Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Beauty of Retrospect, Bonus Post: Sheila Johnson, U.S. Vogue, 1981

Before I wrap it up for June, I thought I'd get one more retrospective post in, and for a top model who's worth the extra attention. :-)

Easily one of the most ubiquitous models of the 1980s, Sheila Johnson has a portfolio that would take a whole separate blog for me to chronicle.  I'm happy to revisit her, though, with three particular pictures taken at the height of her career.  All of them are from issues the U.S. edition of Vogue, and from the the same year, 1981.

The photo at the top of this post, taken by Arthur Elgort, shows Ms. Johnson looking very purposeful in a fashion editorial from Vogue's February 1981 issue, titeld "More Contrast, More Choice, More Chance To Be Yourself." And she certainly strikes a unique pose.

The closeup photo immediately above this text is a picture from the May 1981 issue of Vogue, specifically from an editorial for perfume.  The editorial also shows how Ms. Johnson demonstrates the right look for the ideal perfume to go with - "a pretty softness about makeup and hair, skin-showing clothes, eye-catching accessories . . . "  With her own naturally sweet face, it's a look she demonstrates effortlessly, though the earrings are a nice touch.  The photo is by Richard Avedon.

And just as Sheila Johnson could look soft and alluring in a color closeup, she could look professional and purposeful in black and white, as in this additional Arthur Elgort photo for an editorial on the "A.M. Casual;" look, in U.S. Vogue's August 1981 issue.  

It's her versatility that's one of the things we love her for. :-)

She's a very special model, a very special woman, and very special way to close out the month of June. I'll be back here very soon.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Beauty of Retrospect: More Joan Severance!

I couldn't resist one more look (or two more looks, as the case may be, considering there are two  photos here) at Joan Severance, one of those models from the 1980s who could turn any man's knees into jelly.

Certainly this pose from 1983, featured in the Italian edition of Vogue, can!

Perhaps the sweetest pose she's ever struck is right here, in an ad for Revlon's line of Blonde cosmetics line.

Her lipstick and nail polish are both a pale yellow, hence the name of the products.  Blond makeup?  A curious idea, but Joan Severance can make anything look good. :-)

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Beauty of Retrospect: Joan Severance for Dior

Did Joan Severance always look stunning back in the eighties? 

You tell me! :-D

I'd like to say that she looks exquisite in this 1984 photo from Dior, but that would be a gross - a very gross - understatement. :-) 

Monday, June 27, 2016

The Beauty of Retrospect: Beverly Lee, Yesterday and Today

This photo from the portfolio of model Beverly Lee may be the most exquisite photo of her that I've ever featured here.

The winter ensemble she sports in this picture leaves you staring directly at her face, and it helps you appreciate her captivating eyes and her sweet, gentle expression.

She was always good at projecting such sweetness, with a touch of seduction at times, as evidenced by the 1978 photo below.

She still has that same captivating look today, in 2016, as the picture below indicates.  I took this photo of her at the same party where I met and photographed Anne Bezamat.  Yes, I met Beverly Lee too . . . and the experience, quite frankly, floored me. :-)

A former Ford client, Ms. Lee remains a legend thanks to her time as designer Hubert de Givenchy's muse. :-) 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Beauty of Retrospect: Anne Bezamat, 2016

Attentive readers of this blog should be aware that I go to parties for people in the fashion and modeling business, thanks largely to my involvement in preserving the work of some of the most prestigious models of my time on this blog.   It was at such a party in May 2016 that I met one particular model I'd wanted to meet for ages - France's Anne Bezamat, who currently lives in New York.

As I explained in an essay published on my regular blog,  Anne Bezamat, though not as big a household name in the 1980s as models such as Kim Alexis or Carol Alt, was a woman I found so incredibly gorgeous that, while trying to write poetry in college,  I gazed at her picture and finished a romantic poem I'd been unable to complete.  So, you could say that, for that one moment, she was my muse.

She's a very sweet and exuberant woman, and that should be obvious beyond a doubt in this candid photo of her which . . . I took with my digital camera. 

See what I mean? :-D :-)

I mentioned in an earlier post devoted to Anne Bezamat that she became a jewelry designer after she left modeling.  Sadly, she no longer designs jewelry.  She does, however, interview cultural figures for a television show that airs outside the U.S.  

Here's a brief reel of her TV work from her YouTube page. :-)


Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Beauty of Retrospect: Laura Alvarez

A few more retrospectives before I go into a special series for July . . . starting with this picture of Venezuelan model Laura Alvarez.

