Monday, February 27, 2017

Actress Rebecca Larsen

Rebecca Larsen is a young actress you may be hearing more of in the future.

The Utah-born Ms. Larsen has mainly been seen in television commercials, but she's also appeared in low-budget movies such as 2010's Nice Tie, Italiano!, about a chance meeting between a man and a woman that threatens to change the course of both their lives.

In her spare time, she's also an assistant director. :-) 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Model Nancy Jones

Nancy Jones is a model from the 1980s, the golden decade of modeling. :-)

With her own golden look, Ms. Jones looks absolutely striking. 

She was represented by the Kay agency in New York.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Model Jane Hitchcock

A nice Southern girl with the classy demeanor of a belle at a cotillion, Jane Hitchcock moved from her home state of Alabama to New York City to pursue ballet studies with the New York City Ballet, having been chosen for a scholarship to train there.

But it, um, didn't quite work out like that, which is why you haven't seen her in my "Beauty of Dance" posts.    

Ms. Hitchcock, like any ballet dancer, was a stunner. She attracted attention from photographers who thought she should be a model.  The late Wilhelmina Cooper, the former model who started her own agency, certainly thought so when she saw young Jane, and when Ms. Cooper's eponymous modeling agency got up and running, Jane Hitchcock was the fifth model to sign with her.   

Of course, Jane Hitchcock, with the grace she acquired from all that ballet dancing back in the Heart of Dixie, was a natural model, and she quickly began appearing in magazines Harper's Bazaar, Elle, Glamour, and Vogue.  She also appeared in several ads, such as one for Collingswood jewelry, from which the above photo is taken . . . 

. . . and many ads for Napier costume jewelry.   The photo directly above is from one of them.

Jane Hitchcock continued into the eighties, and also models well into the twenty-first century.  Look at the picture below carefully . . . this is what enduring beauty looks like!

She's a model for all time, and for all seasons. :-) 

Saturday, February 18, 2017

TV newswoman Alice Gainer

Alice Gainer has been a perennial presence in broadcast journalism in the greater New York area for quite some time.

She is currently an anchorwoman and reporter for New York's CBS station, WCBS-TV, and its sister station out on Long Island, WLNY-TV.  Before that, she worked for the local-news cable network News 12, at both its Westchester and New Jersey stations. 

Born and raised in New Jersey, Ms. Gainer graduated from Fordham University in 2004 with a communications degree and had been a news anchor at the university's radio station, WFUV-FM.  She has won several awards for journalism, including a best-continuing-coverage award from the Associated Press and an award from Public Radio News Directors Incorporated.

Fun fact 1:  Alice Gainer has even acted as a reporter, playing an MSNBC anchor in The Bourne Legacy and also playing an anchorwoman in a lottery commercial.

Fun fact 2: Ms. Gainer competed several times in the Miss New Jersey USA pageant.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Model Doreen Erickson

Doreen Erickson is a fashion model who was at her most active in the mid-eighties.

She was represented by the Legends agency in New York.  

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Actress Michelle Dockery

If you don't know who Michelle Dockery is, then you've been living under a rock for the past several years. 

Of course, she played Lady Mary Crawley in the TV period drama series "Downton Abbey," which got her two consecutive Emmy nominations and a Golden Globe award nomination . . . in addition to three Screen Actors Guild awards. :-) 

And Ms. Dockery's talents are hardly limited to the small screen.   She won acclaim for playing Eliza Doolittle in the 2007 London revival of George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, and she played Ophelia in a 2010 production of Hamlet.

In film, she played Princess Myagkaya in a 2012 adaptation of Tolstoy's novel "Anna Karenina."  Michelle Dockery, quite frankly, can do (as well as wear) anything. :-)

She currently plays a petty con artist in the TNT drama series "Good Behavior." 

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Actress Lizzy Caplan

Lizzy Caplan started out with a small role on the the coming-of-age period drama "Freaks and Geeks" (set in the early 1980s) as Sara, a high school student and the girlfriend of Nick Andopolis (played by Jason Segel, best known for his role on "How I Met Your Mother"). "Freaks and Geeks" was one of those shows that, unfortunately, received for more raves from the press than it did viewers, and so it was canceled after one season.

After more TV roles, Ms. Caplan broke through playing teenager Janis Ian (not to be confused with the real-life folk singer) in 2004's Mean Girls (2004) and as Marlena Diamond in the 2008 horror film Cloverfield, among other movies. This all led to her best-known role to date - as Virginia Johnson in "Masters of Sex," based on the real-life research of Johnson and William H. Masters into human sexual response and sexual dysfunction from the late 1950s to the 1970s.  

The series ran on Showtime from 2013 to 2016. 

