Thursday, December 17, 2009

Museworthy: Lisa Fonssagrives, 1911-1992

Lithe and lovely personification of elegance, 1950s supermodel and wife of legendary snapper Irving Penn. Fonssagrive's chiselled cheek bones were so famous in the 40s and 50s that she's since been dubbed the first super model, and why not? Such grace, such poise.

According to her obituary in The New York Times, she commanded 40 bucks an hour at a time when other girls were lucky to get 10. Penn shot her frequently for US Vogue, and she was a also a favourite of Horst, but seemingly none of the razzle dazzle went to her pretty Swedish head. In 1949, she told Time magazine: "It is always the dress, it is never, never the girl. I'm just a good clothes hanger." Can someone please tell Naomi Campbell?

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