“Because it’s 1962, she’s wearing a leopard-print suit, and she’s got her bouffant hairdo and sunglasses in these exotic locations,” says Rosenberg. “But you also see how she worked, how she acquired her fabrics, so you get a glimpse into the design process.” That view includes images of the finished garments, as modeled by Morse’s socialite clients, as well as photographs of the designer at home, at her boutique and in a studio. (The latter sitting was shot in black and white, while Shaw’s reportage is in color.)
“Something I find striking in the photographs is how Tiger herself in 1962 is still looking very prim — wearing smart little shifts and low-heeled pumps,” says O’Brien, who offers editioned Shaw prints (printed posthumously, signed and numbered by Shaw’s son, David). “She’s right on the cusp of counterculture and what’s coming next in fashion — and she’s creating it — but she’s still such the lady in the photographs. I love that counterpoint.”
In the years that followed, Morse mounted ever-bolder challenges to the sartorial status quo, from a pop-up shop in an art gallery to dresses crafted from vinyl and paper to a line of sleepwear marketed with a late-night party in the basement of the Henry Hudson Hotel during which she tumbled into the pool, clad head to toe in silver denim. But the capable, world-traveling Tiger seen through Shaw’s lens is considerably tamer.
“Mark Shaw and Tiger Morse were kindred spirits,” O’Brien says. “They were great friends traveling together on a great adventure, and I think the joy of that really shows in the photographs.”
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