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Posts Tagged ‘Lee Miller’

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Lee Miller, war correspondent for Vogue, WWII.

… Lee has put herself together. She wears her new panne velvet* dress, peacock blue, tight through the hips and flaring out in graduated pleats that twirl around her legs as she walks. She worried before she arrived that it was too dressy, but now that she is here she doesn’t mind standing out. If there is one way to make herself feel better, it is by getting dressed up.

Whitney Scharer, author of The Age of Light (Little, Brown and Company).

* Panne velvet is velvet fabric with a particular finish that creates luster.

The Age of Light is a fictional account of Lee Miller’s time in Paris in the 1920s when she, an American former model and aspiring photographer, meets and starts a professional and personal relationship with Surrealist Man Ray.

I have read a lot about Lee Miller (1907-1977), who was a unique woman in her time and who led an interesting life of fashion and art, travel and war. She was hired by US Vogue magazine to photograph and write about what she was witnessing in Europe during WWII.  I must say that I prefer the non-fiction books on Miller. Although The Age of Light is well written, I found that I didn’t enjoy reading what Scharer thinks were Miller’s thoughts and feelings. It kind of spoils my own view of her. But I do like this quote.

I would recommend the biographies –  Lee Miller: A Life by Carolyn Burke and Lee Miller in Fashion by Becky E. Conekin.

 

 

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untitledI’ll never forget what wonderful Edna Chase, the doyenne – the goddess – the former of taste, discretion and elegance – sending a memo to us in the bombing, that she noticed we weren’t wearing hats and she didn’t approve that we dyed our legs and made lines up the backs to simulate stockings – (Britain had no nylons until the US Air Force brought them in as rich presents) – and I happened to be in charge of the office that day, though it was none of my affair to answer the boss, I sent a cable in my own name: We have no ration coupons and no nylon stockings anyway. The next week every member of the staff was sent three pairs.

Lee Miller, (1907-1977) American fashion model, photographer, and war correspondent for Vogue magazine (WWII).

This quote is from a letter Ms. Miller sent to her brother during the London Blitz (German bombing of the city), happening in the early years of World War II. At the time she was living in London with the artist/photographer Roland Penrose and working for Vogue as a fashion photographer. Later she traveled to the Continent as a war correspondent, also for Vogue.

I’ve been fascinated with Ms. Miller ever since I attended the exhibit The Art of Lee Miller at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. I was and continue to be captivated by the many facets of her artistic talents.

Currently I’m reading Lee Miller in Fashion, by Becky E. Conekin.

BTW, Edna Chase was the editor in chief of Vogue from 1914-1952. She’s also quite a story.

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