August 31, 2014
SUNDAY FROM MY DESK
While working on the Bettina catalogue for the exhibition to open in September here at the gallery, I read a beautiful text about Bettina written by Francoise Sagan in 1969 for French Vogue. So at the end I read Sagan’s whole little book. Of course, it is all about fashion and is so interesting, with the point of view of a great writer.
Absolutely not a fashion person.
In her book “La Petite Robe Noire” Francoise Sagan mentions the opening of a new shop by Jacques Delahaye, and I had never heard about him before. I discovered he was one of France’s biggest prêt- a -porter designers of the 1960’s . Known for cutting directly on the fabrics, no designs, no patterns, a master. Now I know. In 1963 he first created the mini skirt- without any success – introduced in France before Mary Quant in England! And a few years later he created the maxi coat. Praised by the newspaper Le Nouvel Observateur as the perfect coat of intelligence and comfort and the Delahaye collection was the event of the season.
A seventies fashion stylist at Elle with whom Sagan had a long affair in the 1970’s, known for her elegance, beautiful coats in beige cashmeres, her style. They say she had re-invented Sagan’s personal style, and for sure she was a legendary stylist, after having been a great model. She was a fan of Jacques Delahaye.
Here, Roche is photographed by Lothar Schmid in 1974.
One of the great supermodels of the Parisian fashion world in the 1950s, and a friend of Bettina, Sophie Malgat would also become involved in Hollywood and marry the director Anatole Litvak. They would remain married until his death in 1974.
Here she poses for photographer Erwin Blumenfeld wearing
a Jaques Fath dress in 1950, photo Gordon Parks.
Here by Nat Farbman 1952, three supermodels of the time, Ivy Nicholson,
Sophie Malgat Litvak and Bettina, all wearing Givenchy.
Sagan’s first and most well known novel. Here, the title role played by Jean Seberg in 1958. Seberg’s own life was very sad as well, ending in suicide in Paris in 1979.
He made his first few films in the 30’s and became known for realistic effects and the use of sound effects over dialogue. His fame arrived with the film “Mayerling” and he became one of the leading Hollywood directors winning an Oscar for best Director for the film “The Snake Pit”. In 1962, Litvak directed Sophia Loren and Anthony Perkins in
“Five Miles to Midnight”, here in the picture. It is hard to believe that Sophia Loren turns 80 next month. Film can truly create immortals.