“It is
the dress,
it is never,
the girl.

I’m just a


So said the model, muse and exquisitely turned out Swedish beauty, Lisa Fonssagrives, in a 1949 article for Time magazine. With her seventeen inch waistline and early training in ballet, she was considered by many to be the world’s first supermodel, exuding a grace and poise that gave a classical dignity to anything she wore.

Posed by the photographic elites of her day, George Hoyningen-Huene, Man Ray, Horst, Erwin Blumenfeld, George Platt-Lynes, Richard Avedon, Edgar de Evia, and husbands, Fernand Fonssagrives and Irving Penn, she exalted in a career she called “still dancing.”

Described as “the highest paid, highest praised, high fashion model in the business,” she had a remarkably practical down-to-earth attitude. Asked how she maintained her figure, she always insisted on the importance of eating in small quantities. She would at times consume as many as ten tiny meals a day. To her a tiny meal might mean only six grapes, a single slice of cheese, one cracker and half a glass of wine. Always eating, but never anything much. So wonderfully French.





~ by eaesthete on 07/23/10.

6 Responses to “Overheard”

  1. sounds like a marvelous diet to me – although 1/2 a glass of wine might not be enough for myself ;-)
    Somehow…kate moss just doesn’t compare.

  2. Gorgeous.
    And not a bad way to eat either.

  3. So wonderfully French indeed…as Deneuve, Bouquet, Paradis, Cotillard…this is the ‘je ne sais quoi’ that North American women aspire to. Attainable, maybe. And as the Am Ex commercial says….priceless.


  4. Another lovely post.

    I’m struck by her comment regarding modeling as “still dancing.” What an interesting idea: using your body to convey an emotion without motion. In turn, dancing could be called rhythmic modeling, but that lacks a certain poetry.

  5. oh I love it! her ballet training shows alright… have a wonderful week darling.

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