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Jean Shrimpton (born 7 November 1942 in High Wycombemarker, Buckinghamshire) is an Englishmarker model and actress. Nicknamed "The Shrimp", she was an icon of Swinging London, possessing some of the gamine features that also made a huge success of the younger Twiggy. Her face appeared on the covers of Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and Vanity Fair magazines. She starred alongside Paul Jones in the 1967 film Privilege.

Biography

Shrimpton graduated from Lucie Clayton's modelling school at the age of 17 in 1960.

By the time she was 18, Shrimpton was already internationally famous with her face having appeared on the covers of Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and Vanity Fair.

In 1965, Shrimpton caused a sensation in Melbournemarker, Australia, when she arrived for the Victoria Derby race during Melbourne Cupmarker week. She shocked everybody by wearing a white shift dress which ended above her knees, a forerunner of the miniskirt which became a worldwide craze (this dress was designed and made by the young fashion designer, Colin Rolfe). Moreover, she wore no hat, stockings or gloves and wore a man's watch, which was very unusual at the time. Shrimpton was unaware she would cause such reactions among the then-prim Melbourne community and media.

In her article "The Man in the Bill Blass Suit", Nora Ephron tells of the time when Jean Shrimpton posed for a Revlon ad in an antique white Chantilly lace dress by Bill Blass. Minutes after the lipstick placard hit the drugstores, the Revlon switchboard lit up with calls from women demanding to know where they could buy the dress.

The fashion trendsetter was also a heartbreaker to many glamorous men she knew during her time as a world famous cover girl (including a stint as the face of Yardley of London). She was once engaged to '60s photographer David Bailey, on whom the David Hemmings character in the movie Blowup was based. They met on a shoot for a Corn flakes advertisement. His friend told him she was too posh for him, but Bailey was undeterred and the two subsequently had a relationship for four years. Her other celebrated romance was with actor Terence Stamp. As one of the most beautiful couples among the trendy denizens of Swinging London, the two seemed a perfect couple to outsiders, but Shrimpton dumped him, citing the actor's narcissism. Stamp has said that the break-up pushed him into anguish and despair, while she was quoted in a newspaper interview saying she doubted he ever loved her.

Shrimpton eventually found a more enduring love with her photographer husband Michael Cox, with whom she has a son, born in 1981. They currently run a small hotel in Penzancemarker, Cornwallmarker. Her younger sister Chrissie was also an actress, romantically linked to both Mick Jagger and Steve Marriott of The Small Faces.

She was mentioned in the Smithereens song "Behind the Wall of Sleep", which contains the opening lyrics "She had hair like Jeannie Shrimpton back in 1965".

Notes

  1. www.retrosellers.com/features109.htm by Bill Harry
  2. Ephron article reprinted in Wallflower at the Orgy, Bantam Books, July 2007.


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