1930s to 1950s: Society Girls and Hollywood Glamour by Camilla Morton
Throughout history, there has usually been a face that inspired, embodied, and influenced special points in time. From Helen of Troy, the face that launched a thousand ships, to Cleopatra, the monarch who seduced an empire, its emperor, and inspired Shakespeare. With the emergence of the initial designers and photographers, models swiftly followed, assisting to shape our ideals, culture, and style since the earliest days of the market.
Lets travel back to the Age of Innocence, a time that started with high collars and even higher morals. From the Titanic to the jazz era, The Wonderful Gatsby to Josephine Baker, Marlene Dietrich to Greta Garbo, the boom to the crash, and each Planet Wars–every single era has an image, and each trend its muse. The face of this changing time was one particular of elegance, grace, and ambition.
When Max Aspect first launched his makeup line in the 1920s, only these onstage or onscreen–or of ill repute–wore it. But it wasn’t lengthy just before each and every woman wanted to add a touch of glamour to the grit of her every day life. Ladies had just received the correct to vote, and that endorsement was followed with a need to challenge societal views of women’s appearances as well. Females like Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein produced beauty salon empires with goods that were as accessible as they were empowering. Coco Chanel is accountable for placing ladies in pants. Elsa Schaparelli mixed higher society with style and art, even though Madame Vionnet innovated the bias reduce to flatter the figure. These designers revolutionized women’s silhouettes, style, and established females in the front line of the style enterprise.
For the duration of this period, Anita Colby was the highest paid model, appearing on billboards and in magazines. She earned $ 50 an hour, modeling as a sideline to selling advertisements for Harper’s Bazaar. The Society Girl era of modeling genuinely began when Vogue made its very first colour cover in 1932. To be the cover girl became the ultimate prize, and modeling began to be noticed as a profession rather than a side job.
Following appearing in the film Cover Girl in 1944, Anita was hired by Hollywood producer David O. Selznick as “feminine director” of Selznick Studios. Her job was to teach his leading ladies–which includes Ingrid Bergman and Joan Fontaine–poise, beauty, and publicity. Grace Kelly, model turned actress, seamlessly transformed from onscreen star to real-life princess when she married Prince Rainier of Monaco in 1956. In no way prior to had modeling promised such a “happily ever right after” future. Girls have been now turning to fashion influenced by the silver screen, and the Hollywood Glamour era of modeling emerged.
But the line among actress and model began to blur. Actresses like Vivien Leigh, Ava Gardner, and Marilyn Monroe could smolder onscreen or in the front row, even though fashion was craving its personal stars. By the time Christian Dior’s New Look line debuted in 1947, fashion had become news and designers wanted their own muses and models to bring their designs to life. The fashion illustrations like those of Erté and Rene Gruau that have been common throughout the post-WWII years now seemed outdated, as Paris salon shows went from being sketched to photographed, attracting private customers and inviting the press. Photographers Cecil Beaton and Irving Penn at Vogue and Richard Avedon at Harper’s Bazaar have been proving to the globe that girls had been much more than just a pretty face. It was their lenses that turned
modeling into a organization, and model agencies and the model had been born.
When Dorian Leigh Parker began modeling in 1944, her father asked her to drop “Parker” from her name, as he did not approve of her profession. Model Carmen Dell’Orefice, who started modeling in 1945, when described Dorian as “so attractive with no saying a word.” Dorian went on to land seven Vogue covers in 1946 and would appear on one more 50 covers over the subsequent six years. Her “Fire and Ice” campaign for Revlon in 1952 remains iconic right now, and she was rumored to be the inspiration for the character Holly Golightly in Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s. When she signed with Eileen Ford’s newly created Ford Model Agency it was on the situation that they also sign her younger sister, Suzy Parker. (Their father’s consent to use his surname is testament to the legitimization modeling had gained as a career.) Dorian opened the door to a sister who would eventually go on to eclipse her good results. Suzy, with a cameo role in Funny Face, became Avedon’s muse, the face of Revlon, and the 1st model to earn $ one hundred,000. This was not only sibling rivalry, this was company.
In spite of the productive careers of Dorian and Suzy, the undisputed face of this era was Lisa Fonssagrives. Coined as the 1st “supermodel,” her iconic spirit and elegance would be the inspiration, decades later, for John Galliano’s Dior haute couture Fall 2008 show. Lisa appeared on the covers of TIME, LIFE, Vanity Fair, as effectively as Vogue, and went on to marry one particular of the greatest fashion photographers, Irving Penn, in 1950.
It did not take lengthy for the globe to turn into fascinated with fashion the designers, the drama, the new looks. Avedon was even immortalized in the film Funny Face as Dick Avery (played by Fred Astaire Audrey Hepburn was his cover girl). His character asks, “What’s incorrect with bringing out a girl who has character, spirit, and intelligence?”
The quest had begun.