February 24th, 2012

Penelope Tree, Muse to Avedon, Models Again

© Mario Sorrenti for Barney's

Penelope Tree, who first modeled for Richard Avedon in 1966, is back, appearing in a new fashion campaign for Barney’s shot by Mario Sorrenti. This week’s installment of Who’s Shooting What has details on the campaign, the creative director behind it, and the other fashion personalities being featured. PDN Pulse would just add that at age 62, Tree looks great.

Vogue editor Diana Vreeland spotted Tree at Truman Capote’s famous Black and White ball in 1966, and asked her to model for Richard Avedon and later for David Bailey, who soon after ditched wife Catherine Deneuve and became Tree’s companion for eight years.

(Wow, there were a lot of Sixties icons packed into that sentence.)

Tree’s look ushered in a new, waifish look in models. Bailey told PDN in a Legends Online interview, “I think she changed a generation of young American girls.” Funny, now we look at photos of Tree from the Sixties or today, and she looks quite healthy compared to the anorexic models we’re now used to seeing. Tree has other assets besides her unusual looks. A student of Buddhism, she has been a patron of a charity which supports women’s groups in Cambodia. She was also, as Bailey told PDN, “Bright, bright, bright, bright.”

Related article:

Who’s Shooting What