Fun fact:  Ms. Caplan's maternal uncle is writer and television pundit Howard Bragman.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Model Billie Blair

Bille Blair was one of the leading models in the 1970s and 1980s. I know I should say she was one of the leading black models of that period, but I don't think of women in terms of skin color. :-)

The Michigan-born Ms. Blair, who got her start as an auto show model (of course), went from the turntable to the runway in short order. Among the fashion houses she modeled for: Yves Saint Laurent, Ralph Lauren, Christian Dior, Betsey Johnson, and Calvin Klein.

In the late eighties, she left the modeling life behind to devote time to studying the Bible, and she eventually graduated and was ordained by the Faith Tech Ministries Bible School. She became a minister, based in Defiance, Ohio.  She's the Reverend Billie Blair now. :-)

Fun fact: She took part in the famous 1973 Versailles fashion show in which she and other American fashion models, many of them models of color (some of which have already been celebrated here), famously showed up their French counterparts.     

Friday, February 3, 2017

TV newswoman Shirleen Allicot

Shirleen Allicot is a New York-bred TV newswoman in the Big Apple who made a name for herself in Philadelphia first.

She was a co-anchor for two newscasts in the City of Brotherly Love, one an afternoon program on WPVI-TV (Philadelphia's ABC affiliate) and the other the ten o'clock report on WPHL-TV.   While in Philadelphia, Ms. Allicot covered Hurricane Sandy and the Amtrak derailment in Northeast Philadelphia in 2015.  She now anchors the noon report on WABC-TV in New York City.

Her previous Tri-State TV news work include stints at the cable enterprise News 12's Connecticut, Long Island, and Bronx channels (but not News 12 New Jersey - sorry), where she reported and anchored.

Born in Guyana, Ms. Allicot grew up in Queens, where her family settled when she was three months old.  She holds a B.A. degree in broadcast journalism from Hofstra University.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Latest Numbers

Here are the latest numbers on my top ten posts for this blog.  As always, you can click on the image to see it better.

As you can gather, nothing has changed.  My post of Kristen Welker from July 2011 is still the most popular post of all the time began keeping such records for its customers, and the nine runner-ups from this list are the same ones, in the same order, from the last time I visited these stats, which was September 2015.

What can I say, some things never change.  My top-ten list seems to have assumed permanent shape.

New subjects starting soon.  Stay tuned.   

Monday, January 30, 2017

Mary Tyler Moore: 1936-2017

I don't like the fact that I have to bookend this month's posts with obituaries, but I have to acknowledge the death of Mary Tyler Moore, whom I featured here in June 2061, this past January 25.  I was happy to have been able to feature her when I did, and you can read my tribute to her on my regular blog.  As for this blog, my original Mary Tyler Moore post will remain, but, as always, I will not feature her again going forward per my self-imposed rule against depicting deceased women.  RIP. 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Beauty of Retrospect: Sara Kapp Week, Part Five

So what does Sara Kapp do for fun?

How about cook Tibetan dumplings? :-D

That's not as far-fetched as it sounds.  Ms. Kapp is a member of the Shambhala Buddhist community, and so South Asian cuisine comes naturally to her.  Here she is below, at right, with an unidentified woman at a Shambhala retreat in preparing the delicious dumplings - or momos, as they're called.  

This picture was taken in 2013, and although older, Sara Kapp still shows that unmistakable striking look - still with a bit of glamour - that made her a legend in the fashion world. 

Full disclosure requires me not only to state that Ms. Kapp is one of my Facebook friends but to state that I personally know a friend of hers in Montclair, New Jersey, Ms. Kapp's (and my family's) hometown.  I haven't met Sara Kapp in person yet, but when I do, I hope to try some of her dumplings. :-) 

Thanks for tuning in to my week-long model retrospectives. An A-Z round of new subjects starts in February. :-) 

Friday, January 27, 2017

The Beauty of Retrospect: Sara Kapp Week, Part Four

However staid and serious Sara Kapp might appear to many people, she's actually a very cheerful woman.

Isn't that obvious? :-D 

The photo above was taken in 1978.

Of course, if you prefer her pensive look, here's this classy photo from 1974. :-)

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Beauty of Retrospect: Sara Kapp Week, Part Three

And now, Sara Kapp . . . in color.

This is the Sara Kapp most of us mere mortals saw during her career - a cool, classy, enigmatic woman modeling the latest fashion creations on the runway.  

And this is the Sara Kapp you would have seen after the show . . . relaxed, laid back, and still very beautiful. :-) 

For the record, the casual photo above was taken in Japan during Ms. Kapp's participation in an Oscar de la Renta show in 1976. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Beauty of Retrospect: Sara Kapp Week, Part Two

Sara Kapp is a woman of many faces and personas. Though very much a top model of the 1980s, she managed to project a couple of cool poses in photos that looked like they could have been taken fifty years earlier.

