Norman Parkinson

It's February 16th 1960. Norman Parkinson, one of the twentieth century's best known fashion photographers, is shooting one of the decade's most in-demand models against the dramatic backdrop of the New York City skyline for The Queen Magazine. Called Nena von Schlebrügge, she's stunning, Swedish and also the future mother of a world-famous Hollywood actress: Uma Thurman. She's wearing a Jaeger coat in red, which just happens to be one of this season's hottest colours (see below for our edit of red pieces you can shop now).

It may seem surprising now, but the impulsive, unstructured, almost behind-the-scenes look of this image were at the time, revolutionary. Bored of the posed formality of fashion images of the past, Parkinson was determined to evolve a new, more casual, easily elegant style that won him commissions for Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Town & Country, and, of course, Jaeger. It made him a true innovator, and this style has influenced almost every photographer shooting fashion images today.

She was an exceptionally beautiful girl and, however you lit her, always looked wonderful

Norman Parkinson

Parkinson ‒ all six foot five of him ‒ appears in the ad (a device he used regularly throughout his career) with his signature handlebar moustache and Kashmiri wedding cap. The cap has its very own story: an accessory that he insisted was for vital for a successful shoot, and refused to work without.

Nena, meanwhile, sports a red tweed Jaeger coat and skirt while playfully posing for Parkinson. "She was an

exceptionally beautiful girl and, however you lit her, always looked wonderful," the iconic British photographer said of her (one of his favourites), whom he discovered while on location in Stockholm in 1955 when she was still at school.

Parkinson was determined to evolve a new, more casual, easily elegant style that won him commissions from Vogue to Jaeger

Nena's relationship with Jaeger began a couple of years before in 1958 when she first came to London, and Parkinson took her on a shopping trip to the flagship Regent Street store. "Norman took me shopping at Jaeger so that I would look 'presentable'. I remember buying a plain grey suit and a raincoat. Although it was summer, it was unseasonably cold so I had to add a cashmere coat."

Fast-forward to 2016, and Nena has swapped modelling for philanthropy. The founder of Tibet House ‒ a not-for-profit Tibetan cultural centre in New York ‒ she now also manages and develops MENLA: a world-class spa and retreat centre hidden in the mountains, just three hours north of the city.

Nena von Schlebrügge and Norman Parkinson, Queen Magazine, February 16th 1960

*Copyright Norman Parkinson Ltd, courtesy Norman Parkinson Archive

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