It was in 1969, 10 years before Iran’s dark revolution, when Vogue photographer Henry Clarke captures a rare moment in fashion. Clarke shot a captivating iconic series- featuring models Marisa Berenson, Lauren Hutton and Cynthia Korman, styled exquisitely- posing in mosques, palaces and historical sights in Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz and Persepolis. That same 1969 Vogue issue included an image of Queen Farah Diba Pahlavi in a traditional Persian Baluch embroidered dress, an advertisement for Iran Air promoting its flight services from London to Tehran- and an item on Vida Zahedi’s chic and favoured Tehran boutique then known as “Number One Avenue Sanieddoleh”, featured in Vogue’s regular Boutique page.
What makes these images so incredibly unique is that they not only reflect on a rare moment in fashion that can never be recreated again, they are a reflection of a rare moment in Persian history itself. A period of freedom, progress and thriving youth cultures, when women were free to express themselves, not having to cover up.