Monday, April 14, 2008

Jane Lumb

Another of my great influences from the 60’s has passed away. As a teenager, I was inspired by the creativity of Mary Quant, David Bailey, Brian Duffy, David Hockney and Peter Blake. I couldn’t get enough of the fashion, music, poetry, art and design that was churning out of London and Manchester at an incredible rate. It was also the era of the first supermodels: Twiggy, Jean Shrimpton and one of my favorites, Jane Lumb.

You might not have heard of Jane. She died recently from breast cancer and was about 65. Jane was always a favorite of my favorite photographers, David Bailey and Brian Duffy, and she appeared in the 1964 classic A Hard Day’s Night and a hard to find fringe movie called Reflections on Love (I remember Patti Boyd’s sister Jenny also appeared). Jane was featured in one of the most iconic cultural breakthroughs of the era, the first Pirelli calendar. It published in a chic limited edition and was a must-have for every garage in the UK (and for every teenager who could lay his hand on one). Photographer Brian Duffy used Jane for the 1973 calendar created by one of my favorite artists Allen Jones, who I’ve been collecting ever since. To all these iconic firsts, you can add the fact that she was the first blond ever to be the face of Fry’s Turkish Delight. To anyone living in England at that time, we are talking about the forefront of groovy, sexy, chic appeal.

In true 60’s style, Jane Lumb lived with David Bailey’s assistant for a while and then got involved with Tony Hicks, the guitarist of that great Manchester band, The Hollies. She had an English degree and continued to work in music through the 80’s and 90’s.

More recently, Jane worked for Anton Mosimann (a great chef) and, accordingly to some press reports, spent the past two years as a receptionist in Harley Street, along with marking exam papers.

What a life. A Hard Day’s Night to marking papers. Sic transit gloria. I was very saddened to hear of her passing.