Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Beauty of Retrospect: Alda Balestra Week, Part Four

This photo of Alda Balestra is from around 1983, when her transatlantic reputation was starting to grow.  I don't know what this photo was for, but, noting the large earring, I'm guessing it was for a jewelry ad.

It's typical of our heroine to convey subtlety in her poses, which explains why she's showing only one earring instead of two.  And however ostentatious you might find jangly earrings to be, there's nothing ostentatious about the woman who's modeling this one.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Beauty of Retrospect: Alda Balestra Week, Part Three

Here's a pair of exquisite color photographs of Alda Balestra, both taken in 1980. 

The top picture, taken by photographer Denis Piel, shows her at her most classically beautiful  But the photo below, taken by Lothar Schmit, shows her displaying a little sexiness. :-)

Her look here is as dreamy as the sighs from men that she must have inspired.

She's not only ethereal in this two photos, she's etheral.  She's a knockout! ;-)

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Beauty of Retrospect: Alda Balestra Week, Part Two

As her modeling career took off in the eighties, Alda Balestra was brimming with confidence, as the photo below - showing our heroine in a fur coat - clearly displays.

Her confidence helped her to win as a school graduation prize a trip to the United States to learn English.  Her life, though, eventually took a different turn from her plans to study the humanities. She met some young designers in Florence and was immediately hired by one of them to model in a fashion show.  This led to a job to pose for six pages of advertising in Vogue, and her modeling career had started.

That young designer was Gianni Versace, by the way  . . ..  

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Beauty of Retrospect: Alda Balestra Week, Part One

It was in 1970 when the world first learned of Alda Balestra. She came out of nowhere - Trieste, which Italians consider as provincial as Americans consider Boise, Idaho provincial - to win the Miss Italy pageant at a mere sixteen years of age.  Soon after that, she was modeling in Milan and, later, Paris.  Within a decade, she was one of the top models in the fashion trade. 

The photo above captures Ms. Balestra in a soft, innocent pose, recalling the teenage girl who wowed those beauty contest judges.  The picture below shows her all grown up . . .

. . . as an avatar of very high fashion. :-)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

March 2015: Retrospectives

I'm gotten ahead of myself in posting pictures of new subjects on this blog, so I've decided to devote the month of March 2015 to pictures of women I have featured here before.

This time, however, I am doing it with a twist. Rather than post pictures of numerous women over the month, I have decided to devote each of the four whole weeks of this month to one woman, with five posts for each of them.  (I'll cap the month with a post of the latest statistics for pageviews of my blog and the top ten posts on March 31.)  I got the idea from having devoted a whole week on this blog, and then another, to a single woman before.  Both of those retrospectives, by the way, were for Estée Lauder spokesmodel Karen Graham. :-)

All of the women I've chosen for this month are also models, and they're perennial favorites of mine. I chose two of them based on the fact that I have a surplus of pictures on hand, while I chose the other two simply to give them more exposure on this blog then I have recently. 

So why don't  I go ahead and tell you who they are, to spare you the suspense? :-D  I start, in alphabetical order, with Alda Balestra, the Italian fashion and cosmetics model who has some of the most iconic images in fashion and beauty advertising in her portfolio.  I follow with Nancy Donahue, who personified all-American sophistication in the 1980s through her various ads and fashion editorials.  Third comes Sheila Johnson, the groundbreaking black model known for her alluring appearance.  I then conclude the month with another look at the incomparable German beauty Margrit Ramme, the first model to draw my attention, thanks to her platinum-blonde looks and her ability to charm many a photographer.

Full disclosure requires me to state that I know all of them through Facebook, and I have also personally met Nancy Donahue and consider her a good friend, as I consider the other three.  I have long since abandoned my old rule against posting pictures of women I know personally, now that I have been able to connect with so many high-profile models as an ironic result of their very discovery of this blog, because there's no way  I can . . . not feature these women, among the loveliest women in the modeling trade.

I start this series of retrospectives tomorrow . . . check back then! :-)

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Changes To This Blog

As of today, I've made a few changes to this blog regarding links and criteria.  The links changes are easy to explain.  It has come to my attention that Eva Voorhees, a fashion model who kept a site of her own and "Supermodel Icons," a site devoted to some of fashion's most famous models, no longer has these sites up on the Web.  So the links to them have been taken down.  I don't know why Ms. Voorhees retired them. but should they re-appear on the Web, I'll restore them. 

