Shrimpton, Jean (1942—)

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Shrimpton, Jean (1942—)

British fashion model. Born in 1942 in High Wycombe, England; married Michael Cox (a photographer), in 1979; children: son Thaddeus (b. 1979).

With her kohl-lined eyes, long legs and what photographer Cecil Beaton called "Pekingese features," Jean Shrimpton was seen as the epitome of a new type of woman of the 1960s: bold, hip and sexually free. She appeared on the covers of numerous fashion magazines, most prominently Vogue, and was featured on the cover of Newsweek in May 1965 (at which time she was making the unheard-of sum of $60 per hour). The following November, she attended the very proper Melbourne Gold Cup Derby in Australia wearing a skirt that stopped eight centimeters above her knees. As shocking as the briefness of her skirt—some consider it the debut of the miniskirt—was her failure to wear hat, gloves or stockings. The outfit was reported, condemned, and illustrated with photographs on the front pages of newspapers throughout the world. Shrimpton was one of the top models of the mid-'60s, along with Veruschka, Penelope Tree , and the preternaturally thin Twiggy , who soon eclipsed her as the reigning fashion symbol of the era. As her modeling career tapered off towards the end of the decade, Shrimpton made one poorly received movie, then turned to photography. She published Jean Shrimpton: An Autobiography, in 1990, and is now the owner and manager of a 17th-century inn in remote Cornwall, England.

sources:

Martin, Jean, ed. Who's Who of Women in the Twentieth Century. Crescent Books, 1995.

People Weekly. August 1999.

suggested reading:

Stoddard, Chris, and Angie Dickinson. Swingin' Chicks of the '60s. CEDCO Publishing, 2000.

Ginger Strand , Ph.D., New York City