Thursday, October 22, 2015

Meanwhile, in Morocco

This stunning image, Irving Penn's 1951 snap of model Lisa Fonssagrives at a palace in Morocco, appeared in this morning's throwaway free paper, in among the sports scores and banal headlines, and my whole day has been the better for it.

I think when I retire, this is both where I want to live and what I want to wear.  I may not quite have the divine Miss Fonssagrives' bone structure or figure, but a caftan is so forgiving, don't you think?

The photo is from an upcoming exhibition at the Museum of American Art, one that's clearly going to be a must-see.  I've decided to treat myself next month with plentiful vacation time, and this is one visit that's definitely on the list.  More to come on that front, but let's just say that I'm quite looking forward to November...


  1. Such a dreadful shame that since the heady, hedonistic days of Mr Penn and Miss Fonssagrives, the benighted country of Morocco has become a hotbed of homophobic violence and fundamentalist state-sponsored bigotry against gay visitors? I don't think you would be happy there these days. Nor would Mr Penn. Jx

  2. I do think it's interesting that in the 1950s the models did their own maquillage and, mostly, their own hair, and were relatively open about whatever figure flaws they had, in contrast with those working the runways these days, who all seem to be ashamed to be seen wearing designer clothes even though they have model-perfect bodies and their hair and make-up are handled professionally. Whatever else we can say about the models of the 50s, they were women who understood style as well as fashion and were strong-minded enough to live it.

    1. The whole role of fashion is so different (and in many ways so much less interesting). And it's hard indeed to see a Fonssagrives (or Dovima, or Dell'orifice) making quite the same splash...