Once upon a time there was girl named Dorothy. Dorothy was minding her own business in Manhattan, waiting for a friend so they could go out to lunch, and a lady came up to her and took her hand and led her into a magical world where all women were thin and beautiful, and you could get paid to wear couture dresses!
Sounds like every supermodels story, right? Some poor unknown girl is whisked from obscurity into the realm of high fashion and all the perks and pain that go with it. Well Dovima is the model where this whole fantasy came from- but in her case, the storybook tale was reality.
Dovima was found by someone who worked for Vogue and her first photo shoot was with Irving Penn and overnight she became a success!She became Avadon’s muse and was ‘the girl’ of the 1950’s, commanding prices as high as $75 an hour! Her look was anything but ‘the girl next door’, unless you happened to live next door to an exotic, haughty, regal princess. As you can see from her photos, Dovima was almost eerily beautiful- high cheekbones, perfectly set eyes, and a Grecian nose that was often set in a haughty expression- as if Dovima was deigning to acknowledge your presence.
There is a wonderful post about Dovima here and, of course, My Vintage Vogue’s post here, if you would like to learn more. If you are interested in models of the 1950s, feel free to check out my post on Jean Patchett. You can also find more interesting women in my Glamorous Eccentric series.
I want to end this post with a pair of shoes that are an homage to our beautiful Dovima and I thought they encompassed exactly what Dovima represented: Stunning unattainable beauty: