giovedì 6 novembre 2014

Dovima the Divine

''She was the last of the great elegant, aristocratic beauties,'' said Mr. Avedon

It could be said that Dovima made a name for herself – literally. Born Dorothy Virginia Margaret Juba in 1927 in New York City, half-Polish, half-Irish, she was raised in Jackson Heights, Queens. To combat her loneliness during childhood, the little girl took up painting and had an imaginary friend, whom she called Dovima- using the first two letters of each of her given names.

Dovima was discovered by a Vogue editor while waiting for a friend in Manhattan. Deeply impressed by her willowy frame, the editor took her to the Vogue offices on the spot for some test shots. The very next day she did her first shoot with Irving Penn. Dovima perfectly embodied the new woman of the Fifties: sophisticated, elegant, poised and immaculately dressed. Her career took off quickly, and soon she was the highest paid model in the business, appearing on the covers of all the fashion magazines and working with every major photographer of the day.

Richard Avedon, her favourite photographer, and “mental Siamese twin” would take the most famous photos of her. Together they created her Fifties haute couture look that was all about glossy red lips, arched brows, strong eyeliner and endless limbs. Under the tutelage of Richard Avedon, the pair created some of the most iconic fashion images of the century. She had a particular passion for comic books and was renowned for travelling to location shoots with a large trunk of them. She left modelling in 1962, saying “I don’t want to wait until the camera turned cruel.”

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