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. :-) 

Monday, January 2, 2017

The Beauty of Retrospect: Clotilde Week, Part One

It may be pretentious to go by one name in any profession, but, as a star model of the seventies and eighties,  Clotilde was so distinctive she earned the right to go by just one name - her middle one.

Although she's best known for her work with Ralph Lauren, Clotilde has a lot of other credits to her single name.  One of them was her work with Yves Saint Laurent's Rive Gauche clothing line, an ad for which she struck this pose in 1977.

She could look very seductive, as this photo shows, but as the 1978 picture for the same ad campaign demonstrated, she could also look formal and conservative.

And after all this work in black-and white-photography for Rive Gauche (French for "Left Bank"), what could Clotilde do for an encore?

How about Rive Gauche ads in living color?

More Clotilde to come.

January 2017: Model Retrospectives

For the third time on this blog, as I start off the new year, I'm devoting each week in the is first month of January 2017 to a different woman, each one a fashion model, with five posts for each one.

I enjoy doing this on occasion because it allows me to revisit models I've featured before, and with pictures that, more often than not, are nicer and prettier than pictures of these models shown earlier on my blog. And sometimes I need to revisit women I've featured before after not having featured them for too long.

So who are the models I'll be revisiting this month? Well, first I am going to look at late seventies/early eighties icon Clotilde, who was a ubiquitous feature in both commercial and editorial modeling work.   Second is Dawn Gallagher, a sweet girl from the early eighties who became one of the most astonishing women in the modeling profession.

Third is Iman, a giant among fashion and beauty models and a woman I haven't featured since . . . 2006, the year I started this blog! I was originally going to have a week-long look back at Iman in February 2016, when I last did these week-long retrospectives for four different women in a single month, but her husband, David Bowie, had died a month earlier, so I postponed it until enough time went by after his death.  The retrospective you will see this month is the one I originally planned for February 2016.

Finally, I end January 2017 with a week-long retrospective at a strikingly beautiful woman I always enjoy featuring, Sara Kapp, a favorite of designers for their runway shows.

I'm starting this series of retrospectives today.  Happy new year! :-)

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Carrie Fisher: 1956-2016

Before I begin a new round of posts in this new year of 2017, it is with deep sorrow that I note the passing of actress Carrie Fisher, whom I featured twice on this blog: once in August 2009 and again in November 2014.  Ms. Fisher was best known, of course as Princess Leia Organa in the original Star Wars trilogy and the first movie of the current trilogy, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but she was also known for other roles in the movies, and she was also a writer, having just put out a memoir, "The Princess Diarist."

And as if her death from a heart attack at the age of sixty weren't bad enough, her mother, actress Debbie Reynolds, died of a stoke at 84 years of age the day after. :-(

My posts of Carrie Fisher are going to stay remain on this blog, of course, as she was still alive when I posted them, but since I do not post pictures of women whom I know are deceased, I will not be posting any more pictures of Ms. Fisher going forward. R.I.P. :-(

I'll be back tomorrow to start a month's worth of retrospectives. 

Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Beauty of Dance, Part Six: Vanessa Zahorian, San Francisco Ballet, San Francisco, CA

I end this sixth series of beautiful dancers, and the year, with a look at Vanessa Zahorian, principal dancer for the San Francisco Ballet.

Originally from Allentown, Pennsylvania, Ms. Zahorian has been a member of the San Francisco Ballet's company since 1997. She made it to the City By the Bay by way of St. Petersburg, and I'm not talking about a city in central Florida. She had an apprenticeship at the Mariinsky Ballet in the former capital of Russia, and so began her career back home in America with formidable experience.

Ms. Zahorian’s major roles include both the title role and Myrtha in Giselle, the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Kitri in Don Quixote, and too many more to list here. :-)

She also won in 2012 the Isadora Duncan Dance Special Award for "Many Faces of Giselle," thanks to her acclaimed performances of that role.

That's it for my sixth series of beautiful dancers. My seventh series will appear in December 2018. In the meantime, happy 2017 to all. :-)

Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Beauty of Dance, Part Six: Chloé Sherman, Joffrey Ballet, Chicago, IL

I turn to the Joffrey Ballet once again, from which I present Chloé Sherman, who joined the esteemed company this year (2016).

