A Collection of Photos featuring Curvy Beauty Lillian Russell

Lillian Russell (1860– 1922) became one of the most famous actresses and singers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, known for her beauty and style, as well as for her voice and stage presence.

For many years, Russell was the foremost singer of operettas in America. Her voice, stage presence and beauty were the subject of a great deal of fanfare in the news media, and she was extremely popular with audiences. Actress Marie Dressler observed,

“I can still recall the rush of pure awe that marked her entrance on the stage. And then the thunderous applause that swept from orchestra to gallery, to the very roof.”

When Alexander Graham Bell introduced long distance telephone service on May 8, 1890, Russell’s voice was the first carried over the line.

Russsel had a  flamboyant personal life and was married four times. She married composer Edward Solomon in 1884 and created roles in several of his operas in London, but in 1886 he was arrested for bigamy. Her longest relationship was with Diamond Jim Brady, who supported her extravagant lifestyle for four decades.

A 1940 film was made about Russell, although it presents a sanitized version of her life.

Lillian Russel via

Lillian Russell via

Lillian Russel via

Lillian Russell via

Lillian Russell via

Lillian Russell via

Lillian Russell as fortune teller via

A Collection of Photos featuring the Incredibly Tightlaced Entertainer Polaire

Polaire (“Pole Star”), (real name Pauline Emilie-Marie Bouchard ) was Born in Algeria in 1874. She was a French music hall singer, dancer and actress. Her most successful period professionally was from the mid-1890s to the beginning of the First World War.

In France she had quickly made a name for herself and Toulouse-Lautrec portrayed her on a magazine cover in 1895. She then briefly tried her luck in New York, but without achieving major success. On her return to Paris she extended her range and went on to act in serious theatre. In 1909 she started to appear in silent films. In 1910 she returned to the musical stage and began a second tour of the United States, after which she appeared at the London Coliseum.

She struggled to find stage or screen roles as she aged. She returned to films in 1922, but in the declining years of her career had to be content with lesser parts. Her last was in 1935. She passed away in 1939, at age sixty-five, in Champigny-sur-Marne, Val-de-Marne, France. Her body was buried at the Cimetière du Centre, in the eastern Paris suburb of Champigny-sur-Marne.

Throughout her career Polaire was skilled in using her appearance to attract attention. In her early days as a café singer in the 1890s she wore very short skirts and also cropped her hair, fashions that did not become common in the rest of society until the 1920s. A brunette, she wore unusually heavy eye makeup, deliberately evocative of the Arab world. At a time when tightlacing among women was in vogue, she was famous for her tiny, corsetted waist, which was reported to have a circumference no greater than 16 inches (410 mm).  This accentuated her large bust, which was said to measure 38 inches (970 mm). She stood 5 feet 3 inches (1.60 m) tall. Her striking appearance, both on and off stage, contributed to her celebrity. For her 1910 supposed “debut” in New York she provocatively allowed herself to be billed in the advance publicity as “the ugliest woman in the world” and departing on a transatlantic liner she was apparently accompanied by a “black slave”. Returning to America in 1913, she brought a diamond-collared pet pig, Mimi, and wore a nose-ring. Talk of her figure and her lavish overdressing in fur coats and dazzling jewels preceded her appearances wherever she went.

Polaire showing of her waist, 1900

Polaire pretending to read via

Carte F.C & Cie – Cliché Boyer & Bert – Vers 1905

Polaire wearing a trademark coat

Polaire dans Le Friquet – Octobre 1904

Polaron on stage, 1904 via

Polaire with her “Black Slave” via

Amazing Photos of Style Icon & Gibson Girl Camille Clifford (1885 – 1971)

Camilla Antoinette Clifford (1885 – 1971) was a Belgian-born stage actress and the most famous model for the “Gibson Girl” illustrations. Her towering coiffure and hourglass figure defined the Gibson Girl style.

Clifford was born on 29 June 1885 in Antwerp, Belgium to Reynold Clifford and Matilda Ottersen. Camille was raised in Sweden, Norway and Boston. In the early 1900s she won US$2000 in a magazine contest sponsored by illustrator Charles Dana Gibson to find a living version of his Gibson Girl drawings: his ideal woman.Clifford became an actress, performing in the United States from 1902 and in England from 1904. She returned from London to Boston on 3 July 1906.While only playing walk-on, non-speaking roles, Clifford became famous nonetheless: not for her talent, but for her beauty. Her trademark style was a long, elegant gown wrapped around her tightly corseted, eighteen-inch wasp waist.

Photographs of her taken by Lizzie Caswall Smith in 1905 often appear in historical fashion books and on websites to illustrate the Edwardian style.

camille-clifford

Camille Clifford via

camille-clifford5

Camille Clifford via

Camille-Clifford4

Camille Clifford via

CamilleC

Camille Clifford via

camille-clifford2

Camille Clifford via

camille-clifford3

Camille Clifford via

A Collection of Photos Featuring Victorian Woman in the “Family Way”

Actress Lillie Langtry pregnant,  b. 1852 via

American woman via

Pregnant woman in late Victorian era via

preggersvic

Very pregnant woman in Victorian clothes via

American victorian era couple via

preggersvic2

Pregnant woman ca. 1860 via