Irving Penn and Mario Testino

With the return of the midi skirt, along with Raf Simons citing the Dior archives as the predominant inspiration behind his latest collection for the house, it seems a sense of mid-century glamour is having a moment. As Vogue’s leading photographer, Irving Penn’s sharp postwar imagery pierced the pages of the magazine in his signature high-contrast, black and white imagery. Penn’s unforgettable cover for the magazine’s April 1, 1950 issue features an immaculate Jean Patchett, enveloped in net and wrapped in a scarf, much like a life-sized New Look Barbie. For Vogue China’s December 2013 issue, Mario Testino would look back to Penn’s oeuvre with an editorial reminiscent of Penn’s early work at Vogue. Model Shu Qi plays the role of Jean Patchett, restaging some of Penn’s most well-known imagery.

Jean Patchett by Irving Penn for Vogue April 1 1950.

Shu Qi by Mario Testino for Vogue China December, 2013.

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