Photos Feat. Designs by Lucien Lelong

Lucien Lelong  (1889 – 1959) was born in Paris as the son of Arthur Lelong, the owner of a textile shop, he trained at the Hautes Etudes de Commerciales in Paris and opened his fashion house in the late 1910s. He was  eager to create garments that would highlight the body’s movements and elegance in motion: a kinetic fashion. He killed the 1920s “garçonne” look and privileged fluid garments inspired by neoclassical drapery, and later anticipated the New Look.

Lelong did not actually create the garments that bore his label. “He did not design himself, but worked through his designers,” wrote Christian Dior, who was a member of the Lelong team from 1941 until 1946, during which time he created the collections in collaboration with Pierre Balmain. “Nevertheless,” Dior continued, “in the course of his career as couturier his collections retained a style which was really his own and greatly resembled him.” Other designers who worked for Lelong included Nadine Robinson and Hubert de Givenchy.

Among Lelong’s clients were Marie Duhamel, Jeanne Ternisien (wife of the banker Georges Nelze), the Duchess de la Rochefoucauld, Greta Garbo, Gloria Swanson, Colette, and Rose Kennedy.

On the 10th August 1927 he married his second wife, Princess Natalie Paley (1905–1981), who had worked as a saleswoman in the Lelong perfume department. She was a daughter of Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich of Russia and his morganatic wife, Olga Karnovich. Paley had starred in a few films, but found her succes being a Lelong model. They divorced in 1937.

Lelong retired in 1952, due to Poor health. Lelong’s third wife, who outlived him, went on to marry the French journalist Maurice Goudeket, the widower of Colette.

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Deutsch Photographic Studio, Lucien Lelong Design, 1930s via

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Marion Morehouse wearing a Lucien Lelong dress. Vogue, 1925 via

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Dress by Lucien Lelong via

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Nathalie Paley in a Lucien Lelong dress and evening coat by Dorvyne via

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Deutsch Photographic Studio, Lucien Lelong Design, 1930s via

Princess Nathalie Paley in Lucien Lelong by Man Ray, 1935

Princess Natalie Paley wearing a black sequined evening gown by Lelong. Photo by Man Ray, 1934 via

Amazing Photographic Portraits of Dora Maar by Man Ray (1936)

Dora Maar (1907 – 1997) was a French photographer, painter, and poet. She was a lover and muse of Pablo Picasso.

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Portrait of Dora Maar by Man Ray, 1936 via

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Portrait of Dora Maar by Man Ray, 1936 via

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Portrait of Dora Maar by Man Ray, 1936 via

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Portrait of Dora Maar by Man Ray, 1936 via

Beautiful Vintage Photos of Rosa Rolanda by Man Ray (1928)

Californian born Rosa Rolanda (1895-1970, aka Rosemonde Cowan, Rose Rolando, Mrs or Miguel Covarrubias) was a multidisciplinary artist, dancer and choreographer.

In 1916, Rosa Rolanda began her artistic career in New York as a celebrated dancer in Broadway revues. She became involved with the Mexican artist Miguel Covarrubias in 1924, and in the following year the couple traveled to Mexico, where Rolanda began to take photographs.

During the late 1920s or early 1930s, Rolanda experimented with photograms, creating significant series of surrealist self-portraits that may have been influenced by Man Ray, who photographed Rolanda in Paris in 1923.

She probably began painting around 1926. The majority of Rolanda’s canvases depict colorful, folkloric scenes of children and festivals, portraits of friends such as the movie actresses Dolores del Río and María Félix, and self-portraits.

Rolanda and Covarrubias married in 1930, and by 1935 they had permanently settled into his family home in Tizapan El Alto, close to Mexico City.

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Rosa Rolanda by Man Ray, 1928 via

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Rosa Rolanda in Paris c. 1923, photograph by Man Ray via

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Rosa Rolanda by Man Ray 1923 via

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Rosa Rolanda in Paris circa 1923 by Man Ray via

Nusch Éluard Photographed by Man Ray

Nusch Éluard (born Maria Benzn; 1906 – 1946) was a French performer, model and surrealist artist.

