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Linda Morand by Willy Rizzo for Carita Paris, 1967

Linda Morand by Willy Rizzo for Carita Paris, 1967

 FOUNDED BY MEMBERS OF THE FASHION AND MODELING INDUSTRY

Former Ford model has helped to bring thousands of the Twentieth Century’s most beautiful and iconic fashion and beauty images to light.

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Linda Morand Current

By: D. Wilson It began when Linda Morand, a painter and writer, began posting stories and pictures from her private blog “Diary of a Mod Model, written in New York, London and Paris in the Sixties.  This confidential “members only” underground website has attracted many former supermodels and top photographers who have scanned their favorite images from fading magazines and sent them to Morand, resulting in this ever-growing archive of over 21,000 images.

Many people are finding and posting retro images on the Internet.  What sets this group apart is the network. Scores of long-lost fashion industry friends have been reunited, forming an exciting emerging community and a lively discussion group of peers and like-minded people. They regularly contribute restorations and scans of many images that have not been seen in forty years or more. The group’s efforts have inspired museum exhibits, books, documentaries, magazine layouts and several models reunions around the country. The miniMadMOD60s/50s-60s-70s Model History Groups have done this for eight years by locating magazines, digitizing the Bodies of Work, identifying the Dates, Art Directors Photographers, Models, Editors, Publications, Hair and Make-Up Artists. Thousands of scans have been sent in by members. In many cases the models themselves have worked with us. Other industry professionals have generously donated photographs, information and funds enabling us to maintain the website. ____________________________________________

CONTRIBUTORS: Linda Morand, Susan Camp, Bonnie Thomas, Alex Dayrell, “Vogue Spirit” “Model History” Dolores Hawkins, Willy van Rooy, Joan Thompson, “GeorgesDaughter”, “ModelBrat60s”, Terri Smith, Jaan Stephens, Susan Brainard, Kecia Nyman, Willy van Rooy, Moyra Grant, Dorthe Holme, Ulla Anderson, Moyra Swan, Tracey Weed, Andrea Derujinski, Daniel Patchett, Dinah Dillman Kaufman, David Frank Ray, Harry King, Sandy Linter, Kathy Davis, Jolina Mitchell Pat Evans and many more. __________________________________________________________

To purchase images from Vogue, Glamour, Mademoiselle & Charm magazines check the Conde Nast Store for availability.

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Linda Morand Bio

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Linda Morand is a historian and the founder of Mod Media, miniMadMOD60s, and 50s Fashion Models as well as several Internet Groups dealing with Fashion History.  They specialize in identifying the models who appeared in the great fashion layouts of the 1950s, 60s and 70s. Read More

Linda Norton

One of the groundbreaking images of the mid 1960s featuring Linda Morand and Kathy Jackson in Betsey Johnson dresses. Photo: Gosta Petersen.

 

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This remains one of Conde Nast’s best selling Sixties images

 

 

Linda Morand Iconic Mademoiselle Cover 1966 July

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Ford Agency 1966

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 Eileen Ford's Newest Discovery Linda Morand

Every once in a while, the Ford’s said, they have to hire a model because she resembles some celebrity. that has caught the eye of the American public. Lauren Bacall was the first such celebrity. Jacqueline Kennedy is the latest.

Eileen Ford’s Newest Discovery Linda Morand

 

 

 

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Who’s My Daddy?

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The death of your mother is always a traumatic thing. I knew she was so old and so tired and so willing to go. She was very spiritual, considering herself a stranger in a strange land and looking forward to her new life in a different dimension. She had made her peace with God.

I had lost hope that she would ever tell me all the secrets I needed to know. About giving me up for adoption and taking me back. And who was my real father, Now she was gone and with her, the secret of my birth father. Now I would never know the true identity of that man she had told me about.

The story had changed so much over the years but as much as I remember it was like this.

When I was around seven years old, I began to recognize that the person I knew to be my father, Joseph Wagner, was treating me quite rudely, while he doted on my baby sister, who was about a year younger than me. He was just driving off on his bicycle, with at the blond and beautiful little Barbara sitting in the basket.

“I want to go too! “ I whined.

