With the help of Donovan’s gritty photographs, the world started to look to London for inspiration, and the whole youthquake was born. Vidal Sassoon was combing out those beehives, giving hair a cut and a freedom it had not experienced in many years; Mary Quant was snipping off skirts into minis that were barely respectable. Donovan was recording all of this, taking us out of frosty locations such as Belgravia to the streets of his youth in the East End.
He was generous and gentle; he was also a very wise man. I sought his advice on everything from decorating my apartment to whether I should accept a job on Vogue or not. He was always there for me. A true friend till the day he died.
Later on in my life when I became a fashion editor, I was happy to work with him again. Shoots were always a pleasure. With Terry, one would spend one’s day laughing until one’s sides ached. But he always had such a great command of the situation, no fussing about, always so direct. His portraiture was masterly and he had a fascination for still life too, the result of tireless hours of lighting and creating special effects.
Basically, he just loved photography and it showed. He loved all cameras, but I think he had a real affection for plate cameras. There was something so proud and solid about them. I have always admired Donovan’s fashion photography with men. While other photographers resorted to cropping the model’s head off to make the picture acceptable, he created a style at About Town magazine that was revolutionary.
He ruled his life with an army-like precision as he cruised around London in his huge Bentley, his office on wheels. An invitation to lunch would go like this, ‘Burkes, Thirteen-hundred hours’, and woe betide you if you were late. But through all the years that he was part of my life, his beady eye guided me and his knowledge of all the things directed me, and his humour will keep me laughing for ever.