The New York native was part of the Los Angeles Ballet's company before heading to Chicago. Her work has included both ballet and contemporary performances. In addition to performing world premieres by choreographers such as Kitty McNamee and Christopher Stowell, Ms. Sherman's repertoire includes dances such as Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, and Romeo and Juliet.

Monday, December 26, 2016

The Beauty of Dance, Part Six: Melissa Rector, Koresh Dance Company, Philadelphia, PA

Melissa Rector is one of the original members of the Koresh Dance Company in the City of Brotherly Love.

The Koresh Dance Company, a contemporary troupe, was founded in 1991.  Ms. Rector,  a West  Virginia native, was attending Philadelphia's University of the Arts when it formed.  (She graduated two years after.) 

At this writing, she is Koresh's assistant artistic director, as well as a teacher at the Koresh School of Dance.  She established a youth company for the organization, for which she serves as the  artistic director.  The Koresh Youth Ensemble, as it;s called, has done much of her own choreography.

Friday, December 23, 2016

The Beauty of Dance, Part Six: Jasmine Perry, Los Angeles Ballet, Los Angeles, CA

What a sweet smile!

If Jasmine Perry dances as memorably as she smiles - and I have no doubt that she does - then she has a storied career ahead of her indeed.

Originally from Charlotte, North Carolina, Ms. Perry was trained at the School of American Ballet in New York City, where she distinguished herself in her last year. She performed the lead in George Balanchine's Discord and War. in the school's annual student workshop.

She joined the Los Angeles ballet immediately after graduation, where she's been since 2013.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Beauty of Dance, Part Six: Kristen McNally, The Royal Ballet, London, England, UK

Liverpool, England isn't only known for rock and rollers like the Beatles and Elvis Costello. It's also produced distinguished dancers . . .well, at least one that you ought to know about . :-) 

Kristen McNally is a soloist with The Royal Ballet. who is also a choreographer, and she has regularly lent her choreographic talents to creating dances for British dance groups such as Draft Works and BalletBoyz.

Her repertoire with the Royal Ballet has included roles such as Madame in Manon, Carabosse in The Sleeping Beauty, and the Stepmother in Hansel and Gretel. And get this: Remember Mayerling, the story about the ill-fated Austrian Crown Prince Rudolph and his romance with a commoner that was first made as a movie in France in 1936 and remade as a movie in Britain in 1968? Bet you didn't know there was a ballet based on that tragic story, Ms. McNally danced the role of the Empress Elisabeth, Rudolph's mother.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

The Beauty of Dance, Part Six: Anastacia Holden, Joffrey Ballet, Chicago, IL

Anastacia Holden has been with the Joffrey Ballet since 2005. 

Her many roles with the esteemed Chicago company have included the Spring Fairy in Cinderella, Amore in Don Quixote, and Gamzatti in La Bayadère. Ms. Holden has also performed original roles in new dances from choreographers such as Nicolas Blanc,Val Caniparoli, and Stanton Welch.

Fun fact: Ms. Holden is also the co-founder of Embarc, a three-year program that helps poor students prepare for college and the workforce.  Embarc has been in operation since 2010. 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Beauty of Dance, Part Six: Samantha Figgins, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, New York, NY

And now, to modern dance . . . and another troupe member of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. :-)

Samantha Figgins is originally from Washington, D.C., and she honed her skills in  a program at the Dance Theatre of Harlem and as a student at  the dance conservatory at the State University of New York's Purchase campus, where she added dances by George Balanchine, Paul Taylor, and Twyla Tharp to her repertoire.  A member of the Ailey company since 2014, was featured in Pointe magazine as one of ten dancers to watch for 2013. 

Monday, December 12, 2016

The Beauty of Dance, Part Six: Francesca Dugarte, Washington Ballet, Washington, DC

Originally from the Venezuelan capital of Caracas, Francesca Dugarte is turning heads in the capital of the United States as a member of the Washington Ballet's company.

