I've been reading a book about Paris fashions and one of the chapters was written by Penelope Portrait who modelled for Carven in the early fifties. Her measurements were 34 inch bust, 22 inch waist and 35 inch hips, please compare to the walking skeleton in the previous post. In the fifties, one's shape determined which designer the model would work for.
I loved this bit of old world advice.
"There was no room for complexes at fitting sessions. We were treated and talked about like objects. Heaven knows what the Women's Lib. ladies would have thought of it, but they didn't exist then and I loved every minute of it. I learned all sorts of odd things that were really nothing to do with fashion at all, but which have stayed with me, and, I think, served me well since.
One day, for instance, after hours of standing and being stuck with pins, I flopped down into a chair beside the man who designed the extravagant, beaded embroidery used on the evening dresses. He was a charming old man, sympathetic and invariable good tempered.
"Oh Lord, my feet are absolutely killing me," I moaned, rubbing them. "My dear", he replied, "never, ever say "My feet hurt", it's squalid. If you're tired and want to stop, say "My foot hurts". It gets the same results and makes a man think of a delicate, flower-like little foot, too fragile to take another step".
I happened to look at my delicate little feet after I read that, sitting flower-like in down at heel, chewed up motheaten last year's slippers and thought to myself, the romance has definitely gone out of these tootsies. What a delicious word is 'squalid'. One immediately thinks of blondes.