Thursday, January 7, 2016

Schulenberg's Page: Paris, Part XXXXI

Schulenberg's Page: Paris, Part XXXXI
Text and illustrations by ©Bob Schulenberg


July 1963: the showing of the French Fall/Winter Couture Collections. Ben Holt was in charge of public relations for Pan American Airlines.

I was called by Jim Brady from Women's Wear Daily and invited to a cocktail reception that Ben Holt was giving for the visiting fashion editors who'd be covering all of the shows. Jim thought it would be a good opportunity to draw them for an article.
Armed with my pen and sketchbook, I arrived at Holt's apartment. The rooms were simply decorated. The only memorable thing being pots of blooming hydrangeas on the fireplace mantel.
There were, however, crowds of people. So, trying not to attract too much attention, I jumped in, balancing a drink and a considerable sized sketchbook, and tried to look casual.

Suzanne Dadolle had been a model for Schiaparelli and during the 1950s had a romantic liaison with Clark Gable just after his divorce from Lady Sylvia Ashley whom I knew and who was a sort of Auntie Mame inspiration for me.
But even though Dadolle hinted to the press that she might become another "Mrs. Gable," he dumped her.
She had gone to New York later to model and it was said by some that she was the highest paid model in The US and now, in the 1960s, she was writing for Harper's Bazaar. She had been in A NEW KIND OF LOVE in 1963 playing a French columnist, but was uncredited.
She was about 37 and still very beautiful.
Nancy White was the editor-in-chief of Harper's Bazaar until 1971 when James Brady, the same Jim Brady who'd sent me to this cocktail reception, was appointed publisher and editorial director, replacing her to become the editor-in-chief!
Betsy Blackwell was the editor-in-chief of Mademoiselle.
Countess Cis Zoltowska designed jewelry for Balenciaga.
I was never able to find out anything about Melanie Miller.
Marjorie Dunton, I believe, was a hat designer.
Roger Vivier was the shoe designer who "invented" the stiletto heel by adapting 19th Century fetish versions. He was called "the Fragonard of the Shoe" and his shoes "the Faberge of Footwear" as they were decorated with jewels, pearls, lace, silk and appliqué. He designed the shoes for Queen Elizabeth II for her coronation.

He died in 1998 but there are a few Vivier shops in the US today. They are now owned by Tod's.
Romola Metzner was evidently writing for The New York Journal-American newspaper.
I was able to find out that Ernestine Carter wrote for the London Times.
Countess Zoltowska passed by again.
Eugenia Sheppard may have been the most well known of the writers about fashion; she appeared in many papers with her syndicated column, "Inside Fashion," and Blair Sabol played with that years ago in The Village Voice with "Outside Fashion" (and now in NYSD). Since 1987, the Eugenia Sheppard Award for Journalism has been given annually by the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

Andy Warhol said of Eugenia: "She invented fashion and gossip together."
Sally Kirkland. See how uninformed I was? I thought someone said "Sandy Kirkland!" She was the fashion editor for Life magazine and is the mother of actress Sally Kirkland.
I have a very vague memory of Thérèse being an important cog in the Dior machinery where Marc Bohan was the designer.
I don't remember if Women's Wear ran these illustrations, but I do remember doing a terrible series of half-hearted caricatures of the Couture's principal designers. I'm embarrassed to remember that those did appear!

Much later, Ben Holt suggested that I might enjoy doing travel drawings for Pan Am; it would entail trips-for-free and I'd get paid too! But before we had a chance to finalize the arrangement, Ben was tragically killed in a car crash.
END NOTE. I received this note of correction from my friend, Edith Cottrell. She also informed me that her husband, Pierre Cottrell, had died in July of last year. Last week's post was not exact in explaining Barbet and Pierre's business relationship. I hope this clears it up:

"Barbet Schroeder was not a co-producer of "Chloé in the Afternoon"; he was the main shareholder of Films du Losange, which he founded with Eric Rohmer. When creating the company in 1963, he asked Pierre Cottrell to work with him and attributed him 3 parts. Eventually, Cottrell became producer on "My Night at Maud's," "Claire's Knee," and "Love in the Afternoon" for Films du Losange. He left the company right after that last film, due to a serious disagreement with his two partners. In the meantime, Films du Losange had changed status from a small production unit to a well-known company.
Contact Bob here.
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