Many of filmmaker and fashion photographer Jerry Schatzberg's images in Paris 1962: Yves Saint Laurent and Christian Dior, the Early Collections are purposely blurred or grainy, suggesting the breakneck pace of the Parisian shows. Taken on assignment for Esquire magazine, Schatzberg's mostly black-and-white photographs capture staff setting up chairs, editors scribbling notes, and shows, photo shoots and after-parties in progress. Women in the audience wear pearls and dark glasses; models backstage drape themselves in robes or trench coats, sometimes with cigarette and champagne in hand.
An informative essay by Vanity Fair contributing editor Patricia Bosworth comes late in the book, putting the photos into context (readers learn, for example, that models wore their own shoes and did their own hair and makeup). This is an era, as documented in Schatzberg's studies, of gloves and large hats, extra-long false eyelashes and proper little suits for daywear - Twiggy, Mary Quant and Carnaby Street had yet to steal the scene. In Paris 1962, youth and fashion, both fleeting by nature, are frozen, perfectly preserved for fashionistas and photography buffs alike.