Anne Gunning: One of the Most Stunning Models of the 1950s

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Born 1929 as Anne Gunning Parker, Irish fashion model Anne Gunning became the house model of Sybil Connolly, who was introduced to America by Carmel Snow.

Anne Gunning in the 1950s

American photographer Milton H. Greene photographed her during his 1953 trip to Ireland, where he was shooting for Connolly. The 10 August 1953 cover of the Life magazine featured Anne Gunning in Connolly’s red Kinsale cape and white crochet evening dress, with the headline “Irish invade fashion world”. This cover helped the two women gain international recognition.

Gunning went on to work with many notable photographers, including Norman Parkinson, John French and Mark Shaw. She and Barbara Mullen accompanied Parkinson to India, on an assignment for Vogue. She also worked in Paris, New York City and London.

Anne Gunning limited herself to photographic modeling, despite requests from designers like Coco Chanel to be a part of their stage shows. She did only one fashion show – for Sybil Connolly – as a favor. She was afraid of falling down on the stage, and remarked, “that sea of faces glaring at me was too daunting.”

Gunning died in 1990 at the age of 61.

Take a look at these vintage photos to see the beauty of Anne Gunning in the 1950s.

Anne Gunning in Balenciaga’s exquisite ensemble, photo by Frances McLaughlin-Gill on the Escalier des Ambassadeurs, Versailles, Vogue US, 1952

Anne Gunning in ‘Bainin’ tweed coat with large lapels and pockets by Sybil Connolly, photo by Milton Greene on Wellington Quay in Dublin, Ireland, 1953.

Anne Gunning in ‘Bainin’ tweed coat with large lapels and pockets by Sybil Connolly, photo by Milton Greene on Wellington Quay in Dublin, Ireland, 1953

Anne Gunning in evening mantle by Irish fashion designer Sybil Connolly, photo (variant) by Milton Greene on location in Ireland for LIFE, 1953

Anne Gunning in evening mantle by Irish fashion designer Sybil Connolly, photo (variant) by Milton Greene on location in Ireland for LIFE, 1953

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