taste that I love, thanks for making us such a good moments!

  11. Dear All, I am not sure whether it is just me or not, however women seemed a whole lot more elegant and chic back then.

    Bruce, you are too kind

    Jill, when you do make sure I am there as photographer!

    Stacey, many thanks for your visit and comments.

    Jean-Pierre, it is always such a pleasure to have you comment, being my fashion designer!

    Escapade, I know It is all about the glamour!

    Sam, so true, everything is airbrushed to within an inch of it's life! Back home in November.

    Anya, you are so welcome. However I would have to say that you are so chic and glamourous as well!

    Zhush, I didn't know either, until I started doing some research.

    Elena, Thankyou so so much for your kind comments!

  12. Magnificent post. I loved it.


  13. such iconic images, glad to know the personal story behind them a bit more thanks to you David. Gorgeous post!


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