“She’s got it. I’ve never seen anything like it. She doesn’t have a bad angle. You want new, you want young. You want anything remotely near the twentieth century, possessed of actual functioning sexual equipment…she’s your girl.”
I must admit, the sixties is one of those eras that I wish I was born into. The Beatlemania, the short skirts, Woodstock, and never doing what your mum and dad told you to do.
Jean Shrimpton, one of the icons of the teenage revolution in the sixties, was the subject of a one off TV movie aired on BBC4 on Thursday night, with the spotlights turned on her relationship with photographer David Bailey and their first visit to New York with Vogue.
And in case you weren’t aware from all the grainy black and white pictures that defined a generation, she was a ginge…WAHEY!
*adds Shrimpton to Redheads Who Rule The World list*
Karen Gillan, a Ginger Parrot favourite (and one to watch this year) swapped the TARDIS for a tumescent pout to play Jean, with Welsh wonderboy Aneurin Barnard playing her tempestuous lover, David Bailey. We’re taken on a journey throughout the throes of their troubled relationship, from their sexually charged first glance to their antics taking photos in The Big Apple and annoying their elder colleagues with the provoking nature of their photos. I mean, she’s standing with her legs are AT LEAST ten inches apart, this is Vogue, Bailey, not a third-rate top shelf rag of filth. Pray, what a SCANDAL!
Our dearest Karen does it all so beautifully. We all knew that gorgeous face could do more than look at the universe’s most terrifying creatures and give them a sharp-tongued putdown. Her Jean is graceful, quietly rebellious and when we say she’s got some lip, we mean it in more ways than one. The camera just loves her. Plus, the fashion is just diviiiine, darling. You’ll want to wear nothing but shift dresses, brogues and sunglasses the size of Jupiter for weeks.
You want a revolution though? Look to David Bailey, played with irresistible cockney charm by Aneurin Barnard. It’s more his story, how his vision of the young reclaiming “young” again was radical and outright scandalous to the big chiefs of fashion. A line that could nutshell it would be his comment on the clothes Jean would be modelling on the streets of NYC: “Well, they wouldn’t upset your mum, would they?”
Though we should really be tutting and disapproving – he was a married man, he and Jean were having an affair, her parents kicked her out, blah blah blah – we’re far too busy loving them ourselves. I had an inexplicable crush on Bailey by the end, with his floppy hair, leather jacket, shades, and far too much confidence for such a small chap, and an already substantial girl crush on sweet eyed Shrimp, loving them together was rather easy, quite honestly. Each shot felt like it was framed by Bailey himself, rich in colour and beauty, no matter who it was framing.
It co-stars Helen McCrory as the grumpy old bat standing in their way, Lady Clare, who is excellent. If you want to see our Karen take the redheads to skyscraper heights in sophistication, don’t miss this. She nabbed herself a National Television Award last weekend for Doctor Who (nice work, Gilly!) but this is no Amy Pond. The Doctor can wait, there’s a vintage Pentax camera out there, ready for her to work.
And…strike the pose!