The coolest of the Swinging Sixties It girls by far. “Hot, hot, hot. Smart, smart, smart.” This is how John Lennon described the effortlessly cool, aloof Penelope Tree. Once the girlfriend of photographer David Bailey, she got her start after being photographed at one of Truman Capote’s infamous soirées. Absolutely striking, with large, round, doe eyes and chiseled rosy cheeks, there is no face like hers. When I first saw her I was enthralled by how odd looking she was, like a tribal, sage alien from a jungle on some far away planet. A fucking icon. Which Tree is your favorite? Photos: David Bailey, Richard Avedon & Clive Arrowsmith.
Yoruba for “we have arrived.” African photographer and creative director Oye Diran travels back in time to the 60s. Reminiscing on old family photos he cites “curated memories from his heritage as inspiration.” It reminds me of Kehinde Wiley, when I went to see his Byzantine exhibit at The Brooklyn Museum. We were there, but never represented. When you think of Africa in the 60s what fashion originally comes to mind?
My love of art in all forms and the vessels who produce it, knows no bounds. All of which I’ll share with you. Teenage me went through this OBSESSIVE phase with the 60’s and 70’s, believing myself ill-fated for being born afterwards. I was suppose to be a swinging mod, a rockstar groupie (maybe in the GTO’s with Pamela De Barres shagging Mick Jagger). Even though the term supermodel was coined in the 80’s, I still acknowledge Penelope Tree, Donyale Luna, their contemporaries and the lady above, Jean Shrimpton folks. Her sister Chrissy Shrimpton was Mick Jagger’s ex-girlfriend, he wrote the song Under My Thumb for her. But I digress. Jean Shrimpton was the muse for iconic photographer David Bailey. The British model appeared on countless covers, helped launch the mini-skirt and was coined “The Face Of The Sixties.” Big baby blues, pillowy pink lips and a jawline to chisel ice, she personified the swinging mod. An icon folks. Which photo of Jean is your mood? Photos: David Bailey, Gianni Penati and Richard Avedon.