Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Beauty of Retrospect: Another Model Trio

I couldn't resist the temptation or pass up the opportunity to throw in another look back at women I've featured before on this blog before starting a new A-Z round.  And once again, I'm looking back at models, two of whom I did week-long features for in the month just gone by; the third model appeared in a retrospective post from this past February. :-)

Pictured above, from a catalog photo, are Sheila Johnson at top, and Nancy Donahue at lower right.  They are joined here by another Nancy - Nancy DeWeir, who has worked with both women at other times.

Catalog photos, as I mentioned before, are bread-and-butter assignments for top models, and - as I'm sure I've also said before - imagine how they look in high-class fashion editorials if they look this gorgeous in a catalog! :-D 

Back soon with new subjects. :-)   

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Latest Statistics

Here are the latest data (it's a plural word, look it up) on the ten most popular posts on this blog.  Feel free, as always, to click on the chart to enlarge it.  As you can see, there's one big change.

A lot of people are clearly into AccuWeather's Stef Davis; my post of her from March 2014 surged from eighth place into sixth, with 4,085 views, and its popularity shows no sign of cooling.  My July 2011 post of television reporter Kristen Welker remains the most popular post on this blog by a wide margin, though, with 38,630 views compared to 13,407 for the runner-up, my September 2009 post of model Sheila Johnson, whose portfolio I delved into to provide a whole week of posts in the month just ending.  But my first look at Ms. Johnson remains the most popular of all posts devoted to her.

In January 2015, posts of actress Kaley Cuoco, actress Erin Gray, model and photographer Barbara Minty, and television reporter Atia Abawi were in sixth, seventh, ninth, and tenth, respectively; though their positions have obviously shifted, their order of positioning remains the same.

I'll leave you to ponder all that while I prepare for a new A-Z round of previously unfeatured women for April and May.  And, to avoid the implication of an April Fool's joke, let me get this out of the way: My post for April 1 will be another retrospective, as I wanted to publish it before I started on new subjects.  So here we go, into a new month and new posts.  :-)          

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Beauty of Retrospect: Margrit Ramme Week, Part Five

I'm . . . I'm speechless.

This is the last photo of Margrit Ramme for my week-long look back at her modeling career, and for once, I can't find the words to describe this photo.  But I think it encapsulates everything that makes Margrit Ramme the exotically beautiful woman she's always been.  One picture really is worth a thousand words.  

That's it for my retrospective looks at famous models I've featured here before, one woman per week. After one more post this month to look at the latest statistics, I'm going out of March like a lamb.

Friday, March 27, 2015

The Beauty of Retrospect: Margrit Ramme Week, Part Four

An invitation to dinner? :-)

These two pictures of one of Germany's most beautiful women going Italian were meant not to sell the food but the clothes.   These two photos of Margrit Ramme posing in Italian-designed dresses were taken for a fashion editorial for the April 1, 1968 edition of U.K. Vogue, by noted bad-boy fashion photographer Helmut Newton . . . at a time when he was apparently more well-behaved. ;-)    

Another picture from this editorial was featured in an earlier post on this blog devoted to Margrit Ramme, from April 2011.

The editorial photos may have been meant to sell clothes, but Margrit Ramme does a pretty good job promoting herself as the ultimate dinner date. :-)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Beauty of Retrospect: Margrit Ramme Week, Part Three

These two photos of Margrit Ramme were taken about a decade apart, and while her work may have become more conservative, she obviously lost nothing in the intervening ten years in terms of her appeal.

The above photo is from 1979, taken by fashion photographer Winnie Decker, when Margrit Ramme was represented by the Elite modeling agency in New York.  The one below, from 1989, shows her in a more straightforward pose.  By then, she was represented by Elite's Elite Elegance subsidiary. 

She may have become more elegant in time, but she remained just as beautiful.

She was even more beautiful after ten years, in fact. :-)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Beauty of Retrospect: Margrit Ramme Week, Part Two

Here's Margrit Ramme striking some very serious poses. :-)

The above color photo emphasizes her high glamour, looking like she's ready for night on the town.  The black-and-white photo is less formal, but no less indicative of how seriously our heroine took her poses. :-)   And it this picture, she uses her hair very effectively. 