Also, I changed the minimum age for subjects on this blog.  It has come to my attention that some people may be uncomfortable with eighteen years as the minimum age of women who are chosen for this blog, and even though eighteen years of age is the age at which legal adulthood is conferred, I've  concluded that that's too young. So I've raised it to twenty.  Twenty years of age seems to be a more appropriate threshold. 

Back tomorrow, with a whole month of retrospectives ahead.

Friday, February 27, 2015

The Beauty of Retrospect: A Model Trio

A three-fer today! :-)

The three lovely women in the photo below are no strangers to anyone who follows this blog on a regular basis. Below are Eva Voorhees (top), Shaun Casey (lower left) and Clotilde (lower right).  This picture was part of a beauty editorial for Harper's Bazaar in June 1982; James Moore was the photographer.

For those of you less familiar with these famous faces, here's a quick refresher course:  Eva Voorhees was one of the most prominent models of the 1980s, known for Raphaelite features and her gorgeous dark hair; she did ads for Revlon, L'Oreal, and Valentino, in addition to numerous editorials and department store ads.  Shaun Casey was one of the two faces of Estée Lauder in the early 1980s, alongside Karen Graham (a frequent subject on this blog!), in addition to appearing on numerous magazine covers.  Clotilde - Kristin Clotilde Holby to family and friends - was the iconic spokesmodel for Ralph Lauren in the 1980s.   

The careers of these three models are practically the golden age of modeling in a nutshell. :-)

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Beauty of Retrospect, Swimsuit Edition: Carol Alt and Kathy Davis

I have a two-fer this Thursday!

Today, as we brave the cold and eagerly await warmer weather, I present two classic beauties I have featured before on this blog, both in poolside attire.  Above is the legendary Queens brunette Carol Alt; below is California girl Kathy Davis, whose sensational swimsuit poses you know from my previous post of her. 

These suits are obviously much more elegant, and the pictures themselves are much more artistic, than you'd find in an annual edition of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue these days, a special edition that has gotten cheesier and cheesier since the 1980s, but then, I strive to be much classier here. :-)    

Full disclosure requires me to state that, while I don't know Ms. Alt, I do know Ms. Davis.   

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Beauty of Retrospect: Happy Birthday, Veronica Webb!

A hot VW from Detroit hits the half-century mark today. ;-)

A woman of many talents and interests, Veronica Webb went from being a model in the late eighties and early nineties to writing articles for magazines and co-hosting a television show ("Tim Gunn's Guide to Style").

She currently spends a lot of time with anti-AIDS and environmental charity work.  

And, as the picture below from 2014 clearly demonstrates, she's still hot. :-)

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Beauty of Retrospect: Nancy DeWeir

One thing I couldn't help but notice back in the 1980s, sighing over the gorgeous models that dominated that decade, is how many of them were named Nancy. :-)

Today I take another look at Nancy DeWeir, whom I last featured in December 2013 (with Sheila Johnson).  When I first featured her back in 2010, I mentioned that she did ads for Cover Girl, Revlon, Clairol, and Max Factor's Maxi line.  Well, she also did catalogs for Avon.  This picture of Ms. DeWeir is from Avon's Spring 1984 catalog.  Barry Weinbaum, who graciously provided me with this picture, was an art director for Avon then. Patrick Demarchelier was the photographer. 

Thanks to Barry Weinbaum for providing it. :-)

Saturday, February 21, 2015

The Latest Numbers

I have now posted pictures of 887 different women on my blog.  And I continue to look for more to share with you.  

I've chosen, however, not to share with you my latest statistics at this time.  I plan to get to that later.  In the meantime, I have a few pictures of women I've already featured before - "retrospectives," as you already know I call them - and then for March I'll be doing retrospectives in a slightly different way . . . you'll see what I mean I when I bring this blog into March like a lion. :-) 

Stay tuned. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Actress Sarah Wright

Sarah Wright is one of the stars of a new NBC comedy series.

She appears in "Marry Me," about an engaged couple who live together and have a difficult time deciding on when they should get married.  They only know that they're even less capable of living without each other than they are of living with each other.  Casey Wilson plays Annie Fletcher, the woman engaged to Jake Schuffman (played by Ken Marino), and Ms. Wright plays Dennah, Annie's proudly single friend, who has a take-it-or-leave-it attitude toward marriage.

