Norman Parkinson, to me, epitomises my philosophy of elegance, refinement and old world glamour. NP had that quintessentially vintage English eccentricity which surrounded true creativity - people who were not afraid of doing something different which would influence our lives long after they have left this world. Sadly, today profit is all and life has become more bland and mass produced or designer labelled - there is not as much tolerance of the unusual, the avant-garde, the eccentric, the dandy - doing something alternative. Even in English society, once a bastion of eccentricity, it has been much watered down - but think of all the great stylists - Oscar Wilde, Cecil Beaton, Quentin Crisp and many more.
NP is one of the masters. He often chose inspiring and unusual backdrops for his timeless fashion shots - a leader where so many have now followed. Today the artistry of the photographer is often overlooked for the celebrity or the designer. It is so refreshing not to know who the designer is - because it doesn't really matter - it's not about brand marketing - it's about the imagination of the photographer producing something beautifully glamorous which stays in our spirit, pure and simple.
The thing you are not realising is that Norman Parkinson was the first to take fashion photography outside of the studio. He invented the outdoor juxtaposition of couture with the ordinary or extraordinary, he was the trailblazer that allow the others to follow.