Wednesday, February 5, 2014


The inimitable Gabrielle Chanel poses behind Suzy Parker who wears a favourite suit from Chanel's collection. Navy blue and white Prince of Wales check lined and outlined in the black and white checks of the silk surah blouse underneath.

Eternally feminine Anouk Aimee wears the white Hurel basketweave wool Chanel that opened the spring collection. The curve of the jacket into the body is new. The rest is a reiteration of the Chanel articles of faith - ease, a play of jewels, bright buttons.

Madame Alix Gres is a designer's designer. Shy and unaffected, she has been sculpting clothes of classic beauty for almost three decades. A recent trip to India inspired this coat reminiscent of Nehru's - a width of sleeve and a flaring tunic line.

The Master - at the time Dior's 23 year-old heir, Yves Saint Laurent, with Suzy Parker in his jacket - deliberately cut so narrow it can never be buttoned, tossed on the shoulders of a sleeveless dress in Rodier gray and white shepherd's check wool.

Dior bootery and boutique

Dolores Guinness, one of the world's great beauties in Lanvin-Castillo's free translation from the Indian sari - a dress of gold embroidered white silk organdie with a brief magenta satin bodice.

Zizi Jeanmaire in the belted overcoat from Dior

Pierre Cardin widens the top of the silhouette with great bursts of sleeve extended from an open neckline on this creamy wool short jacket suit. The suit - topped with a big back-blown Breton in pale rice straw.

The Future Countess of Bedford, Henrietta Tiarks, wears Cardin. The upright collar is set like a stem in an evening coat of heavy silk shantung which bursts into leaf - the shape and color of a stylized artichoke.

Suzy Parker in Balmain. A dinner suit of white pique embroidered with silver thread, rhinestones and chalk paillettes slashed to the knee and casually jacketed.

Spotted all over Paris, China Machado in Patou's slim dotted dinner dress curved loosley to the figure with a broad black leather belt rising above the waist... at the bar, Patou combines a jet-dotted white surah bodice with a separate, full skirt of black silk Gazar, as starched and coarse as tarlatan - and bands both in black satin.

China Machado twirls in Dior's cabbage rose chiffon skirted dress in an impressionist print of winter green, beige and palest yellow. The skirt flowers out in tiered panels to just below the knees.

Bianchini chiffon printed like nasturtium blooms of yellow, orange and green from Desses. Floating panels begin at the shoulders, caught in at the waist and then stream out over the hem in back.

Dior capturing - with a single, white organdie hat - the heady essence of Paris in May. Pure white embroidered with jewelled lilies of the valley.

French Sex Kitten Brigitte Bardot

Paris Present
Eyes On Paris and America
Harper's Bazaar March 1959
Photography: Richard Avedon

...eye on the fifties at devodotcom

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