Friday, May 15, 2009

Think Pink! Think Models!

I was having sleep issues last night and to tide me over until the sandman arrived, I slipped the Audrey Hepburn classic Funny Face into the DVD player. It is a silly movie really; while Audrey played opposite many men much older than her (Rex Harrison, Humphrey Bogart, Cary Grant), the love-affair with Fred Astaire seems completely unconvincing to me. But the reality is no-one watches it for the plot as it is all about the divine clothes, and for the first time last night I noticed that two of the most famous models from the 1950's - Dovima and Suzy Parker - appear in the film. Suzy Parker is actually the cute red-head with the pink toothpaste in the delightful opening song 'Think Pink.' Check it out:

Suzy Parker was the highest paid model in her day and her story is not unlike other famous models of more modern times like Lauren Hutton (who has gap teeth and a crooked nose) and Kate Moss (who is short with bowed legs) in that she didn't fit the usual model beauty mould. Suzy had red-hair and freckles and was considered to be relatively 'big boned' (though I hate that expression, and her photos do suggest otherwise). She was, for a while, the face of Chanel.

Here are some beautiful shots of her.

Another 50's "supermodel", Dovima has a speaking part in Funny Face as the haughty looking but street-wise speaking model Marion. Some classic shots of her below.

But my favourite model of the period - and who actually graces my living room wall - is Jean Patchett, who I think has a less patrician and more cutesy girl-next-door kind of beauty. She isn't in the movie, but I'm including a few pictures of her anyway, fittingly wearing pink.

Jean is a bit similar in looks I think to the breathtakingly beautiful Natalia Vodianova, who appears in an editorial in the May issue of US Vogue posing as some of histories most famous mannequins.

Here she is as Suzy Parker, in an amazing looking Marchesa gown reminiscent of Audrey's famous ballgown in the film Sabrina.

And as Dovima.

Natalia as the lovely Ms Patchett and in an amazing Dior suit with Balenciaga brooch which could both easily be mistake for coming straight out of 1950 as well. Love the hat too!

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