At the weekend I went to the Norman Parkinson – An Eye For Fashion – Vintage Fashion Photography Exhibition at Bristol’s, M Shed. Situated on the top floor of the relatively new museum that celebrates everything Bristol, this exhibition is an oasis of predominantly black and white photographs, each with a story captured in its process. Through the windows of the M Shed, somehow fittingly, boats can be seen sitting contentedly upon the Avon. Walkways lie either side, festooned with wrapped up relationships and hot chocolates. Potential – and past – settings for fashion shoots, meandering walkers, lovers and thoughts spent wondering. On this gloomy day, the possibilities seemed open, a clear lens observing outwards.
Through photographs are world’s and times we can only find through remembering, or simply imagining. Parkinson manages beautifully to create a feeling that liberated moments have been quietly taken from time and transferred, artfully, in a timeless impressive style, to film. There is nothing dull, or lost. He is the spirit behind the pictures, the humour, lifestyle and sophisticated decadence. He is also: FASHION. Shown the way I love it to be. From within a story.
All images-Copyright Norman Parkinson Ltd/courtesy Norman Parkinson Archive
M-Shed’s, An Eye For Fashion, displaying over 60 rare vintage photographs from the Angela Williams Archive – April 15th. Entry £5/£4 and free every last Wednesday of the month – Wed 25 Jan, Wed 29 Feb & Wed 28 March.