Ms. Wright has had one-shot roles in TV shows such as "How I Met Your Mother" and "Parks and Recreation," and she has appeared in films such as Streak, Touchback, and 21 & Over.  She is married to actor Eric Christian Olsen.     

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Model Cheryl Tiegs

Okay, do I really have to explain who this is?

Cheryl Tiegs is one of the first celebrity models in fashion and beauty history.  In the seventies, every American male over twelve knew her name as well as her face, and almost all of them had a crush on her.  She was on of the most ubiquitous faces of the era, exemplifying the "All-American look."  (The photo above is from a 1972 Revlon ad.)

Raised in the Los Angeles area, the Minnesota-born Ms. Tiegs began modeling as a teenager for Teen magazine and Seventeen magazine and became synonymous with the the mystique of southern California, much like her peer Kathy Davis (an earlier honoree on this blog).

She would appear on the covers of Vogue and Harper's Bazaar, and she also modeled for Cover Girl cosmetics in addition to Revlon, but it was her frequent appearances in the annual Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue that made her a legend.  Her fame led to four cover stories in People magazine at a time when most models weren't known by their names.

In the eighties, she developed a line of clothing and accessories for Sears, helping the then-sagging fortunes of the national department store chain.  Those fortunes have since sagged again, but Cheryl Tiegs is still gorgeous and stunning enough to lend her allure to Sears once more.  This is her in 2009 . . .

. . . and here's a picture of her from 2012.

Did I happen to mention she's a fitness expert who's made workout videos?  Well, yeah, I'm sure you've figured that out. :-) 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Actress/comedian Jessica St. Clair

Jessica St, Clair is a comic actress primarily known for her work with the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, an improvisational comedy troupe in New York.

Her biggest taste of fame came in April 2012 with "Best Friends Forever," an NBC mid-season replacement sitcom about a divorced woman (Jessica Black, played by Ms. St. Clair) who moves in with her old roommate and her roommate's live-in boyfriend.  But NBC, being in the funk that it was in during 2012 (it was in the eighth year of a nine-year ratings drought), canceled it after a month.

Ms. St. Clair has also appeared in numerous other television shows in one-shot roles, and she has also appeared in movies such as Bridesmaids and Enough Said.  

Friday, February 6, 2015

Model Susan Robinson

Susan Robinson is a fashion model form the 1970s who was active in Europe during that decade.

She modeled through the the Elysée 3 agency in Paris, the Marcos agency in Barcelona, and the Riccardo Gay agency in Milan. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Model Jennifer Phillips

Jennifer Phillips is a fashion model from the 1980s.

She worked out of Charleston, South Carolina, and she was represented by Bizon Talent Management International.  

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Actress/singer Christine Paterson

Christine Paterson, based in New York City, is another active talent of the musical stage.

Having performed all over the globe, Christine Paterson is a woman who has played many roles, from Maria in The Sound of Music and Laurey in Oklahoma! to Sarah Brown in Guys and Dolls and Catherine in Pippin.

If you haven't heard of her before, you should hear of her soon.

Fun fact:  Christine Paterson has a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance and French horn performance from Oklahoma City University. :-)  

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Model/actress Jackie Old Coyote

While there are many famous models of color, models of American Indian descent are few and far between.  Fortunately, there is Jackie Old Coyote.

A Crow/Winnebago Indian from Montana and an engineering prodigy, Jackie Old Coyote was discovered by photographer Bruce Weber and was persuaded to go to Miami, where she took part in a shoot for Calvin Klein. Two of her photos were included in a five-picture ad spread. The pose she struck was striking enough to catch the attention of movie director Frank Rodham (after seeing the Calvin Klein ad) tracked Jackie down and flew her to Los Angeles to audition for a role in the movie War Party. She passed. :-) 

She went on to be a top model for photo shoots and runways of Paris and Milan fashion shows. She continued to pursuing acting as well, earning roles in Geronimo: An American Legend and The Last Samurai.

She is a graduate of Montana State University.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

TV newswoman Octavia Mitchell

Octavia Mitchell is an anchorwoman for WCBD-TV, which serves the Lowcountry region of South Carolina.

Ms. Mitchell anchors the early-morning and midday reports on the Charleston-based station.  A native South Carolinian herself, she has been with WCBD-TV since 2002.

