Saturday, December 1, 2012

Printed Matter: The Women We Wanted to Look Like

I am so excited by this book I just got, starting with the title. Don't you wish you thought of that title? It's brilliant. Plus, its packed with photos I've never seen of women I already love, and also with wonderful ones of women I had yet to discover. They are all well known women of their time, but they stand out for their own personal connection with style and beauty. While it is thrilling to be inspired by these chic ladies, the true connection between the individual woman and her clothes, makeup, jewellery and hair  is impossible to replicate.

p.s. The captions are wonderful too, many of which I have borrowed from below.

Lauren Hutton, courtesy of Revlon.

Gloria Guinness was nicknamed "The Ultimate" for the faultless way in which she carried off her clothes.

Tiger Moore, an American designer who came to fame in the early 60's. She herself was far odder than any of the clothes she designed.

From the mid 20's, Lady Mendl channelled her endless drive into hostessing, and her parties were famous. She was the first woman to tint her white hair blue. She mostly wore Chanel.

Lady Diana Cooper always had a passion for hats. Her collection included antique cotton bonnets, frivolous net affairs, face-shading straws, and the famous peaked cap of the Royal Yacht Squadron, which she acquired when her husband was First Lord of the Admiralty.

Joan Crawford, who in 1932 was named The Most Imitated Woman in the World.

Barbara Hulinicki lounging in her room of self-designed Biba clothes and housewares.

Simone d'Aillencourt, the ultra-sophisticated French model, at the height of her career.

Lee Miller, in 1932, was perhaps the best known of the early models. She eventually became a photographer.

Hilarious caption. But I agree - classic, simple beauty.

Grace Coddington became a model in 1959 and through the hectic years that followed proved to be astonishingly adaptable.

Naomi Sims belonged to the new wave of black model girls - the ones who posed simply as themselves, proving to the world that black is beautiful. (p.s. How chic is her Elsa Peretti cuff ?!?)

This picture of the Swiss model Rita illustrated a feature on body jewellery, and was among the earliest nude shots to appear in a British newspaper.

Lady Clare Rendlesham, here in 1971, has never been featured on a best dressed list, despite being an elegant woman who takes her clothes seriously.

Italian fashion editor Anna Piaggi.

Catherine Milinaire, high-priestess of cheap chic, wearing exactly the kind of outfit that she advocated in her best-selling book. 


  1. No kidding, I think your recent portrait has been a favorite in recent weeks - utterly lovely normal is the best chic.

  2. Cheap Chic! I have both editions of that book-- fab!

  3. My husband will kill me (he thinks I have way too many fashion books) but as soon as I finished reading your post, I ordered the book on Amazon. I am reading Grace Coddington's wonderful biography right now and love your photo of her in the red dress. YSL? And yes, the Peretti cuff looks super chic and amazing on Naomi Sims and has given me the idea to wear mine with some Stephen Dweck turquoise jewelry. Thank you for the great post!!

  4. Will check out the book on amazon! Thank you for introducing it!