While we can all name multiple Irish authors, actors and musicians. Who can name an Irish model? I thought as much. Yet the Emerald Isle has gifted the world atleast one shining example of a coiffed Coleen. Anne Gunning.
Born Anne Gunning-Parker in 1929 (no date is available as yet)in Cuckfield. While there is no account of Gunning’s early life, what is known that she got her big break into modelling thanks to Sybil Connolly. Gunning’s first major cover was in August 1953 for ‘Life’ magazine, taken by Milton H. Greene (who was responsible for some of the most iconic photos of Marilyn Monroe). From here Gunning was launched into the stratosphere of couture, posing for the likes of Norman Parkinson and for ‘Vogue magazine. Travelling to India, New York and Paris. So courted was Gunning by the world of haute couture that she even turned down the chance to walk the runway for Coco Chanel! She did only one catwalk appearance, for her old friend Sybil Connolly.
Gunning very much fits the motif of 1950’s haute couture models. Refined, elegant with a regal air. As a side note, she very much looks like the divine Dovima.
Gunning died in 1990 aged 61. Once she left this mortal coil, there has never anyone to showcase Irish elegance.