Real Blow Up: Fashion, Fame and Photography in the '60s - 10
August, BBC TWO
think the Sixties is a time associated with photography more because
the photographers themselves became iconic, and became cultural
figures in their own right.
"I think prior to that, photographers had been the people,
as it were, very much behind the cameras," says David Puttnam.
The Real Blow-Up tells the story of the photographers who
cemented the image of swinging London and who, through their pictures,
irreversibly altered the face of fashion and pop.
the first hand accounts of the models and photographers themselves,
The Real Blow-Up examines the breaking down of barriers, the '60s
cultural melting pot and the explosion of opportunity and creativity
for those fortunate enough to be part of the scene.
everyone could be a celebrity - both behind and in front of the
musicians, models, actors and even gangsters mingled together in
clubs and restaurants - a world captured by the decade's newest
stars - the photographers.
The late 1950s was the elegant world of Cecil Beaton and Anthony
Armstrong-Jones where the models were ex-debutantes.
was the first photographer to break barriers in photography - his
pictures were cheeky and refreshing, a reflection of the fact he
did not take fashion too seriously.
work was to pave the way for the new decade when young Londoners
stormed the pages of Vogue, and new models Jean Shrimpton, Paulene
Stone, Jill Kennington and Celia Hammond replaced the elegant ex-Debs.
David Bailey says of the image that brought him to prominence -
a 1960 shot of Paulene Stone that ran in the Daily Express: "I
remember Donovan phoning me up and saying, 'Bailey, What have you
done?', and I thought, what's wrong? 'Do you realise this picture's
a breakthrough?' Now
you see it and think it's a girl with a squirrel."
went to Vogue, and photography was never to be the same again.
Mary Quant observes: "No fashion picture had ever been taken
like that before. It was just a great slap of excitement. It was
"When I showed the collections, I knew that I wanted the girls
to move like Bailey photographs, to jump and to be alive."
photography was no longer about clothes, it was about selling a
The Real Blow Up explores the astonishing changes in photography
- from the sculptural and polite forms of the '50s to the wild shapes,
locations and attitudes of the '60s.
Social change was documented through the fashion pages, and '50s
couture gave way to mini skirts and trouser suits, which in turn
gave way to kaftans and kimonos.
new style of photography led to working partnerships between models
and photographers - Celia Hammond and Donovan, Bailey and Jean Shrimpton,
and Paulene Stone and Duffy.
relationships paved the way for a greater intimacy in the images.
Later in the decade, a Barry Lategan photograph appeared in the
Daily Express of a young skinny model - the Twiggy phenomenon was
"What happened to me was a new thing
I don't know why
it happened to me. I just happened to have the look for the time,"
only in the fashion world were changes taking place, in the closely
linked music world, the revolution was underway.
Loog Oldham, the young manager of The Rolling Stones, hired Bailey
to shoot a new album cover for the band.
Bailey you had the opportunity to have the visual partner to what
you were trying to do in sound," says Oldham.
photographer Gered Mankowitz shares his memories of working with
The Stones and Marianne Faithfull - recalling the shoots that spawned
the now iconic images.
in an era where fame could be visited on literally anyone, Lewis
Morley created his now world famous image of Christine Keeler sitting
naked on a chair, an image on which he comments: "I don't think
it's such a great picture to tell you the truth."
Bailey featured young guns David Puttnam, Mick Jagger and Michael
Caine, alongside the Krays, Vidal Sassoon and Lord Snowdon in his
1964 collection, Box of Pin Ups - termed Bailey's Box of Tricks
publication attracted huge controversy - royalty combined with London's
most notorious gangsters.
it is now considered a collector's item worth thousands of pounds
- except for those who have mislaid the packing card!
glamour and decadence of the era were captured in Italian film-maker
Antonioni's 1966 film, Blow-Up, with David Hemmings in the lead
recounts the story behind his casting, and Terence Stamp recalls
how he lost the coveted role.
on the film's merits are divided - "I thought it was a load
of old rubbish," comments Lewis Morley, whereas Philippe Garner,
photography expert, notes: "Few films so perfectly capture
aspects of the mood of the moment - of London in the 1960s."
broadcasts on BBC TWO directly following The Real Blow-Up.
alongside Adam Faith's commentary are interviews with the key characters
of the era, including David Bailey, Lord Snowdon, Gered Mankowitz,
Lewis Morley, Twiggy, Lord Heseltine, Celia Hammond, Jill Kennington,
Mary Quant, Vidal Sassoon, Andrew Loog Oldham, Christine Keeler,
Molly Parkin, Nicky Haslam, David Hemmings, Daniel Galvin, Marit
Allen, Barry Lategan and George Melly.
unique insights lay bare the world behind the photography of the
most glamourous decade of recent times - the '60s.
The Real Blow-Up is a BBC production for BBC TWO. Producer/Directors:
Elaine Shepherd, Martina Hall
Executive Producer: Mary Sackville-West
visual testament to the culture of the 1960s, Blow-Up tells the
story of Thomas, a nihilistic, wealthy fashion photographer in mod
with ennui, bored with his "fab" but oddly-lifeless existence
of casual sex and drug use, Thomas comes alive when he wanders through
a park and stops to take pictures of a couple embracing.
returning to his studio, he develops the images, and through a series
of photo blow-ups, believes that he has photographed a murder.
Blow-Up was Antonioni's first English-speaking film, filmed entirely
Writer & Director: Michelangelo Antonioni.
includes: David Hemmings, Sarah Miles, Vanessa Redgrave, Verushka,
accompany The Real Blow-Up, BBCi shows exclusive clips of the programme's
interviewees, alongside key pictures of the decade.
Real Blow-Up site goes live from 9 August.