• Norman Parkinson, Portraits in Fashion by Robin Muir

    I asked A-Y to procure this book for me, as I have an interest in photography, and it’s a biography of one of the foremost photographers of the twentieth century. It’s a quality book, printed on nice paper, with a harder than usual paperback cover.

    Interestingly the cover photo is one where the subject is out of focus, and the background pin sharp. For me this sums up the book. There’s a huge amount of detail about Mr. Parkinson’s studios, his opinion of other photographers of the times, and the development of his work as society changed. However there’s very little real detail about the man himself, such as how he managed to avoid call-up during World War 2, and why he fell out so spectacularly with Vogue magazine and had to go to court to recover his negatives.

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    The text is irritatingly tiny. Although I understand the need to create space for the pictures, many of this book’s readers will be needing a magnifier to read it easily.

    However, I think that can be forgiven, as the book holds a collection of stunning photos, taken from the thirties to the eighties. All beautifully composed and shot, they show beautiful women (Raquel Welch sizzles on the page) in beautiful locations, wearing and almost-wearing fabulous clothes. I like the ones shot with real people alongside the models, particularly in the ‘black and white’ London of the forties and fifties. And I loved a pair of really dramatic stunners featuring Jerry Hall in a red bathing costume.

    I give this book three wineglasses (a recommended read for all RPers), because everyone likes lovely clothes, beautiful pictures and beautiful women. Particularly those from an age where one didn't have to be Size Zero to be beautiful!

    Three wine glasses.


    Norman Parkinson: Portraits in Fashion by Robin Muir, is published by Palazzo Editions and is available for £14.99 from all good bookshops and via our website www.palazzoeditions.com

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