Amazing French Fashion Photography by Georges Dambier

Georges Dambier was born in 1925 and was one of the first fashion photographers to take models out of the studio and into the streets. While he was still building and perfecting his craft, Dambier was hired by Helene Lazareff, director of ELLE, the fashion magazine, who encouraged him and gave him his first assignment as a fashion photographer.

During his career Dambier photographed amongst others: Rita Hayworth, Gene Tierney, Errol Flynn, Jeanne Moreau, Jean Cocteau, ou Colette, mais aussi Bettina, Capucine and Suzy Parker.

Georges Dambier did not conform to the standard technique of taking fashion pictures, with models standing emotionless and seemingly indifferent to the camera. Instead, he showed models smiling, laughing and often in action. His models were surrounded by local people in a market place in Marrakech, or in a village in Corsica, or – and above all – in his beloved Paris. 

Capucine for ELLE, Boulevard de la Madeleine, Paris,1952 by Georges Dambier

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Suzy Parker by Georges Dambier

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Suzy Parker Shop Lanvin, for Elle 1952 by Georges Dambier

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1957 via lifeonphoto

Sophie Litvak and little dog, for Elle 1952 via 1stdibs

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Amazing 19th Century Photos of Countess Virginie de Castiglione by Pierre Louis Pierson

In 1844 Pierre-Louis Pierson began operating a studio in Paris that specialized in hand-colored daguerreotypes. In 1855 he entered into a partnership with Léopold Ernest and Louis Frédéric Mayer, who also ran a daguerreotype studio. The Mayers had been named “Photographers of His Majesty the Emperor” by Napoleon III the year before Pierson joined them. Although the studios remained at separate addresses, Pierson and the Mayers began to distribute their images under the joint title “Mayer et Pierson,” and together they became the leading society photographers in Paris (source).

Pierre Louis Pierson´s most interesting professional project is the close collaboration he led with Virginia Oldoini, the Countess of Castiglione. She directed Pierre-Louis Pierson to help her create 700 different photographs in which she re-created the signature moments of her life for the camera. Both enjoyed creating playful identities within which the countess could be a Madonna, a sensual vamp revealing her legs and feet or a fantasy creature clad in eccentric costumes (source).

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La Comtesse décolletée; Roses mousseuses (Countess Virginia Oldoini Verasis di Castiglione)

by Pierre-Louis Pierson, 1861–67

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Béatrix  (Countess Virginia Oldoini Verasis di Castiglione)

by Pierre-Louis Pierson, 1856–57

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La Psyché  (Countess Virginia Oldoini Verasis di Castiglione)

by Pierre-Louis Pierson, 1860s.

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Stella (autre) (Countess Virginia Oldoini Verasis di Castiglione)

by Pierre-Louis Pierson, 1860s.

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Vintage Photos of Showgirl Mistinguett

Mistinguett´s (1875 – 1956) was at one time the highest-paid female entertainer in the world. She became known as a singer and actress, starring in numerous films during the silent era.

During a tour of the United States, Mistinguett was asked by Time magazine to explain her popularity. Her answer was:

“It is a kind of magnetism. I say ‘Come closer’ and draw them to me.”

Mistinguett

Mistinguett

Mistinguett (5 April 1875 – 5 January 1956) was a French actress and singer, whose birth name was Jeanne Bourgeois. She was at one time the best-paid female entertainer in the world.[1]

Mistinguett

Mistinguett by Charles Gesmar 1900 - 1928 Mistinguett (5 April 1875 - 5 January 1956) was a French actress and singer, whose birth name was Jeanne Bourgeois. Charles Gesmar (pronounced Gesmar) French Poster Artist and Costume Designer Born: May 21, 1900 Died: February 27, 1928

Mistinguett by Charles Gesmar 1900 – 1928 Mistinguett (5 April 1875 – 5 January 1956). French Poster Artist and Costume Designer Born: May 21, 1900 Died: February 27, 1928

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Mistinguett and Josephine Baker in 1927

Stunning Female Portraits by Pioneering Photographer Félix Nadar

Nadar was the pseudonym of Gaspard-Félix Tournachon (1820 – 1910), a French photographer, caricaturist, journalist, novelist, and balloonist.

Nadar was born in April 1820 in Paris (though some sources state Lyon). He took his first photographs in 1853 and in 1858 became the first person to take aerial photographs. He also pioneered the use of artificial lighting in photography, working in the catacombs of Paris and later became the number one portrait photographer for the French elite.  In April 1874, he lent his photo studio to a group of painters, thus making the first exhibition of the Impressionists possible. Nadar died in 1910, aged 89. He was buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. Today, examples of Nadar’s photographic portraits are held by many of the great national collections of photographs.

Petite fille, ca 1887 Felix Nadar

Selika Lazevski was an écuyère who performed haute école – which means she was an equestrian who rode high school dressage in French circuses in the 19th century, by Félix Nadar 1891 via pinterest

Polaire (1874-1939) by Félix Nadar via blogspot

French photographer Felix Nadar was the first to take aerial photographs and later became the number one portrait photographer for the French elite. [Sarah Bernard]

Sarah Bernardt  by Félix Nadar via wiki

Cléo de Merode by Felix Nadar, c.1900

Cléo de Mérode by Félix Nadar, c.1900 via pinterest

George Sand by Félix Nadar 1864 via wiki

Berthe Morisot, 1875,  by Felix Nadar via blogspot

Stunning Photos of Belle Epoque Beauty Cléo de Mérode

Dancer Cleo de Merode  (1875 – 1966) became famous at a young age. Born in Bordeaux, France, she came from an aristocratic family. Her father was a member of the Belgian nobility and a landscape painter.