Specfically, these photos. :-)

In the picture above and the picture below, Sara Kapp projects a classy thirties look that suggests that she'd  just stepped out of a book on the history of Art Deco.   

In fact, they were taken in 1982.  Lance Staedler was the photographer.  

Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Beauty of Retrospect: Sara Kapp Week, Part One

Sara Kapp, whom I last featured here in December 2013, is one of those models from the seventies and eighties who left an indelible impression in her career. With a striking look that got people's attention on the runway and in exotic ads for Princess Marcella Borghese cosmetics, she was a familiar face who carved out an unmistakable identity all her own, in spite of her lack of name recognition.

Of course, before she became a top model, she had to start somewhere.  This is our heroine at the beginning of the seventies, full of youthful innocence and showing only a hint of her arresting appeal. 

Friday, January 20, 2017

The Beauty of Retrospect: Iman Week, Part Five

By the time Iman posed for Terry O'Neill in the photo below, in 1994, she had started her own namesake cosmetics company, which she grew into a business making $25 million annually as of 2010.

She's also been involved in various charities and causes, such as the Children's Defense Fund, and also the Enough Project, which seeks to end the global trade in conflict minerals.  In that spirit, she also broke her modeling contract with De Beers, in light of the diamond company's questionable ethics in dealing in the valuable commodity.   

Iman is a special woman, and it would take a woman equally special to follow up with in this month's series of week-long model retrospectives.

Fortunately, I have one - the incomparable Sara Kapp. :-) 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Beauty of Retrospect: Iman Week, Part Four

I don't think there's a pose that Iman can't pull off! Bob Krieger photographed her in this playful pose.

Iman eventually tried her hand at acting, which posed problems having nothing to do with her acting ability.  Joe Queenan explained it this way: She's so beautiful that she makes everyone else in a movie look ugly.  Nevertheless, she turned in respectable performances in movies like Out of Africa and No Way Out in the eighties.  

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Beauty of Retrospect: Iman Week, Part Three

Although Iman is identifiable by only one name, "Iman" is not her only name, of course.

She was born Iman Abdulmajid in Mogadishu, Somalia, but she has also been known as Iman Haywood, having married American basketball player Spencer Haywood in 1977. They had a daughter, Zulekha, but they divorced in 1987.   More famously, she married the late British rock star David Bowie in 1992.  They sired one daughter, Alexandria Zahra Jones (Jones was Bowie's real surname), who was born eight years after they wed.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Beauty of Retrospect: Iman Week, Part Two

Like the great model that she was (and still is), Iman has the ability to project the right look for any assignment, The photo below is taken from an ad for Royal Silk blouses, and accordingly has a soft feel to it.

But when it comes time to turn on the sex appeal . . .

. . . the woman does not disappoint. :-)

Monday, January 16, 2017

The Beauty of Retrospect: Iman Week, Part One

Would you believe that the first and only time I featured Iman on this blog before now was in October 2006?

My only comment on that post "The one and only.  Enough said."  Well, no, there's actually more to say about Iman.  Plenty, in fact.

For starters, how did a woman from Somalia, a country far off - very far off - the beaten path become one of the biggest fashion models in the world?

As always, it was a matter of luck.  She was going to college in Kenya, where she was discovered by American fashion photographer Peter Beard in 1975.  She got a plum assignment a year later, doing an editorial for Vogue.  Pretty soon she ended up doing covers for some of the biggest fashion magazines in the West. 

It's not hard to figure out why Iman became a big star in modeling once she was discovered. With her long neck, slender figure, and tall stature, she was too irresistible for designers and photographers. :-)

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Beauty of Retrospect: Dawn Gallagher Week, Part Five

And here's one more photo of Dawn Gallagher, in a still from a recent video on her YouTube Channel. :-)

As noted earlier, Dawn Gallagher is originally from Buffalo, which, for those keeping score, is also Beverly Johnson's hometown.  Ms. Gallagher was discovered at an early age and started with the Elite agency in New York. Soon she was being represented by that agency's Los Angeles and Paris offices, as well as the Paris agency L'Agence.   

How did she get discovered?  A fashion photographer scouting for new faces saw her and gave her his card, which she put away in her desk drawer at home, not thinking much of his urging to become a model . . . until she saw his name in a photography credit in a posh fashion magazine.  So, our heroine called the number . . . and the rest is history.

Full disclosure requires me to state that Dawn Gallagher is one of my friends in the modeling profession.  To think, if she had never seen that scouting photographer's name in a photo credit in a fashion magazine, and hadn't called the number on his business card, she would never have become a top model in New York or Paris . . . and she would have missed the pleasure of meeting me. :-)

On to a model I haven't revisited for the longest time . . . Iman. :-D  

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Beauty of Retrospect: Dawn Gallagher Week, Part Four

So how does Dawn Gallagher look these days?

