Norman Parkinson

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An Eye For Fashion

Norman Parkinson Photographs
British Designers 1954-1964

21 January – 15 April 2012
Bristol M Shed.

This exhibition of over 60 rare vintage photographs by Norman Parkinson was absolutely fantastic, and is well worth the visit if you get a chance (Which I highly recommend if you are interested in fashion photography!) The majority of these works were featured in Vogue magazine, as well as The Queen magazine – so already you get the idea of glamorous portraits. And I was totally thrilled to get to go!

The photos have such a timeless beauty about them; all the models and locations are all subtly yet impressively staged so that they look completely natural. Though every single detail from the weather to the locations colour scheme is controlled to Parkinson’s meticulous preparation and perfectionism. The end results perfectly capture the mood of an era in such a way that only great photographs can – the fashion, the personalities, the sophistication and passion. A lot of the photos have a sort of romantic attraction which I find particularly alluring, making me wish I was a part of that time; or at least cover my wall in the pictures!

The exhibition was made more special by the fact there are vintage clothing on display as well as the photographs. They really helped put the context of fashion into the room. This really is something to visit, its not the every day standard gallery with pictures merely stuck on a wall. You can tell a lot of effort went in to this, and is something to be admired.

These are some of the photographs on display in the gallery.

Queen Magazine, 1960

'I'm a plain girl', Advertisement for Cadbury's Bournville 1963


6 thoughts on “Norman Parkinson

  1. Hi – There is also a fantastic catalogue available with the exhibition of all the images shown and details of designers and names of the models of the day – at the Mshed shop

    • Hi, thanks for commenting! The catalogue is great, the other books are too – I treated myself to ‘Portraits in Fashion’ as well as multiple postcards! Myself and a few other photography degree students are hoping to come along to your talk in March! We absolutely loved the exhibition, we couldn’t praise it high enough.


  2. I’m a fan of Norman Parkinson. I’m glad we criss-crossed visits on our respective blogs. I’ll come more often to see what you do.


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