Monday, 13 February 2012

David Bailey ... Jean Shrimpton

 David Bailey reveals real story behind TV drama based on his relationship with Jean Shrimpton
Jan 26 2012 By Steve Myall in The Daily Record.

AS the 50s drew to a close, fashion magazines were full of dull, upperclass women in boring, stiff poses, wearing twinset and pearls. And then came Bailey and The Shrimp.
The meeting of the working-class David Bailey - son of a tailor in London's east end, and an arrogant but talented photographer - and Jean Shrimpton, a middle-class farmer's daughter, kickstarted the swinging 60s.
He was 22 and married, and she was 17 but their love affair and the revolutionary pictures from their first assignment for Vogue captivated the world.
Tonight, their relationship is dramatised in BBC4's We'll Take Manhattan, starring Doctor Who's Karen Gillan and Welsh actor Aneurin Barnard.
Bailey was married to his first wife, typist Rosemary Bramble, when he spotted Jean in 1960 in a shared studio where she was modelling for a cereal ad for fellow photographer Brian Duffy.
He said: "I looked into the studio and she was against a blue background and it was exactly the same colour as her eyes. It looked as if I could see through her head to the background.
"I said to Duffy, 'Who is that girl?' And he said, 'She is too posh for you.'" Bailey, now 73, was working for Woman's Own but his pictures were creating a buzz, so Vogue's art director tracked him down.
Signed up by the fashion magazine he called Jean in to do a bridal shoot and the pair soon became lovers. But the first time Jean asked him back to the family home, things didn't go well with her father.
Bailey said: "I had to hide in the hay loft, over the pigs, because he came after me with a shotgun."
Bailey was asked to fly to New York to shoot for fashion editor Lady Clare Rendlesham - a woman used to those aristocratic models sticking to stern poses in beautiful places - and demanded he be allowed to take his girlfriend.
Far from the traditional, staid fashion pictures, he took offbeat, realistic poses shot against gritty backgrounds.
Vogue loved the pictures and they changed the industry forever. But an essential ingredient was the accessible, yet awkward beauty of Shrimpton, soon known around the globe as The Shrimp - a nickname she hated.
"Shrimps are horrible pink things that get their heads pulled off," she said.
Bailey once said of his cover girl: "She was magic. In a way she was the cheapest model in the world - you only needed to shoot half a roll of film and you had it."
And she has since said of him: "He was lovely. Everybody loved him - birds, men, old girls, homosexuals. Everyone."
In her autobiography Jean, now 69, wrote: "We were instantly attracted.. and whenever we worked together this attraction created a strong sexual atmosphere."
Jean said in 1964: "My meeting with Bailey was a fateful one, for I owe everything that I have since become as a model and as a woman to him. He taught me that I must have a mind as well as a body."
But she was never comfortable with success. When Bailey took her to nightclubs, she'd take her knitting with her. They lived together in a scruffy flat and their relationship lasted until 1964 when, said to be fed-up with his cheating, Jean left him for actor Terence Stamp.
Bailey said: "I had three or four other girls on the go. I couldn't complain."
"Losing Jean... it was like losing my camera. I did make Jean into the woman I wanted her to be and she was kind of perfect. It's great when you can talk to somebody and just do a nod and they know. If you have a big relationship with a model, you don't have to talk. Most models now can't even work a dress."
Later, Jean famously rejected lothario Warren Beatty and in her early 30s retired from modelling, taking up photography and living with poet Heathcote Williams.
She later married photographer Michael Cox and they bought a hotel in Cornwall.
Bailey went on to marry French actress Catherine Deneuve in 1965.
They divorced in 1972 when he took up with model Penelope Tree, who was 17.
By 1974, he was with Hawaiian model Marie Helvin, who he married, creating one of the decade's most iconic couples.
Bailey then fell for English model Catherine Dyer, more than 20 years his junior, and they married in 1986.
They are still together and have three kids. Bailey is still working and in much demand.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Did not! Even know! This was in the works! Thanks for the heads up!