She danced in various companies all over the world before arriving in D.C., and she earned a first-place award in Korea’s International Ballet Competition.  Ms. Dugarte's repertoire includes roles in The Sleeping Beauty, Le Corsaire, La Sylphide, and Diana &  Acteon, among other ballets.

Fun fact: She was a contestant on the Italian talent show "Amici di Maria de Fillippi." :-)

Saturday, December 10, 2016

The Beauty of Dance, Part Six: Xuan Cheng, Oregon Ballet Theatre, Portland, OR

Xuan Cheng is originally from the Chinese province of Hunan, but these days she's making a name for herself on this side of the Pacific Rim. :-)

Starting out as a principal dancer for the Guangzhou Ballet in her native China, she made her way to Montréal, where she danced for La La La Human Steps and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. She has been a principal dancer for the Oregon Ballet since 2011, with major principal roles in Giselle, Cinderella, and Swan Lake.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Beauty of Dance, Part Six: Ana Calderon, Pennsylvania Ballet, Philadelphia, PA

Ana Calderon is an up-and-coming ballet star who's made her way to Philadelphia by way of Spain.

Ms. Calderon was trained at the Royal Conservatory of Professional Dance of Madrid and started her career with the Zurich Ballet in Switzerland.  She eventually made her way back to Spain and became a soloist in the Barcelona Ballet before coming to America. Ms. Calderon danced with the Houston Ballet before ultimately joining Pennsylvania Ballet in 2015.

Among Ms. Calderon's credits are roles in Don Quixote, Swan Lake, Coppélia, and In the Upper Room.

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Beauty of Dance, Part Six: Isabella Boylston, American Ballet Theatre, New York, NY

Isabella Boylston is a recently minted star of the American Ballet Theatre.

She joined the troupe's studio company in 2005, joining the main company's corps de ballet in March 2007. She was promoted to principal dancer in August 2014.

Among the roles Ms. Boylston has dance at the American Ballet Theatre are Gamzatti in La Bayadère, Aurora in Coppélia, the Princess in The Nutcracker, and Lescaut's Mistress in Manon.

Ms. Boylston is the 2009 recipient of the Princess Grace Award, and she won the Clive Barnes Award in 2011.

Friday, December 2, 2016

The Beauty of Dance, Part Six: Diana Albrecht, Boston Ballet, Boston, MA

Diana Albrecht is a second soloist with the Boston Ballet.

Originally from Paraguay, Ms. Albrecht began her dance studies in Brazil and came to the United States on a scholarship to train in the United States.continued her training.  Having danced with the Washington Ballet, she joined the Boston Ballet in 2011.

Her credits include productions of George Balanchine's The Four Temperaments, Twyla Tharp's Baker's Dozen, and as both the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Dew Drop Fairy in The Nutcracker.     

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Beauty of Dance: Part Six!

If it's December in an even-numbered year, than it must be time for a series of dancers on this blog,.  And dance is usually one of the first places you look for beautiful women.   

Again, I'm mostly focusing on ballet dancers here, but this time it's not really intentional; finding modern dancers has been hard, mainly because the modern dance companies I have sought out either are hard to find online or have somewhat user-unfriendly Web sites.

Last time I featured sixteen dancers, quite possibly to make sure I made it to one thousand women by the time of this blog's tenth anniversary.  I'm taking it a little easier this time, choosing to feature only twelve.  Quality over quantity. :-)

Right -  why am I wasting time like this?  I start tomorrow! :-)

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Beauty of Retrospect: Catherine Deneuve in Black and White

I'm staying with the French for the time being . . . :-)

Black and white photography, we are told, has a purity all its own.  Maybe that's why Catherine Deneuve, France's greatest living actress, is more stunning in black and white than many of the color photos she's posed for.  (Not that she isn't stunning in living color, of course.)

The photo above is from 1965, in which our heroine looks wonderfully ethereal.  Then there's the picture below from 1966, where she looks downright sexy in a black-and-white body suit. :-D

No, I don't know what a picture of the Shah of Iran and his wife is doing in the background. 

Of course, Catherine Deneuve will always look great in monochromatic tones, even when she looks pensive and quiet . . . as depicted below.

The actress, who turned 73 in October 2016, remains, as always, a living legend. :-D :-)