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!
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