In love yet, boys? :-) 

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Beauty of Retrospect: Margrit Ramme Week, Part One

What better way to begin my week-long look back at German model Margrit Ramme than these two photos, both showing a side of her as soft as the camera's focus? :-)

The above color photo shows Margrit Ramme in an apparently  favorite pose of hers - staring directly at the camera with the right side of her face partially obscured!  This time, it's her wavy golden locks flowing over her perfectly lovely face.

Did you happen to notice her bare shoulders and glistening jewelry? :-D 

The photo below, in light sepia, shows her in a pensive, dreamy mood, her lips gently parted, reminding us why she is one of those models who has been so uniquely skilled at making men sigh like schoolboys. :-)   

Both pictures were taken by British photographer Tom Murray.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Beauty of Retrospect: Sheila Johnson Week, Part Five

It makes sense that Sheila Johnson would model for Royal Silk, a New Jersey-based company selling silk-fabric clothes of every persuasion, because her beauty is as smooth and as inviting as silk itself. 

So, for my last two pictures for this week-long look back at Ms. Johnson, I present photos from two of her Royal Silk ads.  Both of them show her wearing blouses.

The photo above, from a Royal Silk ad in the March 1983 issue of U.S. Vogue, shows the Sheila Johnson I fell in love with back in the eighties . . . sweet, alluring, and sensual, with her soft smile and her warm, inviting eyes.  The reclining pose complements her come-hither look quite nicely.

In the photo below, she strikes a different pose.    

This photo, from a Royal Silk ad in the February 1984 issue of U.S. Vogue, shows the confident, determined Sheila Johnson that reminds us why we love the woman.  Her strong, tall-standing pose and her assured, assertive expression reveal her as a model who knows how to survive in the the tough business that the modeling trade is.  And those of us who love Sheila Johnson are glad she's had what it takes to thrive and prosper.

Next up, for the last full week of March - Margrit Ramme! :-)    

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Beauty of Retrospect: Sheila Johnson Week, Part Four

As always, I view this fashion-model picture with less of an eye toward the fashion and more toward the model. :-) 

Yes, the purple top is stylish, especially with the rope belt around it, but what caught my eye was the confident look in Sheila Johnson's face . . . a look that says she can take on the world and do it with class.

And we know she can.    

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Beauty of Retrospect: Sheila Johnson Week, Part Three

Here I have three pictures of Sheila Johnson posing in different sorts of dresses, from a soft, sensible outfit . . .

 . . . to a more business-like and professional dress (note that our heroine is posing alongside a filing cabinet, with books behind her) . . .

. . . to a gorgeous, black romantic evening-wear number. :-)

It's not remarkable that Sheila Johnson can wear three different dresses with such flair.  But it's worth noting that all three of these pictures are from the same issue of Vogue Patterns (July-August 1982).  The fact that these photos all appeared in the same issue only underlines how highly versatile she is as a model. :-)       

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Beauty of Retrospect: Sheila Johnson Week, Part Two

Both of these pictures of Sheila Johnson for from a U.S. Vogue editorial, from its January 1981. 

The editorial was titled "When You Wear Less."

Though there were other models included in this editorial, I can't think of too many other women who could do better than Sheila Johnson in conveying the message that less is truly more. :-) 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Beauty of Retrospect: Sheila Johnson Week, Part One

I thought I'd start this week looking again at model Sheila Johnson in a big way - and what better way to do that than with a picture of her in a strapless dress?

Sighing yet? :-)

Throughout her modeling career in the late seventies and the eighties, Sheila Johnson often presented an alluring and soft persona in her poses, but she could turn on the sex appeal just as effortlessly.  She still keeps a bit of that soft allure in this picture, though, suggesting a "goddess-next-door" persona.

Who's the dress designer, you ask?  Right, you think I care? :-D

Originally from Massachusetts, Sheila Johnson got her start as a model in the Boston area before gaining representation through the revered  Elite modeling agency. 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Beauty of Retrospect: Nancy Donahue Week, Part Five

I close out my week-long look back at Nancy Donahue with a more recent picture.