Glad you asked!  Here's a recent picture!  

Since I last featured Dawn Gallagher in June 2014, she has continued to promote organic beauty regimens (which obviously work) on her Web site and on her YouTube channel, and she has also remained a regular on the QVC shopping channel.  She's clearly living life to the fullest. :-)

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Beauty of Retrospect: Dawn Gallagher Week, Part Three

Dawn Gallagher's portfolio isn't limited to makeup ads and haute couture.  She also has a couple of swimsuit photos to boast about! :-D 

And if you think she looks gorgeous in a one-piece suit, imagine how arresting she looks in a two-piece! 

The color photo is from an ad for Roxanne swimwear.

It certainly makes you forget it's January.  Ironically, Dawn Gallagher comes from Buffalo, where two days in July are usually referred to as "the warm season." :-D    

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Beauty of Retrospect: Dawn Gallagher Week, Part Two

If, back in the eighties, you wanted to project fresh-faced innocence in a cosmetics ad, Dawn Gallagher was your woman for the job.

She certainly projects that, and a little excitement, in the picture above, from a 1982 French ad for the punningly named Bourjois face powder.

She also added a little coolness to her innocence in the ad below.

It's from an ad for Aziza mascara. :-) 

Monday, January 9, 2017

The Beauty of Retrospect: Dawn Gallagher Week, Part One

This week I look back on Dawn Gallagher, an all-American-type model who became well-known for her sweet smile and her adorable disposition.

Here's one of her earliest glamour shots, from the early 1980s. 

So red the rose . . .  so blue the eyes! :-)

Saturday, January 7, 2017

The Beauty of Retrospect: Clotilde Week, Part Five

Clotilde may be best known for her Ralph Lauren and Yves Saint Laurent ads, but she was also a spokesmodel for skin-care products from Orlane, a French company. The photo below is from an Orlane ad in the early eighties.

And, as always, she looks regal . . . maybe more so than her Ralph Lauren ads. :-)

Clotilde once referred to herself as an optical illusion, showing that she didn't take her modeling career too seriously.

That's it for Kristin Clotilde Holby Darnell.  Next up - Dawn Gallagher. :-)   

Friday, January 6, 2017

The Beauty of Retrospect: Clotilde Week, Part Four

She was born Kristin Clotilde Holby, but only her middle name sufficed when she went from designing fabric to modeling clothes. 

Born in Norway and raised in Larchmont, New York, Clotilde 's modeling career took off in the late seventies, with many covers and editorial assignments for Cosmopolitan, Vogue, and Harper's Bazaar, among other magazines.  She did plenty of advertising work too, but despite her work with Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent and Chanel, her work with Ralph Lauren has overshadowed her modeling for French fashion houses..

She could look sporting, demure, or elegant.  In these photos - all taken from the same Ralph Lauren cosmetics ad - she conveys all three looks.

Clotilde had a minor role in the 1983 Dan Aykroyd/Eddie Murphy comedy Trading Places, as the girlfriend of Aykroyd's snooty rich character. I remember seeing that movie back in the 1980s and thinking, "Isn't she a famous model?"  When I saw that she was credited as Kristin Holby - a name I had not heard before - I thought, "Naah, I'm thinking of someone else."  The heck I was! :-D 

After marrying her second husband, Dr. James Darnell, she quit the modeling business, returned to Larchmont, and raised three children.  She also started a dress shop of her own in Larchmont, the link to which is here

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Beauty of Retrospect: Clotilde Week, Part Three

In addition to advertisements for designers, Clotilde also did editorial work for fashion magazines.  She kept that same classy look from her Rive Gauche and Ralph Lauren ads, but her poses added a touch of realism that only a fashion editorial assignment can convey.   

Her determined look is pretty fierce in this assignment from the January 1980 edition of the U.S. edition of Vogue.  In the photo from the September 1980 issue of Harper's Bazaar, below, she shows an aura of classic beauty with modern confidence. 

If Clotilde looks like she has a special knack for wearing clothing of the right fabric for the right occasion, that may be because she took courses in apparel design at the Rhode Island School of Design.  Before she became a model, she was a fabric designer for a textile company.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The Beauty of Retrospect: Clotilde Week, Part Two

It probably goes without saying that Clotilde is best known for her elegant, classy Ralph Lauren ads.

This photo is from one of those ads, and it's probably one of her best poses.  The ad is for Lauren perfume, and it ran in 1982. 

She almost looks winsome here, but Clotilde is actually tougher than she appears. :-)