“ETHIOPIA – THE LAND OF THE LION” VOGUE UK, JANUARY 1969
Today we look at a British Vogue editorial on location in Ethiopia. It was 1968. Under the direction of Beatrix Miller, photographer Norman Parkinson, his wife Wenda Parkinson, 19-year-old model Maudie James and fashion editor Grace Coddington were sent on assignment. This resulted in a 10 page spread in the January 1969 edition – ‘Ethiopia, the land of the lion’. Wenda Parkinson’s written description, together with Norman Parkinson’s images, present to the Vogue reader a type of foreign correspondent’s report from a human safari. Wenda Parkinson writes of being ’tantalised’ by the discovery of ‘the land of She and other beautiful creatures’. According to the book Design and the Modern Magazine, ‘in these images there is a duel Otherness: the Ethiopians are represented as people with an enduring and incomprehensible mystique.’ Wenda writes that she ‘tried to understand and failed.’ Whichever way one may gaze at these images, they are an interesting look at one representation of fashion and travel photography in the late sixties.