Designer Roland Mouret turns curator for Norman Parkinson's Mouvements de Femmes

By Culture24 Reporter | 09 April 2013

Exhibition preview: Mouvements de Femmes by Norman Parkinson, Curated by Roland Mouret, The Octagon, Bath, until May 12 2013

A black and white photo of a man in a suit
Ronald Mouret turns curator in Bath© Norman Parkinson Ltd. Courtesy Norman Parkinson Archive
As a dress designer for a cast of stars including Scarlett Johansson and Victoria Beckham among its number, Roland Mouret – the creator of the iconic Galaxy dress – is used to watching others take the limelight. But this, his assemblage of the works of mid-20th century vogue snapper Norman Parkinson’s work, is his first attempt at an exhibition.

“It is an honour,” he says. “Parkinson is one of the first photographers to give his models the expression of movement, which allows the movement itself to become the centerpiece of his pictures.

“I’m very excited. He is a photographer who was an inspiration during my 20s, and someone who has unconsciously shaped a side of my creativity.

“The clothes were just following the movement. I love that.”

April 21 will be the centenary of Parkinson’s birth. To mark the occasion, his archive has been working with Bath in Fashion 2013, staging this exhibition inside a former Georgian chapel which was once home to the Royal Photographic Society.

As well as the usual atmospheric portraits of fashion’s finest, it’s also hunted down some shots which have rarely seen the glint of spotlights, as well as a 1948 magazine shoot set against Bath’s accommodating architecture.

“My aim,” said Parkinson, “was to take moving pictures with a still camera.

“If ever I took memorable pictures…it would have been because I insisted on seeing the clothes live – walked in, whirled and twirled in.” His photos are likely to give the same sense of irresistible momentum.


More pictures:


A black and white photo of a woman looking out on a street in a 1920s fashion shoot
© Norman Parkinson Ltd. Courtesy Norman Parkinson Archive
A black and white photo of a woman looking out on a street in a 1920s fashion shoot
© Norman Parkinson Ltd. Courtesy Norman Parkinson Archive
A black and white photo of a 1920s fashion model standing underneath a chandelier
© Norman Parkinson Ltd. Courtesy Norman Parkinson Archive
A black and white photo of a 1920s fashion model standing on an urban street
© Norman Parkinson Ltd. Courtesy Norman Parkinson Archive
A black and white photo of a 1920s fashion model walking outside a brick house
© Norman Parkinson Ltd. Courtesy Norman Parkinson Archive
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