Saturday, April 26, 2014

In the eye of the beholder

Lisa Fonssagrives (1911-92) was one of the most photographed models of the 1950s.  Born in Sweden and trained as a ballet dancer, she had every fashion photographer singing her praises and even married one, Irving Penn.  She was featured on the cover of Time magazine but in the article she was quoted as saying, "It is always the dress, it is never the girl, I'm just a good clothes hanger."
As for the figure, she maintained it by eating little and often, up to ten meals a day.  But a meal to her might mean 6 grapes, a single slice of cheese, one cracker and half a glass of wine. Always eating, but never anything much, was her motto.
In the last photo she does look very slim but it's hard to tell what's really underneath the big gowns or pencil skirts since the underpinnings were stiff bras and tight girdles.
Did she really look like this?
Cassie Van den Dungen copped a blast at Fashion Week when wearing this outfit.  She was miffed and said if she called someone fat and why don't you lose weight and they were upset, why was it so different to her being called thin and put on some weight.  Well, thin is not a word I'd use here and fat as I am, I'm not jealous of this figure.  Cassie even instagrammed (?) the food on her plate which might have been more believable if she'd put herself on YouTube actually eating the food.
My point is that Lisa might have been a great clothes hanger but Cassie is a coat hook.


Elephant's Child said...

Snap. And far too many people will try and emulate her, so they can wear clothes as she does. Sigh.
She looks neither healthy, happy nor attractive to me. But perhaps this is my fat genes talking.

JahTeh said...

EC, can you see Lisa wearing something like this? It's not just the models but the clothes that are being designed. I loved the mini skirt and mod dresses but we never looked like we'd just crawled out of bed. I think most of all I loved the shoes.

River said...

she does look a mite thin, probably doesn't believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. A decent breakfast can keep you eating right up until lunch time.
I agree about the clothes that are being 'designed' these days, they don't look like something the average woman could wear day to day.

Andrew said...

Her legs indicate she is extremely thin. Not that I would really know, but to blokes really want to spend bed time with flesh covered bones?

Marie said...

Lisa Fonssagrives would be too short these days to be a supermodel. She was only 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m) which is around the same height as me. Mind you, her measurements of 34-23-34 are just a distant dream :-)

I really love the elegance of Lisa's clothes - they look so classy and you'd just love to be her.

Cassi looks scrawny and underfed - her face is gaunt. Designers who use models this painfully thin should be ashamed. She can post as many pictures of food as she wants - I am not going to believe she is actually eating any of it.

JahTeh said...

River, "mutton dressed as lamb" seems to have gone by the way and any age can go for this if they have the money.
I think Alex Perry used her to walk his fashion and he ended up apologizing for not taking notice of how thin she looked.

Andrew, would you want a bloke that thin?
It's why I never watch Red Carpet events with all the bitching about who looked good in what and who could put on/lose weight.

Marie, Kate Moss is about that height but I wouldn't compare her to Lisa. When you add up 10 meals of what she is supposed to have eaten in one day, there are quite some calories there but spread out would be used up quickly as energy. I'd be worried if I saw Cassie hanging off the Eiffel Tower in an evening dress as Lisa did.

Would any of us like to go back to push up bras, tight girdles and stockings? Not likely.