She's really rocking it here! :-D

Laura Alvarez was one of the earliest top models from Latin America, having primarily been active in the 1970s.   This is the fourth photo of her that I've featured on this blog.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Beauty of Retrospect, Special Post: Catherine Roberts for Chico's!

A top model of the late seventies and early eighties, Catherine Roberts - a regular subject on this blog - remains on top, continuing to model for various clients, including Chico's, a Florida-based retail women's clothing chain.

As always, Catherine Roberts projects a stylish, confident pose in whatever style of clothes she models.  

All three of these photos, by the way, are from the Chico's online catalog; all of them were taken in 2016.  And there are more I hope to show you in the hopefully not-so-distant future.

In the meantime, here she is modeling jewelry. :-D 

Ms. Roberts is not the only celebrated model appearing for Chico's.  Karen Alexander is among the lovely ladies modeling the company's 2016 collection as well.   

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Latest Numbers

I have now posted pictures of 978 different women, with only 22 to go before I reach the milestone of one thousand women in concert with this blog's tenth anniversary.  And don't ask me who the one thousandth woman will be because I haven't decided yet.  I'm leaning toward a final decision, but I won't tell you whom I'm considering . . . except to say that it will be someone far down the alphabet.  So it won't be someone whose last name begins with the letter "A."  The woman I choose will end an A-Z series beginning later this summer.

As for July, I'm devoting that month to more women in music.  For the rest of June, I'm going to take some looks back at women I've featured before, with previously unused photos.  The first woman I look back on though, will be represented with literally new pictures.

Stay tuned to see whom I'm talking about. :-)    

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Fashion model Grace Yu

Grace Yu grew up poor in Hong Kong and probably never dreamed of becoming a fashion model when she entered a local beauty pageant at her sister's urging.  

She went on to become not only one of the top models of the seventies the first Asian spokesmodel for Christian Dior.  Her tall stature helped her literally stand out in the modeling world.

In 2009, Grace Yu waxed philosophical about her success. "I believe in fate," she said. "If you’re destined to have something, you’ll have it. And if not, no matter how hard you try, you won’t get it."

Friday, June 17, 2016

TV actress Jadyn Wong

Jadyn Wong is best known for a TV character that proves that even outcasts can be in. :-)

The Canadian-born actress plays Happy Quinn on the CBS drama "Scorpion," about a group of misfits at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security led by a computer expert named Walter O'Brien; they assess high-tech threats against America.  Happy is a mechanical engineer whose demons prevent her from living up to her name.

"Scorpion" has been renewed for a third season as of this posting, so you'll be seeing more of Jadyn Wong going forward. :-) 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Actress/singer Léonie Thoms

Léonie Thoms is a young musical performer in Germany.

Born in 1989 in Augsburg, Léonie Thoms is an alumna of the Performing Arts Academy in Vienna, and the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen. She's appeared in German musical productions A Man Walks Through the Wall in Essen and in The Witches of Eastwick, the latter based on the John Updike novel, at the Musiktheater im Revier in Gelsenkirchen.

 Could we be seeing a future international star on Broadway?  Maybe! :-)   

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Model Tara Shannon

With her auburn hair and her light complexion, Tara Shannon brought a cool Irish-American look to modeling in the 1980s. No doubt that she was the dream girl of a lot of Irish Catholic schoolboys back in the day.

Besides modeling for designers like Valentino (as in the photo from 1983 above) and Calvin Klein, she also appeared on covers of Vogue and Elle, among others.  But she's  probably best known as an MTV goddess.  She appeared in the promotional videos for the Cars' single "Tonight She Comes" and Huey Lewis and the News' "Doing It All For My Baby."  Yes, she was the "bride of Frankenstein" scared out of her wits by Frankenstein's monster after he turned into . . . Huey Lewis. :-D 

Tara Shannon overcame a tough childhood to make it in the modeling world, and she made a name for herself portraying different types of women in the many assignments she did.  Called the "woman of a thousand faces," her own face was indeed one of numerous expressions.  But she was still that same Irish rose that got several of us guys back in the 1980s - especially those of us who watched a lot of MTV - to fall in love with her in the first place.

And we did our best to give her love that lasts forever. ;-) 

Friday, June 10, 2016

Model Andrea Ross

Andrea Ross is a model from the 1980s.

