27 April 2010

woe to Vogue & style.com

selected by style.com

 image from here
the much followed Style.com has a feature just up that accompanies the upcoming MET- American Woman Fashioning a National Identity The exhibition, on view from May 5 through August 15, 2010 (preceded on May 3 by The Costume Institute Gala Benefit), will explore developing perceptions of the modern American woman from the 1890s to the 1940s, and how they have affected the way American women are seen today. Focusing on archetypes of American femininity through dress, the exhibition will reveal how the American woman initiated style revolutions that mirrored her social, political, and sexual emancipation  from the met site

style.com breaks the American Woman into SIX categories (yes this is too few-but-I indulge) by the way,style.com is VOGUE magazine. the THEN ORIGINAL, and the NOW.
(no there is no Raving Bitch, Xanax Housewife, Working Girl,)

the editors seem to have some luck with the ORIGINALS/ THEN(as they refer to the dead) but 
OH, WOE to the NOW ! sure there were so many to select from-but some of their NOW selections can hardly boast changing perceptions of feminine beauty, style, independence, etc. etc.

their Original Heiress is none other than CONSUELO VANDERBILT, running through her source of wealth, her style, her wifely duties and her preferred designer (WORTH). for the NOW HEIRESS- IVANKA TRUMP.
Trump is a valid choice,certainly the most exposed (in the best way)  HEIRESS other than infamous PARIS, overexposed. Ivanka is smart, wealthy, a business woman, jewelry designer, fashion maven (designer of choice for her bridalwear- Vera Wang) & Yes,
Ivanka is lovely- 
so there is the NOW HEIRESS.



 image from here,
see this gorgeous painting of Irene here
 the GIBSON GIRL, I suppose this may have been one of the first feminine images I saw as a child. There were a few framed GIRLS in my little bedroom (which was darling by the way). IRENE LANGHORNE was THE GIRL. She married Charles Dana Gibson, and so inspired by her beauty, Gibson began to paint his love and she sold! The images of the Gibson Girls are truly Iconic. there were other Gibson Girls-but Irene was the Original.

Yes, it is true-One must "into it"  popular culture, starlets, fashion models, reality tv-that is, the works-but...

Our NOW GIBSON GIRL is JESSICA BIEL, do you know who she is?

GIBSON GIRL? style.com's pick

FYI: of BIEL "Being named Sexiest Woman Alive (twice—by Esquire in 2005 and Stuff in 2007) is nice, and an Oscar or, hell, Golden Globe wouldn't go amiss down the line, but the real evidence you've arrived? When the hardworking interns at antivirus software manufacturer McAfee ascertain that a search of your name is most likely to infect a user's computer with spyware, adware, and other malicious Internet entities."  her credentials? Biel is also presented walking her dogs, on a magazine cover, on the red carpet. can you name one of her movies? my favourite for the NOW GIBSON GIRL is RACHEL FEINSTEIN CURRIN. How perfect!  don't you think some of the success of the Gibson Girl was the romance of the artist and subject?

(my Gibson Girl)

& here at INTERVIEW

Artist, Muse to husband John Currin and to designer Marc Jacobs, Rachel appeared in Marc Jacobs print adverts. Socialite, Beauty. the ideal of feminine Beauty -independence, personal fulfillment, epitomized the Gibson Girl.

The quirky BOHEMIAN is up next- the THEN BOHEMIAN the ORIGINAL, RITA LYDIG. "a clotheshorse so devoted to shopping that she sometimes bought up to 20 examples of the same garment."   doesn't sound much like a BOHEMIAN to me, but- Rita Lydig was hands down a fashion whore in the most wonderful way. Her clothes, style, her image (painted by Boldini two times) according to the article, her Hangout-the RITZ, Again not too Bohemian, what do you think?
the ORIGINAL BOHEMIAN, selected by style.com

so much for the ORIGINAL BOHEMIAN- my pick is ,MILLICENT ROGERS, oh so wealthy- YES, but, who better- this was the Heiress that moved to Taos, her home, Turtle Walk, was a converted adobe fort to mansion  , and she dip dyed velvets in her kitchen dressed in authentic Navajo blouses, full velvet skirts and petticoats, and turquoise jewelry.

my pick for the real ORIGINAL BOHEMIAN

not Zelda, or Millicent

but for the moment let's examine the NOW BOHEMIAN- ERIN WASSON, yes she is a beauty- True.she has been photographed by the Selby, attends Coachella-all according to the writer- important requirements for the NOW BOHO. "Multisourcing than model/stylist/designer Erin Wasson. In the May issue of Teen Vogue, she defines her idea of happiness as "sitting on my front porch in the Hill Country of Texas watching the sunset with an iced tea in my hand after having just ridden a horse." Boho, Silver, away!"
OK then.
selected by style.com

my pick- talk about multitasking- again, RACHEL FEINSTEIN CURRIN (see GIBSON GIRL)
or KIM GORDON of Sonic Youth and besides I like it that she is nearly 57- an ORIGINAL BOHEMIAN.

