03 July 2011

b4 C Z G-an American girl

She was the glamorous Lucy Cochran called Sissy by her brother- she adopted the CZ from there (pronounced See Zee.)

She pursued the stage and was  a Broadway showgirl in the 1944 Ziegfeld Follies-following in her mother's well heeled foot steps. From there she would head to California to pursue Hollywood & from there- to Mexico where she posed nude for Diego Rivera.

photograph by George Platt Lynes for Vogue, August 1947

VERITAS by Diego Rivera hung in the bar of the Hotel Reforma in Mexico City.  "In Venum Veritas," a reclining nude was painted in 1945 & Lucy Douglas Cochrane was the model. ( painting image from here ) Rumor goes that when Lucy married Winston Frederick Churchill Guest -and became Mrs. - his family bought the picture from the bar.

She married in Havana at  best man Ernest Hemingway's home-Papa was a game hunting friend of  the groom. After the wedding---
a series of Best Dressed Lists, horses, WASPY good looks, friends like Cecil Beaton, Truman Capote &  the Duchess of Windsor. 

Once described by a journalist -"With her pale skin, blue eyes, ash-blonde hair and trim figure, she is cut from the same cool, silky cloth as Grace Kelly. It is a patrician beauty that is indigenous to socially registered enclaves like Palm Beach and Southampton, a sporty, outdoorsy look that eschews make-up, hairspray and anything trendy. She has an outspoken, coolly self-assured manner and a throaty, well-modulated voice with a trace of a British accent." She shopped in Paris at Mainbocher-the cut to perfection simplicity couturier & would show up at the fashion shows in her sportswear looks- turtlenecks & skirts. Where CZ went- many followed, but she was an original-she never seemed to notice. Her clothes covered -she never seemed impressed with it all.

In her younger years in Boston she had loved gardening-had her own on the grounds of the family home & as a woman  she wrote a book, First Garden in 1977. Now a collector's item-with illustrations by Beaton and the preface by Capote: "There, with her baskets and spades and clippers and wearing her funny boyish shoes, and with her sunborne sweat soaking her eyes, she is a part of the sky and the earth, possibly a not too significant part, but a part." Other books would follow. She considered the garden "her good and loyal friend." Much has been written about this star- but of note to this writer- she too was a good and loyal friend. What more is there?
"All the love and tender care you put into it will be returned." CZG

more CZ this summer-


  1. Beautiful post and beautiful quote at the end.

  2. Fun post about CZ...growing up in Middleburg, VA in the 50s and 60s) we were acquainted with her. I don't think she had a place, but she hunted there.

    The reference to turtlenecks in your post reminded me of a time when I was in the Saddlery, a shop in town that my mother managed for her best friend who owned the store.

    Ms. Guest came in and bought a pile of about 15 turtlenecks in all colors, which she carried out in her arms without a bag. (pre-paper or plastic?)

    I always remember my mom saying it was tacky for her not to use a bag, that she was ostentatiously displaying her ability to buy unlimited numbers of shirts.

    Funny, my mom was from old money landed gentry. Though the money was gone and our family in downwardly mobile circumstances, Mama was unerring in matters of taste. :)

    I look forward to your promised future CZ posts, and thanks for triggering a sweet memory of my mom.

  3. A great post! Her Long Island home and Manhattan apartment were notably chic as well.
    _ The Devoted Classicist

  4. A style icon to be sure and the best kind (who didn't care). Can't wait to read more...

  5. really ???

    I didn't know all that and love that dress she has on in the 1947 Vogue shot Love it


  6. A gorgeous very unique woman. I adore Ann's recounting of the fifteen turtlenecks!!

    Art by Karena

  7. Please more CZ--what a babe!

  8. Bruce- I loved her gardening books and advice. I believe in friendship and gardening.

    Karena, really great!

    Mary- she was a babe.

    Q I agree, the best kind!

    Curtain- Really!

  9. John, I love that her homes stayed as they were, meaning- she did not concern herself with doing them over and over. The marbling throughout the rooms at Templeton for instance. If it is done well-it is still beautiful. It is a shame-as it is with many things in design-they become so diluted the "times" discard them. thank goodness we don't. pgt

  10. Ann- what a great story. I would love to share that with all little augury readers, let me know if I might. maybe she was an early recycler! thanks for sharing that one! pgt

  11. Well sure, share away, I'd be flattered! I know, I thought about the recycling bit...in those days folks threw trash out the car window without a second thought. As kids, we used to search along the roads for soda bottles to turn in for cash to finance our candy purchases. :)

    This was all before the "Don't be a Litterbug" campaign under JFK, I think.



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