She covers education stories, including segments focus on positive and effective programs and community initiatives in local schools. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Model/actress Suzanne Lanza

Suzanne Lanza is a model who made a move to acting later on. :-)

Acting was actually her first endeavor.  Her acting teacher referred her to the Wilhelmina modeling agency, and she began her modeling career there.  Ms. Lanza worked through several other agencies, and she also lived in Paris for awhile. :-) 

But a career as an actress remained her major goal.  She got herself a couple of roles in movies in the nineties, most notably The Night We Never Met and Strays.

Suzanne Lanza turns fifty in March 2015. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Model Janet King

Janet King is a model from the 1970s who was based in London.

She was represented by the Askew International and Eileen Green agencies.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Model Brit Hammer

Brit Hammer is another well-known model from the 1980s.

She was represented for many years by the Elite Modeling Agency and had an exclusive contract with Clinique Cosmetics, as well as appearing in ads for such clients as DeBeers Diamonds and appearing in television commercials.

In the twenty-first century, Brit Hammer has continued to model.  But she's worked as an account executive for TV stations in Tulsa as well.

And she'd probably be the first to tell you that neither modeling nor television are as glamorous as they seem.    

Monday, January 19, 2015

New Link Announcement - Catherine Roberts Site!

I don't normally interrupt my own A-Z series of pictures of new subjects with an announcement, but when I do, it's usually for something important.  And this announcement is very important indeed.

Catherine Roberts has long been a favorite subject of mine on this blog since I first featured her here in December 2009.  She is an esteemed model best known in the fashion and beauty trades for her print ads and commercials for cosmetics and jewelry . . . though she's been more known by her face than by her name outside the fashion and beauty trades, mainly because commercial models rarely if ever get credited and she's rarely done editorial work.  My posts of Ms. Roberts have been an effort to help correct that situation and make her name as recognizable as her face - a face that is undoubtedly one of the loveliest and most unforgettable faces in modeling. :-)   

Now, Catherine Roberts is promoting herself.  She recently launched her own Web site, "Catherine Roberts - Iconic Supermodel," chock full of pictures (including a few I haven't shown here before), biographical information, and professional credentials.  The link, like all links to modeling and photography sites on this blog, is just below the members list and the blog archive field in the upper right hand corner of the screen - six spaces down the list.

Catherine Roberts was one of the first models I connected with and befriended as a result of this blog, and my association with her has been a happy one.  So I am just as happy to add her site to my list of permanent links and help get more people to it.

And so, to celebrate the addition of this link, I propose a toast . . . from the woman herself!  :-)   

A continued long and prosperous career for one of the most astonishing women in the modeling trade . . . I'll drink to that. :-)

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Broadway actress/singer Sutton Foster

Sutton Foster has been one of Broadway's brightest stars since the late nineties.

She got her start on the Great White Way as an understudy for the role of Sandy Dumbrowski in the 1996 Broadway production of Grease, and she has since distinguished herself in the title role of the musical Thoroughly Modern Millie, as Millie Dillmount, a girl who comes to the big city to marry a wealthy man.  She also played Jo March in a 2005 production of Little Women, Janet Van De Graaff in the musical comedy The Drowsy Chaperone, and Princess Fiona in Shrek, the Musical.  Among other roles. :-)

More recently, she played Violet Karl in the 2014 Broadway production of Violet, a musical whose title character travels to Oklahoma on a bus to be healed of a disfigurement caused by a childhood accident.  Ms. Foster played the role without prosthetics, encouraging the audience to imagine her disfigurement.

Sutton Foster has also made a move to television; "Younger," a comedy-drama about a middle-aged single mother who can only get a job after making herself over to look like a twentysomething and then gets hired as a publishing assistant.  Sutton Foster plays Liza, the middle-aged mom in question.  The series premiered on TV Land earlier this month (January 2015).

"Younger" is based on the novel of the same name by New Jersey author Pamela Redmond Satran.  Full disclosure requires me to state that I know Ms. Satran.  But I don't know Sutton Foster.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Model Susan Deren

Susan Deren is a model from the early eighties.

She worked in Germany and was represented by the Talents/Inge Schuckmann agency in Munich.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Model Keri Claussen

Keri Claussen is a model from Missouri who began her career at the age of fifteen.