KIM GORDON on everything

image of Gordon here

the ORIGINAL PATRIOT, yes, in full agreement, no arguments here -
style.com selected

& no arguments about the NOW PATRIOT from me-

style.com's pick


"She is so very Manhattan. Very young. Exquisitely hard-boiled. Her black eyes and sleek black hair are brilliant as Chinese lacquer. Her skin is white as a camellia. Her legs are lyric." (a quote from Photoplay). so gorgeous, and so current. there are few images of LOUISE BROOKS that don't look like they were taken in 2010- the bob, the dropped waists, bound breasts. Louise was the Hollywood flapper- the Starlet flapper.

ah! but ,the ORIGINAL FLAPPER was ZELDA. her husband wrote about her in Bernice Bobs Her Hair-
F. Scott married the debutante, the fragile, volital, crazy Southern belle. Scott denied that he originated the "flapper," of course he would, but his wife was undeniably- One.
the one. Zelda was young, wild, sensual, daring- right one the edge.

 (Shelley Duvall played Bernice divinely, Blythe Danner played Zelda equally as divinely-must see cinema)

 another bonafide FLAPPER


well, KIRSTEN, she is a darling. she certainly looks like a flapper.
now- to the aforementioned- PARIS HILTON, Heiress, and oh she is so a FLAPPER.

enough said

what's left? SCREEN SIREN of course, there are oh so many, ANNA MAY WONG is the ORIGINAL. Anna May was more than just a siren, she was a ground breaker. born to Chinese American parents the first Asian American to become an international star she encapsulates all the great Iconic American Sirens.

Hurrell photograph

 "Temptress, vamp, spy, killer…With 60-plus films to her name, Anna May Wong had her fair share of juicy roles. Yes, most of them played on confining stereotypes, but Wong prevailed in spite of her characters' limitations."

MEGAN FOX , style.com's pick

no, that is not Angelina Jolie. Megan is 23, a Tennessee girl,one of her fan website's calls her the Queen of Sci Fi

Angelina, too- is a Screen Siren, but she is 34. Obviously this style.com is put together for the teen vogue crowd, not the vogue Vogue crowd-but I didn't know.

 but I do know-

I watch that one.


now why isn't there a category for MODEL turned MOGAL?
& HEIDI KLUM just became an American citizen in 2009.
oh wait, & there's Tyra Banks, Lauren Hutton, Cindy Crawford, Kathy Ireland, Cybil Shepard, Christy Turlington, Halle Berry, Cameron Diaz...

more about the MET benefit here
article quotes from style.com are all hilighted in this text


  1. An absolutely fabulous post. I adore the comparisons of these incomparable women! All truly one of a kind originals!

    Art by Karena

  2. Love it! I ran a course not long ago on the connection between social history and women's fashions. Now I knew a great deal about social history in France and Britain, but sod all about women's fashion. Especially American women's fashions. Can I put you on a retainer, please?

    Anyhow there was no problem with Gibson Girl, Bohemian, Flapper or Screen Siren since those categories were well and truly photographed and documented. But heiress and patriot seem to be specifically American categories that I would need to research more.

  3. What a FABulous post. Have to go back and absorb it again. And wow love your new header don't tell me it has been there for ages I am embarassed. Looks divine. xoxo

  4. Another stellar post LA, food for thought and all that. Great juxtapositions of the then and now. Perhaps you will consider doing same for men at some point? I am in awe of you. Reggie

  5. What a great post! I much prefer your choices, they are far more interesting and less dumbed-down.

    We must be in sync I just scanned the Josephine Baker and Louis Brooks images for my second Pearl post.

    I own a collection of original costume designs For Josephine Baker and her troupe, "La Revue Negre" they were designed by English designer working in Paris until 1929. I adore seeing her here.

  6. Oh how I want to be on a plane headed to the MET! Great comparisons and I love your input. This was a fabulous read!

  7. Karena, Emily- thank you. it was fun to write. I hope to see this one.

  8. Hels, would love to assist, fire away. Heiress is an American category-it will be exciting to see many of the names presented at the Met. Mona von Bismark, a Kentucky girl, has a large presence I've read. I expect to see Millicent Rogers, Doris Duke, Barb Hutton-the List is endless. I would like to look at how these ladies lives were an ongoing search for happiness, elusive to many of them. pgt

  9. Jane, the header is quite new, so you are most observant! enjoyed seeing your home on apt therapy. pgt

  10. Reggie Darling, I don't think I could possibly do the Men justice-I wish you would give it a go! It would be fun to collaborate at some point. The Met should definitely focus an exhibit on the Men, have they yet? pgt

  11. Debra, I would love to see those Baker illustrations. She was fascinating, so savvy, so focused. She would never had the freedom and brilliant success in the states-sadly. I have read about her adoptions and admired that greatly.
    We are in sync. I could do and entire blog about the Windsors- she keeps on bestowing her wiles, whims and windsorness on the two of us. pgt

  12. Another monumentally divine post!
    Happy to see Millicent on your list -
    always a fav ( and a girl who knew how to mix pearls & turquoise).
    I also love the original Taos bohemian - Mabel Dodge ... . not as stylish, but she dared to marry Tony Luhan and wreck havoc with D.H. & Frieda.


