Stunning black and white portraits show models in the 1950s learning how to master the catwalk


Stunning retro pictures have offered a behind-the-scenes look at the famous Gaby Young Agency during the 1950s and 60s.

The incredible images show a model learning the correct way to walk in 1965 with her stomach in and pelvis forward. 

Elsewhere a young hopeful is seen being interviewed by Gaby Young herself in 1950, while Young and her secretary are pictured coping with busy telephones that don’t seem to stop ringing.

Modelling proved to be a coveted profession even fifty years ago, as one call a minute came through to the West End office at the time.

Other striking shots show Gaby Young modelling a Reveille coat in 1951, and one of Gaby Young’s models walking along Regent Street on her way to work.

Meanwhile a model pupil practiced the sitting position she learnt the previous week, with her hands clasped neatly on her knee and legs on the opposite side.

The remarkable photographs reveal the inner workings of one of the UK’s top modelling agencies during the 1950s and 60s.

The Gaby Young Agency was originally known as the Gaby Young Mannequin Agency as models were known as mannequins in those days.

Gaby Young-MacKinnon started off as one of Christian Dior’s muse and house models and later started her own atelier in Mallorca, Spain.

Gaby appeared on the cover of a range of magazine’s, including Vogue, and and big walked for an array of designer names.

Her agency was coveted among aspiring models, and taught them how to walk a catwalk, do a three-point-turn, take their coat or jacket off during a walk, and exit the car in a ‘lady-like manner’ – knees ‘firmly pressed together’.

First class models would take Gaby’s three-week course, before being signed off by her and passed onto a photographer, where they would see if they could get work. 

Daphne Selfe, who is still modeling at 92, told in her eBook how these lessons were invaluable – but how she was forced to learn ‘on the job’ how to fend of employee’s advances.  



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