In 1896, King Léopold II attended the ballet and saw Mérode dance. The 61-year-old Belgian King became enamoured with the 22-year-old ballet star, and gossip started that she was his latest mistress. Because the King had had two children with a woman reputed to be a prostitute, Cléo de Mérode’s reputation suffered, and she had to live with it for the rest of her life. Nevertheless, Cléo de Mérode became an international star, performing across Europe and in the United States. 

Mérode became renowned for her glamour even more than for her dancing skills, and her image began appearing on postcards and playing cards. A particular new hairstyle she chose at age 16 became the talk of Parisian women and was quickly adopted as a popular style – parted in the middle, pulled back over the ears and wound into a chignon at the back, often worn with metal band.

At the peak of her popularity, she chose to dance at the Folies Bergère, taking the risk to do something other elites of the ballet had never done before. Her performance gained her a whole new following. Her fame was such that Alexandre Falguière sculpted The Dancer in her image, which today can be seen in the Musée d’Orsay. In 1895, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec did her portrait, as would Charles Puyo, Alfredo Muller, and Giovanni Boldini.

Mérode continued to dance until her early fifties, when she retired to the seaside resort of Biarritz in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques département of France. In 1955, she published her autobiography, Le Ballet de ma vie (The Dance of My Life).

She died in 1966 and was interred in the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris in Division 90. A statue of her, mourning her mother, who is interred in the same plot, decorates the gravestone.

Carte postale, (envoyée en 1901), illustrée d’une photographie de Cléo de Mérode en costume de scène via wiki

Studio NPG, Portrait of Cleo de Merode, 1903 via theredlist

Leopold Reutlinger, Portrait of Cleo de Merode, 1900 via theredlist

Cléo de Mérode by Reutlinger via blogspot

Cléo de Mérode via blogspot

Charles Ogerau, Cléo de Merode, 1893 via via histoire-image.org

Cléo de Mérode

Cléo de Mérode via pinterest

Cleo de Merode , 1910 via  theredlist

Genevieve Lantelme – Belle Epoque Beauty

Geneviève “Ginette” Lantelme (Mathilde Hortense Claire Fossey, b. 1883) was a French stage actress, socialite, fashion icon, and courtesan. She frequently collaborated with Madeleine Vionnet and Jeanne Paquin, two prominent French fashion designers of her day, to produce her memorable clothing ensembles. Lantelme was also known for her voluminous hats, as can be seen in the postcards and other images of her that are collected to this day.

Considered by her contemporaries to be one of the most beautiful women of the Belle Epoque, she is remembered for the mysterious circumstances of her death: on the night of July 24/25, 1911, she fell from the yacht of her husband, Alfred Edwards.

The official verdict was that the actress had drowned as the result of a tragic accident. However, many people speculated that Edwards had murdered his wife. In the autumn of 1911, two French newspapers, La Depéche Parlementaire and La Griffe, published their accusation that Edwards had murdered Lantelme; Edwards sued the publication for libel and won, although both newspapers escaped severe punishment.

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Geneviève Lantelme in a big hat, photo circa 1910.

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Geneviève Lantelme by Reutlinger, photo circa 1902.

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Ginette Lantelme /Genevieve Lantelme-1910

Geneviève Lantelme, photo circa 1910.

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Genevieve Lantelme in Madeleine Vionnet’s déshabillé,

designed in 1907 at Maison Doucet.

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A Collection of Turn of the Century Fashion Photographs

Gibson girl Evelyn Nesbit via

Tightlaced Gibson Girl, Camille Clifford, showing her ideal La Belle Époque figure via

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Edwardian lady wearing Redfern, who among other things popularised high-waisted Grecian style dresses after 1908 via

Dress for the races by J. Dukes, photo by Reutlinger, Les Modes May 1912 via

A fashionable woman at the races in 1909. Scanned from the book “The Mechanical Smile” by Caroline Evans via

Gorgeous Edwardian dresses, hats and parasols. Toilettes vues aux Grand Prix. Irlande et linon brodé de la grande Maison de Dentelles, 1906. Belle epoque fashion.

Gorgeous Edwardian dresses, hats and parasols, 1906. Belle epoque fashion via

Lily Elsie...can't help but think how pretty she looked.

Actress Lily Elsie in an Ewdardian gown via

Mariano Fortuny, Natasha Rambova in Delphos Dress, 1910 via

Raoul Dufy textile design on velvet for Paul Poiret cape 1911 via The Humanities Exchange, Montreal, Canada

Raoul Dufy was one of the great innovators of 20th century textile design here is an example on velvet for a Paul Poiret cape 1911 via

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Woman wearing French fashion from about 1905 via

Fashion photo about 1914 via

Antique photo postcard of Edwardian beauty with a large hat and a snowfox stole around her shoulders via