She worked in Paris and was represented there by the Karins agency before relocating to New York and working through the Wilhelmina and, later, the HV agencies.  

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Actress Daisy Ridley

Daisy Ridley got the breakout movie role of a life time - any actress's lifetime - when she got cast in the first movie of the third trilogy (i.e., Episode VII) of Star Wars.

In Star Wars: The Force Awakens, she plays Rey, a scavenger who finds herself in the latest civil war in the galaxy far, far away from our own, pitting the First Oder hoping to restore the Empire against the Resistance fighting to keep the New Republic from collapsing.  Rey goes from being a small-time player on the fringe of the galaxy to being a warrior heroine for the Resistance who has begun a journey of finding herself.

That will come in Episode VIII.

The British-born-and-raised Ms. Ridley has had small roles in movies before but this movie ought to propel her toward a long and fruitful career,  May the Force be with you, Daisy! :-)   

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Actress Mary Tyler Moore

Mary Tyler Moore is one of the most beloved television actresses in American history. She started out as a a dancer, and her first big role was in a television commercial for Hotpoint appliances in the 1950s, but she soon catapulted to stardom with her spunk and charm.

Catching the eye of the legendary Carl Reiner, she got cast as Laura Petrie in "The Dick Van Dyke Show," one of the most popular sitcoms of the 1960s.

But it was her own show of the 1970s, "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," that solidified her own legend. She played Mary Richards, a TV news producer and a single woman dealing with idiosyncratic coworkers and a complicated but independent personal life.  Along with Elton John records, it's the best reason to to be nostalgic for the seventies. :-) 

In both shows, she was the woman every woman wanted to befriend and every man wanted to marry. As America's sweetheart, she stunned people in her first big dramatic movie, the 1980 film Ordinary People, about a distant upper-middle-class suburban mom dealing with family tragedy.  (She had also appeared as a nun in one of Elvis Presley's last movies, the punningly - and awfully- titled A Change of Habit.)

Now, as Mary Tyler Moore approaches the age of eighty in December 2016, she has an incredible career to look back on.  We should declare her a national treasure and leave it at that.    

Fun fact:  Mary Tyler Moore doesn't go by her full name out of conceit.  When she first registered for Actors' Equity, another actress named Mary Moore had beaten her to it.  Hence the inclusion of her middle name on her own Actors' Equity card. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Actress Helen Mirren

Is Helen Mirren, pictured below in the late 1960s, one of the greatest actresses of our time?

Yes, when you consider what a journeywoman actress she's been, having done cinematic versions of plays by Strindberg (Miss Julie, in the title role, in 1972) and Shakespeare (Hamlet, as Ophelia and Gertrude, in 1976), as well as movies that are little noted nor long remembered (the last Peter Sellers movie, The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu, and that less said about that, the better).  Her best years as an actress, however, have been later in life.

She's played both English queens named Elizabeth (in Elizabeth I and, as Elizabeth II, The Queen), and she reprised her portrayal of Britain's current monarch on stage for The Audience. In fact, many of her roles have been historical figures - she's played philosopher Ayn Rand in The Passion of Ayn Rand, she's played Austrian Jewish refugee Maria Altmann (who took on the Austrian government to reclaim priceless paintings owned by her family and stolen by the Nazis . . .and won) in Woman In Gold, and she appeared as gossip columnist Hedda Hopper in Trumbo (about a blacklisted screenwriter).  But she's also done lighthearted movies, like Calendar Girls, about middle-aged women in Britain who make a calendar with nude photos of themselves for charity.  And much more.

Born Helen Mirinoff to an English mother and to a Russian father whose own father was a Russian diplomat caught in London after the czar was overthrown (her father had the family name anglicized), she began her career with the National Youth Theatre in 1965, which led to her joining the Royal Shakespeare Company a year later.  She would work with different theater companies and eventually appear on Broadway in the U.S., in addition to her film work.  Though she's done a lot of Shakespeare, her Russian heritage would come in handy, not just for Russian plays like Ivan Turgenev's A Month In the Country but for roles such as a Soviet cosmonaut in 2010, the 1984 sequel to 2001 (and who could have known in 1984 that there would be no Soviet Union in the twenty-first century?)    

Fun Fact: Helen Mirren is married to film director Taylor Hackford.  You know An Officer and a Gentleman?  Chuck Berry: Hail Hail Rock and Roll?  Him.         

Friday, May 27, 2016

Actress Brie Larson

Brie Larson was the breakout movie star of 2015.

