Thursday, 1 April 2010

Things to See: Photographing Fashion - British Style in the 1960s

Old or new, I love fashion photography. Done well, it can be edgy and avant-garde, or beautiful and elegant. I can never decide which I prefer, because I enjoy looking at it all, but I do have great respect for photographers, stylists and models who manage to combine technique with the ability to tell a wonderful story through their images.

Twiggy with Plait (1966) by Barry Lategan
Beautiful images like this one of Twiggy, by Barry Lategan, are iconic to me because they stay with me. The lighting is perfect, and Twiggy's huge eyes are completely mesmerising. Even a simple image like this tells a story and has a magical permanence.

The Fashion Museum in Bath is currently exhibiting a number of their 1960s pieces from designers like Mary Quant and Jean Muir, along with less well known and obscure fashion houses of the era. Together with the clothes, they are also displaying iconic images of 1960s British style (through fashion photography) from the Ernestine Carter Collection. Carter was Associate Editor of The Sunday Times throughout the 60s. It's a pretty safe bet that Twiggy will appear in a few of these photos!

Bath's Fashion Museum has undergone something of a revamp in the past few years, concentrating less on historical costume and more on twentieth century and modern fashion design. The rethink has caused a little upset amongst those who feel that the museum should continue to focus more upon historical costume, because it would be more in keeping with the architecture and feel of Bath.

I confess that when I heard that the museum had downscaled their pre-twentieth century displays, I was a little sad, but at the same time, I'm really interested to find out what's going on there now, as it's been a few years since my last visit. 

British Style in the 1960s runs throughout 2010.

Image courtesy of the BBC.


  1. I had no idea Bath has a museum of fashion, I must visit one day.

    I love fashion photography, as you know. I've recently watched September Issue and it was very interesting to see how much work goes into making of fashion photos

  2. Polly! I thought I was deleting every comment but one (as I'm guessing Blogger is having "issues" right now. Instead, I deleted them all! I feel terrible!

    But yes, Bath does indeed have a fashion museum. It's in the Assembly Rooms and is well worth a visit. Not as big as the V&A, but the pieces are just as fascinating.

  3. Hmm, looks like Blogger has decided to keep all those comments! I think I'll leave them be now.

    By the way, I really enjoyed The September Issue too!

  4. Oh no, so sorry about this mess! Blogger kept giving me error message so I tried a few times... Will know better for future!