Thursday, December 5, 2013

FEMME FATALE - GLORIA SWANSON


GLORIA SWANSON, A STAR AGAIN, IN "SUNSET BOULEVARD"

"In her sixty-third movie Gloria Swanson has become for the first time in her thirty-seven-year-old career, a magnificent actress, playing the part of a handsome,ageing, rich star of the silent movies who wants above all the taste again the winy exhilaration of acting under the direction of Cecil B. DeMille, of hearing again the magic of '"lights, camera, action, close-up."' This new movie is Sunset Boulevard, the producer is Paramount, and the heartbreak scene is one on a set with Cecil B. De Mille. Although her own life has no parallel with the plot, much of the movie is meshed with the real Swanson story, for Sunset Boulevard, Paramount, and Cecil B. DeMille are part of her life along with D.W. Griffith, Adolph Zukor, the Talmadge sisters, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks."

"They all glowed with a violent glamour in the nineteen twenties."

Gloria Swanson and Her Circle in the Twenties
Vogue July 1950
Photography: Irving Penn

... all things femme fatale

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

FEMME FATALE - JULIET PROWSE


Juliet Prowse was born in Bombay in 1936 and, from the age of three, raised in Johannesburg, South Africa.  Trained in classical ballet, she turned to show dancing when rejected from the London Festival Ballet for being too tall.

She auditioned in London for choreographer, Jack Cole, who was helpful in the promotion of her early career as a dancer. It was the American choreographer, Hermes Pan, who obtained  her start in Hollywood by suggesting her to Twentieth Century Fox where he was choreographing the new film Can Can.  The musical is considered noteworthy primarily for the dancing prowess of Juliet Prowse. In it, her solo as the Snake in the Adam and Eve Ballet, prompted Nikita Khrushchev to pronounce the number "lascivious, disgusting and immoral" - whereas, Frank Sinatra proclaimed her, "The sexiest dancer I have ever seen."

Sinatra hired her as a dancer in two of his television specials. He pursued her socially and soon they were in a relationship that ended only when Juliet refused to give up her career to marry Sinatra.

Prowse starred alongside Elvis Presley in G.I. Blues - director Norman Taurog later commenting that he often  had to yell "Cut!" several times to separate the two actors during their kissing scenes.

Juliet appeared as a guest performer in all of the leading entertainment television shows of the sixties and seventies and had her own special, "The Juliet Prowse Show," which aired in 1979.

She was talented, beautiful, sexy and one of that era's great broads.



Not To Be Missed
Redheaded Juliet Prowse
Harper's Bazaar April 1960
Photography: Charles Brittin

Juliet Prowse
1936-1996
Once A Great Beauty




Thursday, October 31, 2013

FEMME FATALE - BRIGITTE BARDOT


BB




Liliane Dreyfus


Loris Azzaro


Loris Azzaro


BB's Habille Les Soirs D'hiver en Ete
Vogue Paris November 1971
Photography: Sveeva Vigeveno

... all things femme fatal

Monday, October 28, 2013

FEMME FATALE - THE SPHINX WITHIN


Vicomtesse Jacqueline de Ribes

What is the talisman that the arch-sphinx, she of Giza, guards invincible between her paws, holding the desert at bay these thousands of years?  What is the center of mystery which certain women carry within them, making any corner where they may choose to be always the watched one, any simple monosyllable their lips let fall among a crowd of chatter, always the One that is heard?





Plain or beautiful to the literal eye - never merely either - to come within their orbit is to be drawn toward their difference, magnetized by their steady, vital ambience.  In whatever mood, they move spare and classic as the great dancer, their farthest fingertip on a precise arc from the gravitational core.  Their speech, however human, seems surrounded with echoes from some arcanerecess. where they refresh themselves on an elixir personal to them, whose locale they will never divulge.




Marella Agnelli


In an era of baroque surface splendour, frippery rebounds from them; their style is not purchasable.  Cover them with bowknots and they would still look forth undisturbed from their inviolable center, their Capuchin calm. Maquillage alone will never explain these occult irises; they belong to women who are sloe-eyed to the soul.  The sense of their own entity abides with them, changeless, unquenchable.  In the burning-glass of the public gaze their privacy burns the brighter, is never consumed.


Gloria Vanderbilt


Princess Lee Radziwell


Suzy Parker


Comtessa Christina Paolozzi


Richard Avedon's photographs give external expression to this hidden, invincible quality of certain feminine beings.  Shine a lamp in the face of this one; already that light, brilliant yet veiled, is turned back on you, is hers.  Two others, couchant serene as cats in the integrity of self, let the world lean forward to see its own shape in their pearl black eyes. One stretches the long arrow of herself toward the cup of enigma that is hers alone.  Another is bound only by the awareness of her own boundaries - Primavera seeing her own nimbus clear.


Maria Eugenia Lee

This is their talisman; in a day where every luxury is easy except that of identity, they possess the ultimate secret. Like their great prototype, they will hold our interest with it, forever.

The Sphinx Within
Harper's Bazaar April 1960
Photography: Richard Avedon

... all things femme fatale

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

FEMME FATALE - HAIR 1959


The hair is rounded high and wide on top, then drawn straight down at the sides with an upward and outward flip on the ends.


Carita of New York is fired with news of color: Flame

"This fiery auburn shade is is one of L'Oreal's many Imedia Creme Colours, and it smoulders with excitement as the season's smokey shades burst into incendiary blaze."

The Shape Of The Head's The Thing
Vogue July 1959
Photography: Saul Leiter

... all things femme fatale

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

FEMME FATALE - PAULINA PORIZKOVA


Valentino 


Chanel


Moschino Couture


Givenchy


Christian Lacroix


Sonia Rykiel

Ivresstroika
Vogue Paris December 1989/January 1990
Photography: Arthur Elgort


... all things femme fatale