She starred in Room, a drama about Joy Newsome, a kidnapped woman who is kept in shed and bears a child fathered by her abductor.  Joy protects the boy psychologically by letting him believe that their situation is normal, even as she plots their escape.   

Ms. Larson ad her first role at the age of ten, in the 1999 movie Special Delivery, and she had small roles in TV shows and in movies - including her role as Kim Townsend in Trainwreck - before Room, which got her the 2016 Best Actress Oscar. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Television actress Erinn Hayes

Erinn Hayes is an actress who dabbled in broadcast television but has become a star on basic cable.

She played a chef on Fox's "Kitchen Confidential" and had a part on CBS's "Worst Week," but neither show was a success.  She hit the jackpot, though, as Dr. Lola Spratt on "Childrens Hospital," a series parodying medical dramas, starring and created by "Daily Show" alumnus Rob Corddry.  The show finished its seventh and final season on the Adult Swim channel in April 2016; it premiered on that channel in July 2010 after having originally aired on the Web for a couple of years.

Fun fact:  Erinn Hayes is in a Notting Hill-type marriage.  Her husband Jack is not in show business; he's a construction supervisor.  They have two daughters.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Canadian model/actress Shalom Harlow

Shalom Harlow is a model who has been active since she left high school.

The Canadian-born-and raised Ms. Harlow was discovered at a Toronto performance of the Cure, one of those bands you might associate with the sort of alternative values that don't go with haute couture. :-D  But that didn't matter, as Ms. Harlow turned out to have the perfect look. :-) 

How perfect?  Well, she's modeled for  Jones New York, Tiffany, Nautica, and Chloé, among others, and she co-hosted MTV's "House of Style" with another high-profile model, Amber Valletta.

She's also gotten into acting, having appeared in movies such as Vanilla Sky, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, and Melinda and Melinda.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Actress and singer Renée Elise Goldsberry

Renée Elise Goldsberry is currently the toast of Broadway for her work in Hamilton, the musical based on the life of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, the nation's first Secretary of the Treasury.  It's a musical that uses hip-hop to tell Hamilton's life story, so if you're not into that sort of thing . . . well, there's still Renée Elise Goldsberry. :-D

She happened to win the 2015 Drama Desk Award and the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical.  As of this writing, she's still in the cast of Hamilton; she plays the role of Angelica Schuyler Church, daughter of American Revolution general Philip Schuyler; she was Hamilton's wife's sister.

Ms. Goldsberry has also been a fixture on television, having played Evangeline Williamson on the soap opera "One Life To Live" for four years beginning in 2003.  She's also had small roles on "The Good Wife" and "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit," but her main passions are theater and singing (she even played a singer om "Ally McBeal").   Her other Broadway roles include Nettie in The Color Purple and Nala in The Lion King.

Fun fact: Renée Elise Goldsberry is also a songwriter.  She composed more than half of the soundtrack for the 2001 romantic comedy movie All About You, including the title song, in addition to starring in that movie as Nicole.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

TV newswoman Navideh Forghani

Navideh Forghani is a rpoerter for KNXV-TV in Phoenix.

Originally from Gainesville, Florida, Navideh Forghani grated from the University of Florida with a journalism degree and worked at the NBC affiliate in Augusta, Georgia as a reporter and as a weekend anchor.  She joined KNXV-TV, Phoenix's ABC station, in August 2011.

Specializing in multimedia, Ms.Forghani is most focused on investigative journalism, having uncovered a sex discrimination case in a local police department in the Augusta area.

She won several awards for her reporting work in Florida and Georgia and most likely looks forward to winning more of them in Arizona. :-)    

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Model Kriss Evtikhieva

Kriss Evtikhieva is an up-and-coming model of the latest generation of cover girls.

She's represented by the Karins agency in Paris, and she's also been affiliated with the Option agency in Zurich. Biographical and professional data on her is scant, though she already has one big credit to her name . . . a beauty assignment with a more established model named . . . Catherine Roberts

Maybe you've heard of her! ;-) 

Monday, May 9, 2016

TV weatherwoman Ashley Dougherty

Ashley Dougherty is a familiar face in the Pittsburgh area, especially for those who watch the news on weekend mornings.  She does the weather forecasts on WTAE-TV on the morning reports every Saturday and Sunday.

She started meteorological career ar WTRF-TV in Wheeling, West Virginia in 2008 and eventually made it to Pittsburgh,  joining WTAE-TV, an ABC affiliate, in 2012.

