Putting the romance back into glamour

1970s, 1980s, david hamilton, Inspirational Images, John Xavier

Imagine the location of Brig-a-doon as your backdrop, or the intimacy of a private country cottage as your studio with the prospect of photographing a selection of 20 beautiful English maidens. All this in your own time and, on top of this, making a profitable career out of such a desirable assignment.

The pursuit of a playboy or the pleasurable hobby of a titled aristocrat perhaps? In fact, it’s the dream of a qualified engineer with no professional training in photography. Canadian John Xavier has achieved such a desirable vocation…

Gradually he found he was marketing more of his own work and selling numerous pictures to a variety of men’s magazines. More recently he has been involved in the production of his first book. Entitled Every inch a lady, it is a photographic tribute to five of his most remarkable models...

I must admit to having a major soft spot for late Seventies/early Eighties vaseline-smeared David Hamilton-esque photography. The more over-the-top romantic and saucy the better. This superb set of photos were printed in one of those ubiquitous photography magazines of the time, accompanying an article about John Xavier. I think one of the models might possibly be Sylvestra le Touzel but I can barely see through the Vaseline I’m afraid.

Photographed by John Xavier.

Scanned from Photography, August 1981.

HMS Pinafore

david hamilton, Foale and Tuffin, Inspirational Images, jeff banks, miss mouse, ossie clark, seventies fashion, Vogue, website listings

I love this shoot from Vogue, July 1972 by David Hamilton (not diddy DJ David Hamilton, I am assured) who seems to have specialised in these dreamy, misty, blurry photos which capture the spirit of a perfect, hazy English summer’s day…

I love pinafores and mock pinafores. Something harking back to my childhood, no doubt. I went through a very bizarre phase (I was rather prone to them, I must confess….) where I couldn’t bear to wear skirts or trousers. I was convinced they would fall down, they never felt secure or tight enough, even shoved up under my armpits. So I lived in dresses and, mainly for school, pinafores.