26 September 2009

is it Avedon?


The inevitable likenesses are made to the beautiful Jean Shrimpton- Though she is most closely tied to photographer-David Bailey-these are my favorite shots of the model-photographed by Richard Avedon.
I have the Vogue April 15 1968 issue with Shrimpton on the cover -again- photographed by Avedon & it is absolutely gorgeous. "Heroines All- A romantic Charade Starring Jean Shrimpton" by Avedon features 8 pages of Shrimpton evoking great 18th century beauties like Lady Hamilton(as Nature), Princess Mary(as Diana), The Duchess of Cleveland(as Minerva), striking poses of these goddesses as painted by the likes of Romney, Lely, Reynolds & Cosway. The model, the subject both beautiful- but the photographer is the magician. Every aspect of this forty year old Vogue spread could insert itself right into a current issue and all the better I might add.

Shrimpton as Nike by Richard Avedon*

... ethereal, au courant.

so when I saw this- I immediately thought, This is Avedon. What do you think? The lighting, the strong resemblance to Jean Shrimpton.

It is in fact-actress Kasia Smutniak. Is the photographer Richard Burbridge? I couldn't discover- and that is unfortunate because the photograph is breathtaking. I haven't sampled the fragrance-but the photograph will no doubt sell many bottles. The photographs here by Burbridge in 2008 again capture a beauty that I see in Avedon's photography. Whoever- the photographer is certainly influenced by Richard Avedon.

I just saw a wonderful quote by Avedon at the Errant Aesthete's site (here)

“The ideal of beauty then

was the opposite of what it is now.

It stood for an extension

of the aristocratic view of women as ideals,

of women as dreams,

of women as almost surreal objects."


It seems Giorgio Armani agrees-

“I have always carried with me an ideal of femininity – an irresistible combination of grace, beauty and independent spirit. IDOLE d’ARMANI is my tribute to this ideal, and to women everywhere.”

Whether right or wrong- It still seems to be this IDEAL Beauty Avedon describes that makes us think-

Ah Ha-"This is Beauty."

*from the 1968 Vogue April 15 issue
Read more about IDOLE here



  1. Vogue 1968! Did you just have that lying about on the coffee table? Beautiful, I don't know how you do it...

  2. Couldn't they come up with a name that is not a copy of Idole de Lubin?

  3. Blushing-the Vogue issues I have-I keep in plastic because they have unpleasantly aged fragrance wise-The seller had mold. BUT-I love the issues I have and this is one of them. GT

  4. Style- Guess the photo isn't the only thing being recycled- in looking for the photographer in researching-I read some similar comments on other blogs. GT

  5. I love that idea of beauty. And Avedon was a master at bringing beauty to us. I adored Jean Shrimpton when I was a little girl. She looked like London to me. Do you know if she still runs her inn in Cornwall??

  6. Pretty cool image there. I think Avedon is the best of all time, elegance,timeless. People will be admiring his work as long as there is art.

  7. Yes, I did make that connection ---
    Love vintage Vogues...

  8. I am so sorry to demur, Gaye, but I don't think Avedon succeeded in portraying Shrimpton as a goddess in the way that Madame Yevonde made her legendary series of mythic beauties from society ladies. Mind you I have only seen this image. Maybe I should see more to make a fairer judgment.

  9. Rosie,Demur do. I have reviewed the Yevonde goddesses and they are heavenly(?)Avedon's one model is superb& heavenly-some of Madame are less than and a few do look dated- but Y. could only evoke beauty from what was there and the costumes are phenomenal.It is interesting that Y, had the society ladies do the posing of the muses, while- A. photographed a model posing as 18thC. portraits of the muses. How far they would go for the perfect shot! I do think Avedon's subject the singular beauty of them all- except Diana Mosley and another beauty as Ceres. Y.'s portraits are perfection from the photographer. I wouldn't compare them. They both stand on their own.
    I loved seeing the series in succession here http://www.users.waitrose.com/~felice/godessgallery.htm
    Which someone should blog about. I wasn't familiar with them all-though they are Yes Heavenly!
    (I may have to scan some others of A. & and send them your way)-demuring back at'cha. Gaye

  10. Beautiful ! We love Jean: http://fashionableearth.org/blog/2009/10/16/jean-shrimpton/



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