According to the station's Web site, Ashley Dougherty enjoy playing golf and bocce.  She's also an animal welfare activist, and she helps to get cats and dogs adopted out of animal shelters. 

Friday, May 6, 2016

Model Anna Cleveland

Yes, she's Pat Cleveland's daughter. :-)

And, her father is Dutch photographer Paul Van Ravenstein, which means, if you've been paying attention to this blog recently, that top model Appolonia Van Ravenstein is her aunt.  So Anna Cleveland was destined to join the family business.

In fact, Anna Cleveland got into the modeling profession when she was four, appearing in a Moschino fashion show.  She and her brother even joined their mother in a Chanel show when Anna was only thirteen.

She's already accumulated a list of fashion shows to her credit that rivals the Dead Sea scrolls in length, and her editorial credits include assignments for Numéro magazine in France, the Italian edition of Vogue and the British and Spanish editions of Harper's Bazaar.

Fun fact:  Though her father is Dutch (she was born in the Netherlands) and her mother is American,  Anna Cleveland was raised in Stresa, Lago Maggiore, Italy, though her family moved to New Jersey was she was fifteen.  For the record, she turned 27 in March 2016.      

Her she is again, with her famous mother and fashion designer Stephen Burrows. :-) 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Model/actress Belinda Bauer

Belinda Bauer started out as a model in New York and quickly graduated to acting.

Originally from Australia, Ms. Bauer came to America in the 1970s and worked as a model for a time, doing ads for clients like Aziza cosmetics, and ad from which the photo above is taken.  By the end of the decade her acting career had started with a role in Winter Kills, a movie of political intrigue based on a Richard Condon novel. 

Her roles in the eighties included that of an alien woman living on Earth in Starcrossed, from 1985, Pat Lennon in 1987's The Rosary Murders,  and Dr. Juliette Faxx in the 1990 sequel to RoboCop (pictured below).  She also had supporting roles in movies like Flashdance and starred as the love interest of Jan-Michael Vincent in the pilot episode of the TV series Airwolf (but her character was killed off in the pilot). 

After the mid-nineties, Belinda Bauer retired from acting and became a psychologist.  She's based in Los Angeles. 

Sunday, May 1, 2016

The Latest Numbers

I have now posted pictures of 961 different women on this blog.  And not only am I clearly going to make it to a thousand by the time this blog's tenth anniversary is marked this September, I'll have several more women to get to for the rest of 2016, as well as for 2017 and beyond.

This blog is going to be here for a long, long time.

Back with more new subjects soon.  

Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Beauty of Retrospect: Joan Smalls . . . OMG!

I wanted to express in words my reaction to seeing this picture of model Joan Smalls in this Balenciaga number . . .

. . .but how do you type out an irregular heartbeat? :-D 

Talk about a long cool woman in a black dress!  With matching blue gloves?  She's so . . . so . . .

Is it getting hot in here? :-D 

Whew!  Well, that's it for my retrospectives of women I've - whew! - featured here before. Back in the new month with new subjects, after posting some updated numbers.

Oh . . . I need a cold drink . . . ;-)   

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Beauty of Retrospect: Paloma Picasso In Pink

Back in February, I showed a picture of model Pat Cleveland in a pink dress.  Here, below, is the only woman who could ever come close to being Ms. Cleveland's equal in sporting a pink ensemble.

And, while she is a fashion icon, she isn't a model. 

It is, of course, jewelry designer and fashion businesswoman Paloma Picasso, a woman (the woman?) who embodies European high culture and sophistication for us silly, provincial Americans.  And why not?  Not only does Pablo Picasso's famous daughter look stunning in a pink dress, the striped cape she wears around it, with hues of pink, purple and fuchsia, makes her look absolutely smashing!

Clothes don't make the woman, but they sure do help. :-)

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Beauty of Retrospect: Rosemary McGrotha in White Lace and Pearls

Rosemary McGrotha is best known as a muse of Donna Karan and is revered for projecting strength in her modeling assignments, be it for Donna Karan or editorials and other commercial clients.

A woman who projects strength, though, can still be soft and alluring.  And Rosemary McGrotha has had no trouble conveying either quality, as the photo of her below, in white lace and pearls, demonstrates.

But no matter what she wears, Rosemary McGrotha can always turn the strongest man into jelly with piercing steel-blue eyes of hers. :-D