She's in her fifties as of this writing, and she's still beautiful.  But then, why would that surprise you? :-)

A week of Sheila Johnson is coming next.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Beauty of Retrospect: Nancy Donahue Week, Part Four

Here are two very stunning pictures from Nancy Donahue's portfolio, both from advertisements.

The top photo is from an ad for Albert Nipon, the Philadelphia-based (yes, Philadelphia-based) fashion design firm started by the designer of the same name.  Nipon's namesake brand was one of the most popular fashion brands of the early eighties, coinciding with Ms. Donahue's reputation as one of Elite's top new models.

The photo below is from a DeBeers jewelry ad, from 1983.

Nancy Donahue defines her own style as "innocence and cool sophistication."  This picture (like the one above) sums up that definition perfectly. :-)

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Beauty of Retrospect: Nancy Donahue Week, Part Three

If you thought Nancy Donahue look hot in catalog photos, then you can imagine how hot she looks in photos for more glamorous assignments.  Actually, you don't have to imagine it - just look at the photos I have right here! :-D   

The top photo is from the September 1979 issue of U.S. Vogue , photographed by John Stember for an editorial titled, "American Style: It Gives You the Most!"  (It sure does.  :-) )  The bottom photo is from a Helena Rubinstein ad.

Specifically, it's an ad for Silken lipstick.  And the Helena Rubenstein brand was and remains one of the most exclusive cosmetics brands in the beauty business.  For Nancy Donahue or any other model, a Helena Rubinstein ad in one's portfolio is the proverbial feather in the cap.  

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Beauty of Retrospect: Nancy Donahue Week, Part Two

Catalogs are often considered to be "bread and butter work" in the modeling trade, mainly because they are less glamorous than fashion magazines and they are aimed toward a larger mass-market clientele.  Nancy Donahue has appeared in catalogs as often as she's appeared in magazine ads and editorials, but she's no less stunning in her catalog work.

This picture, showing Ms. Donahue in a blue top with a matching bracelet, with yellow and red stripes, and a white pair of slacks, would be a highly worthy addition to any model's portfolio. :-) 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Beauty of Retrospect: Nancy Donahue Week, Part One

And now, to Nancy Donahue. :-)

Nancy Donahue began working steadily as a model when she joined the prestigious Elite agency in New York in 1979, just as more models were becoming known by their names and thus becoming celebrities in their own right.  This photo is from one of her earliest assignments, for an Avon catalog.

This picture places Ms. Donahue in front of an uncharacteristically unglamorous tableau - an industrial backdrop.  The photo is for Avon's skin care line, promoting it as "tomorrow's skin care for today's environment" - acknowledging the environment in late-seventies America as being one with more pollution and smog.  

Ms. Donahue herself looks very fresh-faced here - and very laid-back in a blouse and blazer, the collars of both being casually askew. :-)  She would retain that style going forward.   

Thanks to Kissy Mentovay for the picture.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

The Beauty of Retrospect: Alda Balestra Week, Part Five

Here are two pictures to close my week-long retrospective look at Alda Balestra, both of them recent.

In late middle age, Ms. Balestra still looks fashionable and sophisticated, whether in a conservative hat and scarf . . .

. . . or an ensemble with a little more flair. :-)

Ms. Balestra moved to New York and remained there at the close of her modeling career, working as a fashion producer and editor.  There, she gave birth to her two children, and in the year 2000 she began the next phase of her life when she relocated to Berlin with her husband Claus von Stauffenberg and her son and daughter.   She has been there since then, working in communications and public relations, with a specialty for art and design,  She organizes events and promotes new artists.

Alda Balestra hasn't forgotten where she came from. though.  She regularly promotes a cross-cultural dialogue between Berlin and her hometown of Trieste, and she finds many Berliners to be fascinated by Trieste and its history.  The Trieste connection is one she's proud of.  "I have always maintained a strong connection with my homeland, my family, and my friends," she told an Italian news site.

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.