His eye for imagery and ability to create illusion is illustrated by his photograph of a ballet dancer in the role of Ondine for a calendar for ICI. ‘The girl was in the lake, surrounded by pale, pale blue and she was just coming out of the water.’ He photographed her in the lake at his mother’s house, Nymans, in Sussex, one freezing April morning. ‘I let off smoke bombs, but they didn’t work, so I lit some leaves to make blue smoke. I thought the poor girl would freeze to death, so I filled one of those thermos buckets with hot water, and put it just below water-level, and she was stood in the hot water – in gum boots; but you wouldn’t know it, because she was standing in the blue-lit haze.
Front row left to right: Jean Muir, Alice Pollock, Thea Porter. Second row: John Bates, Tim Gardner, Gina Fratini. Third row: Bill Gibb, Zandra Rhodes. Top: Mary Quant, Ossie Clark.
So many egos, so little space… I’m placing bets that Quant and Bates didn’t speak to each other for the duration. But it’s also nice to see Bates sitting with his friend Bill Gibb, and now I like to think that Alice Pollock and Thea Porter must have been quite pally as well.