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February 8, 2011

MCM Supermodels

By Sablemable aka Jan

Ruth, Sara and myself are always trying to find ways to educate and just have fun with our posts.  So we are constantly writing down ideas on our trusty note pads (in my case a big notepad).  And yesterday, while I was contemplating today’s post, I accidentally came across with a story about MCM models, or supermodels as we call them today.  Information and images are courtesy of Wikipedia, Vintage Ads and Yahoo Images.

Dorian Leigh (born Dorian Elizabeth Leigh Parker) is an American model who began her career in 1944.  With dark hair and bright blue eyes, she succeeded as a model despite the fact that she was only 5’5″ and 27 years old.  Dorian Leigh is most well known for modeling in Revlon’s Fire and Ice lipstick advertisement in 1952.  In 1953, she again modeled for a Revlon ad for Cherries in the Snow lipstick and nail polish.  Her first Revlon ad for Fatal Apple (I believe it was face powder) was in 1945.

DORIAN LEIGH 1945 REVLON FATAL APPLE ADVERTISEMENT

DORIAN LEIGH 1952 REVLON FIRE AND ICE ADVERTISEMENT

 

 

DORIAN LEIGH 1953 REVLON CHERRIES IN THE SNOW ADVERTISEMENT

 

American model Suzy Parker (born Cecilia Ann Renee Parker, nicknamed Susie by her father) is Dorian Leigh’s little sister.  Unlike her dark haired sister, Suzy was tall, redheaded with green eyes and freckles.  At age 15, with Dorian’s help, she was signed on with the newly formed Ford Modeling Agency.  The Fords, Eileen and Jerry were desperate to sign on Dorian Leigh, who was the top model at that time.  Dorian agreed to sign with them on one condition: that the Fords would also take Suzy, sight unseen.    The rest is history.  Suzy modeled from 1947 until 1970 and also did a lot of Revlon ads.  Suzy is sometimes credited as being the Fire and Ice model.

SUZY PARKER MODELING IN A REVLON ADVERTISEMENT FOR LOVE PAT FACE POWDER, YEAR UNKNOWN

 

SUZY PARKER MODELING A RED GOWN IN AN UNKNOWN MAGAZINE ADVERTISEMENT

 

British model Jean Shrimpton began her career in 1960.  But it wasn’t until the mid-Sixties that she became noticed.  In 1965 Jean unknowingly helped launch the trend of the mini-skirt.  While attending the very conservative Victoria Derby in Melbourne, Austrailia, Jean wore a white dress with a hemline 3.9 inches (10 cm) above the knee.  Jean also flaunted tradition by not wearing hat and gloves to the event.    Miss Shrimpton was also known for modeling in the Yardley of London advertisements.

JEAN SHRIMPTON 1965 VICTORIA DERBY IN MELBOURNE, AUSTRAILIA

 

JEAN SHRIMPTON MODELING FOR A MOTOR SCOOTER ADVERTISEMENT CIRCA 1966.

 

JEAN SHRIMPTON FOR YARDLEY OF LONDON CIRCA 1967.

 

 

 

The most memorable model ever in our time is Twiggy (born Lesley Hornby) from Great Britian.  Twiggy began her career in 1965 and her then boyfriend, hairdresser Justin de Villeneuve (born Nigel Davies) conviced Lesley to use the name Twiggy, taken from a childhood nickname of Twigs.   Twiggy’s look centered around 3 qualities – her ultra thin figure, her short, boyish haircut and dark eyelashes, which were created by layering 3 pairs of false eyelashes and then drawing little “twigs” on the skin underneath the lower lashes.  Twiggy was the essence of Carnaby Street and swinging London and became a hit overnight.

AN UPCLOSE LOOK AT TWIGGY’S EYELASHES

 

TWIGGY MODELING AN EVENING DRESS CIRCA 1967.

 

All of these models made a huge impact upon the way the Mid-Century modern women dressed and I thank them for all of their endless hours under the hot lights, striking pose after pose until it was right, sometimes in frightful weather conditions.    Thank you, ladies!

 

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6 Responses to MCM Supermodels

  1. Eartha Kitsch Reply

    February 8, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Awesome post, Jan! I love learning the back-stories behind the women that we see so much but for the most part, know so little about. And wow, those Parker girls got some good genes!

    I also love the “Does Any Man REALLY Know You?” tag-line.

  2. Shannon Reply

    February 8, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    Fatal Apple! I remember a years-old bottle of Revlon nail polish with that name on it when I was a kid. My Mom used it to write “cat” on nail clippers for the cat. 🙂

  3. Sara in AZ Reply

    February 8, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    I think Suzy Parker is in every old Ladies Home Journal I have! She is gorgeous, and her sister is too! When I was in high school I thought Jean Shrimpton was the most gorgeous lady ever, maybe it was her eyes. 🙂

  4. Propagatrix Reply

    February 17, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    Suzy Parker was also married to one of my movie boyfriends, Bradford Dillman. Lucky girl!

  5. Maureen Reply

    April 28, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Not sure if you check comments on old posts, but Suzy Parker was in the movie Best of Everything, which if you haven’t seen-YOU MUST! For the clothes alone! Suzy is so beautiful, you can’t take your eyes off her when she is on screen.

  6. Pingback: Pretty In Pink | Kelly Wearstler

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