Amazing Vintage Photos of Fashion’s First Supermodel Lisa Fonssagrives

Swedish fashion model Lisa Fonssagrives (1911 – 1992) is widely credited as the world´s first supermodel. She was born Lisa Birgitta Bernstone and was  raised in Uddevalla.

She went to Mary Wigman’s school in Berlin and studied art and dance. After returning to Sweden, she opened a dance school.  She moved from Sweden to Paris to train for ballet and worked as a private dance teacher with Photographer Fernand Fonssagrives, which then led to a modeling career.

She married Fonssagrives in 1935; they divorced and she later married fashion photographer, Irving Penn, in 1950.

The Elton John photography collection auction held by Christie’s on October 15, 2004 sold a 1950 Irving Penn photograph of his wife, Lisa Fonssagrives, for $57,360.

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VOGUE Cover, Lisa Fonssagrives by Horst P. Horst, 1940 via

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Lisa Fonssagrives by Irving Penn, 1949

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Lisa Fonssagrives by Lillian Bassman via

 

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Lisa Fonssagrives by Irving Penn via

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Lisa Fonssagrives, 1940’s via

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Lisa Fonssagrives on the Eiffel Tower by Erwin Blumenfeld, Vogue, 1939 via

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Lisa Fonssagrives Le Modele by Fernand Fonssagrives, 1942 via

A Collection of Vintage Fashion Photography From the 1950s

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‘Black and White’, Mary Jane Russell, Le Pavillon, New York, Harper’s Bazaar, 1950 by Lillian Bassman via

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Henry Clarke, Suzy Parker wearing Givenchy, 1952 via

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Lisa Fonssagrives in Charles James Suit, photographed by Horst P. Horst for Vogue, 1950 via

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Carmen Dell’Orefice in Paris, 1950s, photo by Richard Avedon via

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Dorian Leigh wearing Madame Grés by Henry Clarke in 1955 via

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Traina-Norell dress 1957, photo by Karen Radkai (model could be Sunny Harnett) via

Vintage Photos of Glamorous 1950s Model Suzy Parker

When modeling agent Eileen Ford met the model Dorian Leigh’s fifteen-year-old redhead sister, in 1948, she ‘almost fainted with delight’. Suzy Parker became a prominent model of her times who, with her high dimpled cheeks, short flame hair and dark blue eyes, captured the attention of the most famous photographers such as Richard Avedon who believed ‘she was something else – a redheaded force of nature, a wolf in chic clothing, the one flesh-and-blood woman in a world of exquisite creatures’ (source).

Her modeling career reached its zenith during the 1950s. She appeared on the cover of dozens of magazines and in advertisements and starred in movie and television roles.

Suzy Parker by Avedon

Suzy Parker in Harpers Bazaar, wearing a little feathery hat. Photograph by Richard Avedon via

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 Suzy Parker for Mauboussin. Photograph by Henry Clarke, 1953 via

Suzy Parker by Bassman

Suzy Parker 1955 in Lillian Bassman’s photograph The V‐Back Evenings. Lillian Bassman/Harper’s Bazaar via

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Suzy Parker, Etole Leopard, Paris. Photograph by Georges Dambier, 1952 via

Suzy Parker by Horst

Suzy Parker wears Dior Haute Couture. American Vogue. Photograph by Horst P. Horst, 1952 via

Plant Still Lifes by Horst P. Horst (1945)

Horst P. Horst was a German-American fashion photographer. Horst is best known for his photographs of women and fashion, but is also recognized for his photographs of interior architecture, still lifes, especially ones including plants, and environmental portraits.

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Horst P. Horst Cynara Scolymus (Artichoke), 1945 via

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Horst P. Horst Victoria Regina Agave, 1945 via

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Horst P. Horst Aednium Holochrrysum, 1945 via

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Horst P. Horst Richardia Africana, New York, 1945 via