Vintage Hollywood Scandals

Imagine growing up as the adopted daughter of the beautiful starlet Loretta Young.

Enchanted VintageThen you find out you are not actually adopted and that Loretta was in fact your mother, that she had become pregnant very young to a married man and went away on a ‘vacation’ to hide her pregnancy. After giving birth, she dumped you off at an orphanage for about 2 years and then came back to get you, bringing you home and claiming you were her ‘adopted baby’. Yikes.


Vintage Designer Vera Maxwell

Vera Maxwell. A massive name in the design world from the 40’s to the 70’s and now forgotten about. Her fashion mantra was designing clothing to be both fashionable and functional and in that she most definitely succeeded. In a 1964 New York Times article, Maxwell’s clothes were described as “handsome, interesting, and eminently wearable”

Born in New York city in 1901, Vera became well known in the 1930’s for her fashionable sportswear designs after she gave up ballet dancing and modeling to pursue a career in making comfortable, wearable clothes.


Model History Sunny Harnett

Ah. foiled again. I had all these images found and saved upon the ol’laptop for my next post, only to discover that there is next to no information on my model of the week Ms. Sunny Harnett. That will teach me to do things backwards. Oops.

So, I guess I’ll share with you the few (rather uninteresting facts I could find)

  1. Born in Brooklyn, New York 1924, real name  Annmarie Margot Harnett
  2. She was a big name in the modeling world in the 1950s.
  3. She worked as Eileen Fords (of Ford Models)  assistant after retiring


Model History Lisa Fonssagrives

Not a name that really rolls off the old tongue, that’s for sure. Not that I can talk, my actual last name is Inveninato, but it doesn’t  matter, because I’m not famous….yet. Anyway, continuing on with my model history series, this time with the fabulous Swedish model and wife of famous photographer Irving Penn, Lisa Fonssagrives.


Model History Carmen Dell’Orefice

Enchanted VintageCarmen Dell’Orefice. (with a name like that, she was bound to be  famous)  Born in New York in 1931, Carmen was discovered when she was 13 on a bus. (the glamour of it all) Her initial test shots did not go well but a few months later her godfather brought her into the Vogue offices and she signed a contract later that day.


Model History Dovima

Dorothy Virginia Margaret Juba, better known as Dovima, was one of top model names of the 1950’s. Some would debate she was the model of the 1950’s and not Suzy Parker. I still prefer Suzy’s sister Dorian Leigh, but then that’s just a personal choice! All 3 women had very different looks, Dovima’s was one  of  haughty sophistication.

Dovima took her name by adding the first 2 initials of her 3 names together. The name was originally created by her, for the invisible friend she created while being ill with rheumatic fever when she was ten and subsequently kept in doors by her over protective mother for 7 years. (eek)


Model History Suzy Parker

Suzy Parker. THE model of the 1950’s, red hair, green eyes and at 5’10 was told she was too tall. (ha!) Dorian Leigh‘s younger sister, who was the first model to make 200 dollars an hour and 100,000 in one year. The Beatles even named a song after her.

Best friends with Coco Chanel and modeling contracts with everyone from Revlon to Simplicity, Suzy’s modeling status soared passed her sisters and I would imagine was the cause of the rivalry that led to their eventual fall out. When Suzy died of renal failure in 2003, Dorian did not attend her funeral.


Model History Dorian Leigh

I was watching Americas Next Top Model the other day (I love it) and a thought occurred to me. (what? it  does happen occasionally) I am missing a crucial part to my vintage histories section! I’ve written about designers, artists and movie stars, yet, neglected to write anything about the amazing models that were about, particularly in the 40s and 50s!

I was going to do a ‘models through the decades post’ but decided I wanted to create more of “model miniseries’ This way you can fully appreciate the true beauty of these women. Women that got to model for the original greats, Dior, Fath, Balenciaga, Patou, Chanel…… I die. Can you imagine being in the presence of these amazing designers AND wearing all of their fabulous creations??


Balmain Past and Present

Pierre Balmain was right along side Dior and Balenciaga in the 1940’s, bringing back the kind of lavish, luxurious clothing, women wanted after the war. He was the personal couturier to the Her Majesty Queen Sirikit of Thailand and his glamorous gowns were worn by the likes of Bridget Bardot,  Katherine Hepburn, and Marlene Dietrich.

Pierre worked tirelessly right up to his death in 1982, leaving the label to be run by his assistant until 1993 when Oscar de la Renta took over. Upon de la Renta’s departure the house fell into a financial ruin and was forced to file for bankruptcy. It wasnt until Christophe Decarnin was hired and put in charge that the label was revived.


Its all about Burlesque

On Saturday, I went to Dublin to visit a very good friend of mine and she brought me to my first burlesque show. (Long overdue it was)  The show was amazing, plenty of talented acts, lots of dancing and laughs. I cant wait to go to another one. (ciara you have been warned)

Naturally it made me  want to gather a collection of vintage burlesque photographs, which is exactly what I did for your viewing pleasure. They do not disappoint. I could look at pictures like these all day, (because they are fabulous NOT because Im a perv)

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