Her credits include advertisements for Cortefiel clothes, Emporio Armani, and Victoria's Secret, and she's appeared on magazine covers in Britain and Germany. :-)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Television actress Megan Boone

Megan Boone is the star of the breakout NBC drama "The Blacklist."

In that series, she plays Elizabeth "Liz" Keen, a rookie profiler at the FBI who's assigned to work with Raymond "Red" Reddington (played by James Spader), a former U.S. naval officer who became a criminal and now helps the FBI hunt out dangerous criminals and terrorists that the agency's counter-terrorism director isn't even aware of.  In addition to immunity from prosecution, Reddington insists on working with Keen as a condition for his cooperation, explaining that she's "very special" to him.  Hmmm . . ..  

The mysteries of Reddington's interest in Liz have been revealed little by little as the series has progressed.

Before her breakthrough on "The Blacklist," Ms. Boone appeared in one-shot roles on other TV shows, such as CBS's "Blue Bloods," as well as in movies like Step Up Revolution, About Cherry, and Leave Me Like You Found Me.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Weather forecaster Llarisa Abreu

Llarisa Abreu is one of the many lovely women who does video forecasts on AccuWeather's Internet site, and her inviting presence makes foreboding forecasts for storms go down easy.

As a woman of Hispanic origin, Ms. Abreu is bilingual, and she files online weather reports in both English and Spanish. :-)  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

A New Year and New Numbers

As of today, New Year's Day 2015, I have posted pictures of 871 different women on this blog.  Obviously, I am way ahead of myself.  

That said, I'm going to try to slow things down a bit for 2015.  If I add too many new subjects at once, it may seem like overkill, and I don't want to entertain that possibility.  I will, though, be repeating women I have featured here before - the so-called "retrospectives" - and I may devote a whole week to a retrospective of one woman, which I have done before.  But I won't devote a month to a retrospective of one woman; that would really be overkill. 

In the meantime, here are my latest statistics showing the ten most popular posts on my blog.  Feel free to click on the image below to enlarge it.

The top seven posts haven't changed; those entries are in the same places as before.  Numbers eight, nine and ten have changed considerably, thanks to the rapid rise of a post that hadn't been on this chart back at the end of October 2014.   Model/photographer Barbara Minty and TV reporter Atia Abawi have dropped from numbers eight and nine to nine and ten, respectively, and British actress Lesley-Anne Down is out entirely, returning the top ten list to a condition in which not one actress primarily known for movies appears on it.  (The actresses represented here are best known for their TV work.)  Coming out of nowhere, and taking a place at number eight, is my March 2014 post of on-camera meteorologist Stef Davis of, coming in her at 2,430 views.

A lot of people have clearly demonstrated that they like Stef Davis, despite the fact that the weather service she labors for is known for only partially accurate forecasts and entirely flippant attitudes toward severe-weather reports.  I have thus demonstrated with equal clarity that I was unaware of how popular she is; I posted that entry with scant information available about her, thinking that she was a minor figure and that the entry wouldn't get much attention.

So yes, Stef Davis is popular.  And given the volatility of the weather that's expected this winter, she could become even more popular - both here and at 

So who else could be entering the top ten soon?  Well, my original post of another Davis, model Kathy Davis (whose association with yours truly you already know about), from May 2011, is only a few hundred views away from making the list, and my post of legendary Philadelphia TV news anchor Beverly Williams, who retired from broadcasting in 2006, is showing surprising strength.  And I have no idea why . . . all I can say is that I have no idea what became of her.

All right, then . . . it's a new year, and I have some new pictures.  Check back here this weekend, I plan to have something up as early as Saturday (January 3).  Happy new year, everyone.      

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Beauty of Dance, Part Five: Asya Zlatina, Koresh Dance Company, Philadelphia, PA

Asya Zlatina is a member of the Koresh Dance Company, a dynamic dance troupe based in the City of Brotherly Love.  

The Russian-born Ms. Zlatina has extensive academic background in dance, having graduated from Goucher College in Maryland in 2008 with a bachelor's degree in dance and having received an M.S. in Arts Administration from Philadelphia's Drexel University in 2013.

Ms. Zlatina has also performed with other companies, such as the ClancyWorks Dance Company in Washington and the Nilas Martins Dance Company in New York (the latter company's namesake founder is the son of the famous choreographer Peter Martins).

That's it for my fifth series of beautiful dancers.  My sixth series will appear in December 2016. :-)