Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Capital of Cool: new photography exhibition celebrates London's Swinging Sixties

Traffic 1960 C Norman Parkinson Ltd.  Courtesy Norman Parkinson Archive.jpg

Fancy stepping into the dazzling London of the sixties, an era bursting with possibilities? Now you can with a new exhibition titled: Swinging Sixties London – Photography in the Capital of Cool.

Touching on all of the remarkable developments in and around photography at the time: fashion, celebrities, music, magazines, design and social change, this exhibition by Foam in Amsterdam showcases the work of iconic photographers of the sixties –  often as famous as the stars in their heyday.  
Featuring work by Terence Donovan, Brian Duffy, Norman Parkinson, John ‘Hoppy’ Hopkins, Eric Swayne, Philip Townsend and others, we are lucky enough to have a got a very small glimpse of some of the images featured.

English actress and singer Jane Birkin, pictured below by Eric Swayne, became well known for her relationship with Serge Gainsbourg. Paving the way for Alexa Chung, Lana Del Ray and others, she became the namesake of the Hermès Birkin bag.

Jane Birkin

Jane Birkin, 1965 © Eric Swayne

Eric documented icons like Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and the creative contemporaries that made up their infamous social circle throughout the 60s. His fresh, reportage style - and open access to the iconic faces of the time - eloquently evokes the innocence and hope of the unique era.

Mick Jagger

Mick Jagger, 1964 © Eric Swayne

Terence Donovan's game-changing fashion photographs were key to the English movement in fashion photography in the 1960s, he represented everything that was changing in the world of fashion; his eye altering the way women were perceived by the world. The shot he took below of Twiggy was groundbreaking.


Twiggy, 1966, Photograph Terence Donovan © Courtesy Terence Donovan Archive

Norman Parkinson (1913-1990) was instrumental in taking portrait and fashion photography beyond the stiff formality of his predecessors and injecting an easy and casual elegance into his impulsive and unstructured images which became icons of twentieth century style. Traffic from 1960 is an example of just one.


Traffic, 1960 © Norman Parkinson Ltd. / Courtesy Norman Parkinson Archive

Brian Duffy was a key player in the ‘Swinging Sixties’ - with his high fashion and celebrity chic photographs. He helped redefine not only the aesthetic of fashion photography but also the place of the photographer within the industry. 


Brian Duffy: Photo Duffy © Duffy Archive

Socialising with actors, pop stars, royalty and the notorious Kray Twins, Duffy - along with Terrance Donovan and other key snappers of the era - represented a new breed of photographer and found themselves elevated to celebrity status.


Brian Duffy: Photo Duffy © Duffy Archive

Another highlight of the exhibition is the youth culture and social change on display through the work of lauded protest leader and photographer John ‘Hoppy’ Hopkins, accompanied by the moving and often cheerful shots by society photographer Philip Townsend. The pair showcase images from music, film, magazines, fashion and design.

Catch Swinging Sixties London until 2 September at Foam  at Keizersgracht 609, 1017 DS Amsterdam.



Photographs capture five decades of famous mothers and daughters


'Why are we Londoners so angry?'

Nicholas Kirkwood 2013.jpg

New exhibition showcases the evolution of the shoe


Architects plan to transform disused Tube tunnels into cycle routes


Sony World Photography Awards release finalist shortlist


London’s most tranquil and peaceful places



The one word you should never say to your partner

It can ruin your relationship, experts have revealed

by Kayleigh Dray
26 Oct 2016

Five orgasm myths busted and how to have better sex

Finding the fireworks

by The Stylist web team
26 Oct 2016

Ryanair are having a £2 seat sale to over 170 holiday destinations

But there’s a catch…

by Kayleigh Dray
26 Oct 2016

Quiz: Bake Off fans, which iconic GBBO star are you?

Are you a Mary Berry, Mel Giedroyc, Sue Perkins, or Paul Hollywood? Time to find out…

by Kayleigh Dray
26 Oct 2016

Police have shocking reaction to woman being groped on a plane

Police have shocking reaction to woman being groped on a plane

by Sarah Biddlecombe
26 Oct 2016

Drop everything: chocolate butter is finally here

The stuff breakfast dreams are made of

by Sarah Biddlecombe
26 Oct 2016

Cool cocktail recipes with unusual ingredients

Expert mixologist Oskar Kinberg reveals his sipping secrets

by Amy Swales
26 Oct 2016

Gin lovers, we have distressing news for you…

And there we were thinking 2016 couldn’t get any worse

by Kayleigh Dray
26 Oct 2016

The new Gilmore Girls trailer has us very worried about Lorelai

Lorelai and Rory fans, prepare for a series of bombshells…

by Kayleigh Dray
26 Oct 2016

Our kind of cauldron: darkly delicious Halloween cocktail recipes

Jacked-up Negronis and chilli-laced concoctions

by Amy Swales
25 Oct 2016