08 February 2011

Dovima Darling

As I'm anxiously awaiting Fashion Week to start and feeling terribly bored with winter frocks (and especially snow), I find myself (as usual) reminiscing -- lamenting for the past. I've always had that kind of heart that pines for days gone but it's more than that; I pine for these clothes, this style, and certainly this sophistication. Can you blame me? Apparently I'm not the only one given the nod to the past every season on every runway.

This past fall I was lucky enough to see the Victoria & Albert Museum Couture Exhibit at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts. Yes, I went three times (and, yes, I cried...once? ok, ok, maybe twice). Anyway, part of the exhibit included Richard Avedon photographs (among other famous photographers of the time like Irving Penn and Cecil Beaton). Of course, we all know this photograph:

This is Dovima. In the first evening gown designed by Yves Saint Laurent for Christian Dior. Photographed by Richard Avedon. Timeless and enchanting...

She seems to be following me, this Dovima. I've seen here everywhere since the exhibit -- most recently while getting the sorely missed blond streak dyed back into my sadly boring black locks (at the loveliest salon in Nashville, I might add, Trim) she eyed me while I sat idly for three hours in a swiveling chair while sipping lemon water (she was having a cigarette to which I scowled at briefly).

The thing about Dovima, other than she was one of -- if not the most -- famous model of the '50's, is that not only does she so elegantly embody all of those characteristics I hold dear from the decade, she also reminds me of my grandmother who was, if nothing, always ridiculously fashionable.

Here, a few shots of Dovima in her legendary aristocratic bombshell-ness...and a couple of Vii, also legendary -- in her own right.


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