Elegant Vintage Fashion Photos: 1950s Veiled Hats

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Irving Penn, Model Jean Patchett in black and white hat with veil, scarf and top, Vogue, 1950 via

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Jacques Fath, Hat with Veil, photographed by Willy Maywald, 1951

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Lillian Marcuson in Lily Dache hat, photo by Milton Greene, 1951 via

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Mary Jane Russell photo by Larry Gordon, 1952 via

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Ivy Nicholson © Room wearing Givenchy’s stiff-veiled circlet, Photo Nat Farbman, 1952 via

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Bettina Graziani Photo by Georges Dambier via

Cristobal Balenciaga Coats photographed by Irving Penn

Cristóbal Balenciaga 1895 – 1972) opened his Paris couture house in 1937. He gained a reputation as a couturier of uncompromising standards and was referred to as “the master of us all” by Christian Dior. It was not until the post-war years that the full scale of the inventiveness became evident. In 1951, he totally transformed the silhouette, broadening the shoulders and removing the waist. In 1955, he designed the tunic dress, which later developed into the chemise dress of 1957. And eventually, in 1959, his work culminated in the Empire line, with high-waisted dresses and coats cut like kimonos.

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Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn wearing a mantel coat by Cristóbal Balenciaga. Photo: Irving Penn.

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Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn wearing a Balenciaga Coat, Paris. Photo: Irving Penn.

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Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn wearing  Cristobal Balenciaga, Little Great Coat. Photo: Irving Penn (1950)

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Cristobal Balenciaga, Coat. Photo: Irving Penn (1951)

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Cristobal Balenciaga, “Balenciaga sleeve”. Photo: Irving Penn (1951)

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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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Lisa Fonssagrives by Irving Penn (1953)

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Lisa Fonssagrives by Irving Penn (1949)

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Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn, a multi talent (Part two)

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Lisa Fonssagrives by Lillian Bassman

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Lisa Fonssagrives by Irving Penn

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VOGUE Cover, Lisa Fonssagrives by Horst P. Horst (1940)

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Lisa Fonssagrives (1940’s)

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

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Lisa Fonssagrives Le Modele by Fernand Fonssagrives (1942)

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Vintage Photos of Russian Prima Ballerina Alexandra Danilova

Aleksandra Dionisyevna Danilova (1903 – 1997) was a Russian-born prima ballerina, who became an American citizen. In 1989, she was recognized for lifetime achievements in ballet as a Kennedy Center Honoree.

Born in Peterhof, Russia on November 20, 1903, she trained at the Russian Imperial Ballet School in Leningrad (formerly and currently St. Petersburg). She was one of the few Russian-trained ballerinas to tour outside Russia. Her first professional post was as a member of St. Petersburg’s Imperial Ballet.

In 1924, she and George Balanchine left Russia. They were soon picked up by Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes; Danilova as a dancer, Balanchine as a choreographer. Danilova toured for years with the Ballets Russes under Sergei Diaghilev, then with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo after Diaghilev’s death.[1] With the latter company, Danilova andFrederic Franklin created one of the legendary ballet partnerships of the twentieth century. Danilova became known for her glamour and beautiful legs, as well as her work ethic and professionalism.

Danilova made her Broadway debut in 1944’s Song of Norway; her last ballet performance was in 1957.

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Alexandra Danilova photographed by George Platt Lynes, c. 1930s

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 Alexandra Danilova as a star of Colonel de Basil’s Ballet Russe  (1936)  by Maurice Seymour.

Courtesy of Ronald Seymour/Maurice Seymour Archive.

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Alexandra Danilova in Ballet Russe’s Nutcracker

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F. Franklin and Alexandra Danilova (1948) by Irving Penn.

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The Legs of Danilova, New York (1950) by Erwin Blumenfeld

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Alexandra Danilova dances in Gaite Parisienne

Fashion Photography by Irving Penn

 American Erving Penn (1917 – 2009) was the 20th century’s most influential photographer whose remarkable style set completely new standards to the fashion photography in the 1940s. Penn was among the first photographers to pose subjects against a simple grey or white backdrop and used this simplicity more effectively than other photographers. Expanding his austere studio surroundings, Penn constructed a set of upright angled backdrops, to form a stark, acute corner.

Penn’s career included work at Vogue magazine, and independent advertising work for clients including Issey Miyake, and Clinique. His work has been exhibited internationally, and continues to inform the art of photography even after his death

By Irving Penn

By Irving Penn

By Irving Penn

Irving Penn’s fashion photography

By Irving Penn