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The Aids Memorial

The big picture

Par Kim Willsher - 1 mn

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Ready-to-Wear, Montmartre Paris, 1955. Marilyn Stafford/Courtesy of Lucy Bell Gallery

A model ventures out of the studio and on to the gritty streets of Paris in this 1955 shot by Marilyn Stafford

In 1950 s Paris, photographer Marilyn Stafford was commissioned to capture the glamour and elegance of a new fashion concept – prêt-àporter.
She took models out of the studios and into the gritty working class areas of the French capital, where they attracted the attention of curious children playing in the streets.

The result was a collection of black-and-white photographs showcasing the likes of Chanel and Givenchy that reflect both the style and the darker, dirtier side of the City of Light.

In this shot, a pouting child in a well-worn dress and scuffed boots sits perched on railings on the Montmartre steps, in stark contrast to the designer-clad model who is gesturing theatrically.

“I loved the streets. I wasn’t so interested in the clothes – I was looking for interesting places,...