Born in Mulhouse (then part of the German Empire), she met Swiss architect and artist Max Bill in the Odeon Café in Zurich; he nicknamed her “Nusch”, a name she would stick to.

She moved to Paris in 1928 working as a stage performer, variously described as a small-time actress, a traveling acrobat, and a “hypnotist‘s stooge”. in In 1930 she met the poet Paul Éluard working as a model. They married him in 1934. She produced surrealist photomontage and other work, and is the subject of “Facile,” a collection of Éluard’s poetry published as a photogravure book, illustrated with Man Ray’s nude photographs of her.

She was also the subject of several cubist portraits and sketches by Pablo Picasso in the late 1930s, and is said to have had an affair with him. Nusch worked for the French Resistance during the Nazi occupation of France during World War II. She died in 1946 in Paris, collapsing in the street due to a massive stroke.

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Nusch Éluard by Man Ray, 1936 via

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Man Ray, Nusch au Miroir, 1935 via

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Man Ray, Portrait of Nusch Eluard, 1934 via

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Man Ray, Portrait of Nusch Eluard, 1936 via

A Collection of Photos by Man Ray Feat. Lee Miller

Lee Miller (1907 – 977) was an American photographer. She is one of the most remarkable female icons of the 20th century – an individual admired as much for her free-spirit, creativity and intelligence as for her classical beauty (source).

In 1929, Miller traveled to Paris with the intention of apprenticing herself to the surrealist artist and photographer Man Ray. Although, at first, he insisted that he did not take students, Miller soon became his model and co-collaborator, as well as his lover and muse. While she was in Paris, she began her own photographic studio, often taking over Man Ray’s fashion assignments to enable him to concentrate on his painting. In fact, many of the photographs taken during this period and credited to Man Ray were actually taken by Miller. Together with Man Ray, she rediscovered the photographic technique of solarisation. She was an active participant in the surrealist movement, with her witty and humorous images. Amongst her circle of friends were Pablo Picasso, Paul Éluard, and Jean Cocteau (she appeared as a statue that comes to life in Cocteau’s The Blood of a Poet (1930)).

After leaving Man Ray and Paris in 1932, she returned to New York and established a portrait and commercial photography studio with her brother Erik as her darkroom assistant

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Lee Miller by Man Ray, Solarisation, 1931 via

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Lee Miller [hand] by Man Ray, 1929 via

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Lee Miller’s neck; Man Ray’s Neck. 2010 MAN RAY TRUST/ARS. COURTESY OF THE PENROSE COLLECTION via

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Lee Miller by Man Ray via

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Lee Miller via

Vintage Photos Featuring Fashion Muse Nancy Cunard (1896 –1965)

Nancy Cunard was a writer, heiress and political activist. She was born into the British upper class and devoted much of her life to fighting racism and fascism. In 1928 Cunard had become romantically involved with African-American jazz musician Henry Crowder. They lived in an apartment in Harlem together, which prompted outraged tabloid headlines on both sides of the Atlantic.

About this time she became seriously interested in African art and culture.

Her style became informed by her devotion to the artifacts of the same culture. This was startlingly unconventional at the time. The large-scale jewelry she favored, crafted of wood, bone and ivory, the natural materials used by native crafts people, was provocative and controversial. The trademark bangles she wore on both arms snaking from wrist to elbow were considered outré adornments, which provoked media attention, visually compelling subject matter for photographers of the day.

She was often photographed wearing her collection, those of African inspiration and neckpieces of wooden cubes, which paid homage to the concepts of Cubism. At first considered the bohemian affectation of an eccentric heiress, the fashion world came to legitimize this style as avant-garde, dubbing it the “barbaric look.”

Nancy Cunard 1926 by Man Ray via

Nancy Cunard by Cecil Beaton via

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Man Ray, Tristan Tzara kneeling to kiss Nancy Cunard’s hand, Bal du Comte de Beaumont, 1924 via

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Nancy Cunard via