  13. Highly entertaining, and not a little depressing to see the present day counterpart of Consuelo Vanderbilt.
    Have been re-reading her memoirs, The Glitter and The Gold (1952) and if Ivanka Trump can possibly hold
    a candle to this intelligent woman (who by the way had a highly developed social conscience, and I mean social not socialite) I will be very, very surprised.

  14. Wonderful post, & I appreciate each of the archetypes... but being a bohemian, I appreciated that offering the very best.
    I love the new front banner, stylish as always.

  15. Love this post - so glad to have found you @ PVE. Wouldn't it be fun to have a post about Raving Bitchs, Xanax Housewifes & Working Girl?

  16. Jjj- yes Mabel Dodge should definitely be in the mix at that show-she could obviously be very alluring! pgt

    Stephen, I am a bit of one too- I would prefer to be the Heiress Bohemian-a beauteous combination! pgt

  17. Mr Worthington, I have always been intrigued by Consuelo, she was truly a living sacrifice to her mother's lust.How she bred the delicate Consuelo, one marvels. Her images are still some of the most beautiful and graceful of all of the era. The Glitter and the Gold is so good, I first read it before I visited Newport. pgt

  18. 25A, welcome indeed. I thank PVE, she was the first blog friend to welcome me and send me the most wonderful watercolours of my dearly departed Moses. Oh so many of these new and lively categories. Anyone on reality tv would quality for at least one. again, hope you will stay, and I will be checking on 25A.

  19. Hmmmm...this is going to be an interesting exhibition. Thank you for taking on Style.com with some much-needed revisions. I find many of their choices to be wholly uniteresting. You have added a little spice...and hit the nail on the head.

  20. Fabulous post! I really enjoyed that. There are a few I have to disagree with style.com about. Consuelo Vanderbilt is stunning and Rachel Feinstein Currin has amazing style though. I've just tried to buy Bernice Bobs her Hair but sadly it's not available on Region 2 Dvd. So annoying, I have this problem a lot.

    Dear PGT, in honour of your truly beautiful blog, please accept an extremely well deserved Beautiful Blogger Award for you at mine xx


  21. I am going on Monday...As "Screen Siren"... hahaha ... a girl can dream!
    Sounds like a Halloween Party.
    Wish you could help me choose the outfit tomorrow. My head is spinning.
    Love the post. xox

  22. Janet, I am sure the exhibit will be more discriminating. pgt

    Christina, again thanks so much!, Bernice is great-Shelley Duvall priceless.

    I think style.com is really trying to appeal to teenagers, go figure.

  23. Ulla dear, Wear that navy and kelly green Oscar. Could you get the earrings from today? Seriously nothing better than that dress, it exudes the best in American fashion, past and present. Formal, with a bit of the sport(colourwise) and a bit cheeky.. The Gibson Girl coif-updated. You will be gorgeous, many pics and I expect to see you in the style.com party pages! pgt

  24. Brilliant post. Couldn't agree more about Rachel Currin -- good observation.

    I seem to remember Mr. Fitzgerald making a remark about Joan Crawford (yes, that one) being the "ideal flapper" or something like that.

  25. Gorgeous post Gaye! Love it! Interesting read!!!
    And thank you so much for stopping by and for leaving this kind comment!

  26. Lil' Augury!! That was what I was planning to do... the dress that I blogged about a while back, right? The BF doesn't like it, but I DON'T CARE!. Going up to the Showroom today to see it another time and look a few other options as well. I AM SO NERVOUS.
    Can I send you some pics and you help me decide?

  27. Mamacita, Rachel Currin is a true original. Interesting about Fitz, What was it about him? pgt

    Greet, thank You for stopping. pgt

  28. Ulla, Yes! of course, would love to see what you come up with-that dress yes the squares over the skirting with navy and green. That is a woman's dress-everyone (women) will love it! email be at tish209@gmail.com adress, Gaye

  29. Not to get overly nostalgic for something I never actually experienced, but Wow! the Then was just so much classier than the Now :)

    Wish I was in New York today, with Isis and all the lovely American Women.

  30. yes Jason of course you agree. I can not help lingering in the THEN, as my readers know. good to hear from you. Gaye



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