The Evolution of the Supermodel – The Golden Age of Haute Couture

There are moments when fashion changes fundamentally. When it is more than a matter of differences in detail. The whole fashion attitude seems to change – the whole structure of the body. This is one of those moments.

Vogue, 1947.

The New Look by Christian Dior put an end to the decade of war and poverty and to a decade of sports and leisure wear in sartorial matters. The female body became lady-like again: Small waist, elegant curves, „shoulders and clavicles subtly arced forward“ (Koda, 28). This new female ideal and posture was represented by famous fifties models like Lisa Fonssagrives, Dorian Leigh, Dovima and Suzy Parker. 


Lisa Fonssagrives was a „Swedish born natural blonde with impossibly high cheekbones and a cool, penetrating look of well born entitlement. (…) Her marriage to Irving Penn produced some of the most important fashion photographs of the twentieth century.“ (Koda, 29)

 

Dorian Leigh „once reamarked that she knew she had made it to the top when she counted as many as fifty pictures of her in a sigle issue of Vogue“ (Koda, 29) She later became a successful model agent, and established the first legal model agency in Paris in 1950. 

Suzy Parker was Dorian Leigh’s little sister. She became one of Richard Avedon’s favorite models and made it to Hollywood as an actress.

Dovima was discovered in Manhattan and pushed the „limits of what top models were getting paid from $25 to $60“ per hour. She became famous as „The Dollar a Minute Girl“(both in Koda, 30).

 

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