Thursday, September 11, 2008

Spy Girl

Jean Shrimpton (November 7, 1942) is an English fashion model and icon of Swinging Sixties London.

Shrimpton graduated from the Lucie Clayton modeling school when she was seventeen. By the time she turned eighteen she was already an International sensation in the fashion industry. Shrimpton was working on both sides of the Atlantic and featured on the covers of Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and Vanity Fair. It was at this time she met and fell in love with photographer David Bailey. Despite the fact that Bailey was already married, the couple moved into a London basement apartment.

Three years later in December 1963, Bailey divorced his wife, but it was too late. Shrimpton, now known as "the Shrimp", no longer wanted to marry him. By January she began a three-year affair with film actor Terrance Stamp.

Although the Shrimp's face was famous all over the world her biggest contribution to the fashion world occurred in 1965. She was hired by the fashion company Orlon to present the prizes for the Melboourne Cup in Australia. Rather then give her a ready made outfit for the event they simply sent her fabric to create her own design. Shrimpton hired dressmaker Colin Rolf to assist. They discovered that there was not enough fabric for their designs, but they pressed on. The end result was a mini dress. The next morning after the Melbourne Cup, the Shrimp was on the cover of every major newspaper. Half of Australia was appalled by her attire and the other half delighted by it. The "mini" was born.

Shrimpton continued to model into her thirties. She had many relationships with various men, several of whom were already married. At 33 she opened an antique store. It was there that she met and began an affair with one of her customers, Michael Cox. In 1979 he divorced his wife and married Shrimpton, who was three months pregnant, at the Penzance register office. They held their wedding reception at the nearby Abbey Hotel overlooking the harbour. Soon after their son, Thaddeus, was born they purchased the Abbey and there they remain today running the hotel.

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