Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Friends of Dorothea











FROM TIME, DECEMBER 22, 1961: DOROTHEA MCGOWAN is the exception in the new crop [of international models]: she speaks only English and was bom in Brooklyn. Her pre-modeling life took her as far from home as Staten Island, where she finished her freshman year at Notre Dame College before taking a summer job modeling $2.98 house dresses. A few months later, her first photographic try at a cover made Vogue; this year she set some kind of a record by appearing on four Vogue covers in a row (nobody but her mother or agent could have told that it was the same girl). Twenty-year-old Dorothea ("My middle initial is E, and Dorothy sounded so ordinary") makes $60 an hour, has her own apartment in New York, studies French at Manhattan's French Institute twice a week ("so that when my dream of living in Paris comes true, I'll be ready for it"). In the relentless search of fashion editors for bizarre backdrops, Dorothea has been sent, all expenses paid, to be photographed in front of the great architectural monuments of Europe, among Middle East bazaars and under Caribbean palms, is absolutely "infatuated with the idea of being paid to travel."

7 comments:

  1. I remember her well, she was my first supermodel crush! Thought I'd seen every known image of that unusual face, until now.
    Many, many thanks for this delicious blast from the past.
    (What has become of Dorothea, I wonder?)

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  2. postscript:
    Those magazine covers were from the period being covered by the television series Mad Men, yet that level of sophistication was seldom evident in the costumes designed for the production, excellent though it was in most other ways. I've read that many of today's fashion designers have based their new collections on Mad Men, in which case they are perpetuating quite the wrong message about the early 1960s. Michael Kors, take heed.

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  3. So beautiful! I wonder where she is now?

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  4. I could find nary a trace of Ms. McGowan's current whereabouts... one hopes that, in her latter-day obscurity, she's living in serene fabulosity.

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  5. May I use this on MakeupBeat?

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  6. Dray -- Of course, dear. I didn't bother asking for permission when I stole 'em from the Google sources. LOL.

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  7. I have a huge poster -- maybe 2-1/2ft X 3-1/2ft) of the last (April) Dorothea cover (in the netted pillbox hat), probably from a railroad or bus-station of the time. Got it back in college in the early 80s, had her framed, and now "Miss Vogue" as she is fondly known is one of the highlights of my BR decor! Was thrilled to discover "Polly Magoo" a few years ago (surreal!), and this reference to my fave pop-art is a real welcome! Thank you!

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