That’s how I always was around him, always seeking attention and not getting much. Everything I said and did seemed to turn him off. I adored him in his black leather jacket, with his dark hair swept back. He had a handsome face and seemed to be a hit with the ladies. He loved to play the drums which he had set up in the bedroom. At night I used to go to sleep to his pretending to be Gene Krupa, the sound of the snare drum, base and the cymbals echoing in my dreams. I was crazy about him.

“No, you can’t come.” He said, pushing off, little Barbara squealing with delight, her cherub arms and legs kicking and waving. I hoped she wouldn’t fall out of the basket.

“I could run along aside.” I said.

“Get in the house and stay with your mother”. He called over his shoulder.

Our house was toward the end of Gary Street, a few yards from Fellers Pond which was a park, playground and little beach where we kids could wade and dig in the sand. The sun was setting in front of him as I watched his silhouette getting smaller and smaller.

“Daddy! Why don’t you love me?” I said to the empty street. I wasn’t allowed to go anywhere alone so I went inside.

Mom was sitting in the living room in her favorite chair reading a book. I stood in the doorway for a moment and then went up to her and tapped her shoulder. She looked up, her big hazel eyes resting on my face.

“What is it, Honey?”

“Mom why is Daddy so mean to me?” I asked with a child’s candor.

“What do you mean dear?” she said, but she knew perfectly well what I meant. She out the book down on the table next to her chair and pulled me onto her lap.

“Perhaps you are old enough to know now.” she said. “Look, Joe is not your real father.”

Joe wasn’t my real father. I knew it. Kids often imagine that they are changelings, that the secretly have much nice parents somewhere.

“Where is my real father?”

She looked me right in the eye. “Your real father is in Heaven with God.” she said. “He was killed in the war in a submarine.”

I had a real father, a much better one. But he was dead! Scenes from a war movie that had just played on The Early Show went through my mind. I remembered the awful AAR-UUUU-GAH sound of the warning sirens, the sailors sweating with heat and fear as they hoped to avoid the depth charges dropped by the Japanese. To think that my own father had died like that, trapped in a sardine can at the bottom of the sea. Poor man and his crew. They died trying to save this country. We were learning about it in school. I considered my father a war hero.

While I absorbed this shock she opened a box that she kept in a side table where. She took out a big scrapbook that was bursting with pictures and newspaper clippings. Making sure I did not see inside the book, she searched for something. She showed me a snapshot of herself and a tall handsome man in a sailor’s uniform.

“There he is. That’s your father, Paul Morand.”

My mother told me she had met him during the war when she was only eighteen years old. They had a brief honeymoon as he was being shipped out to the South Pacific. And there he died. So she married Joe to give us both a home. Now they had a new baby. Later I learned to do the math. How could she have conceived me in 1943 when he was shipped out, and I was born in 1946?

I studied the picture of the tall and handsome naval officer. I fell in love with that face, so good-looking and fine. For ten years, I had it on my dresser in a special frame. I used to talk to him at night, almost like a prayer.

1960

Despite the chaotic home life I was still thriving at school academically. Everything came easy to me except math. I found out later that I have some form of dyslexia and sometimes transpose numbers. One day toward the end of junior high school I had an appointment with my guidance counselor concerning my plans for college and my future career, I was determined to study art and literature and wanted to be a fashion designer. A career in fashion was a much more viable choice back then. New designers were in demand at all levels. Also fashion illustration was extremely popular. I loved fashion illustration and showed some talent for it.

The subject of financing came up and he mentioned that as the child of a deceased veteran I would be eligible for a scholarship from the government. He handed me some brochures from a few colleges and universities. I would be able to go to college.

The possibilities opened before me. I could get away from Lindenhurst and my family. Not from my sisters whom I cared for, but my parents, who were getting so deeply into alcohol that they hardly made sense any more. Yet they still had the power and the authority. I desperately wanted the financial freedom to take care of myself and somehow help my sisters. They were now entering puberty and vulnerable to Joe’s temper. Standing up for them, I often took the brunt of his wrath. Banished to my room “without supper” as he liked to say, I subsisted on food that they sneaked to me out of his lair, the eternal kitchen where he sharpened his knives. He was a brooding chef, with a touchy temperament.

I came rushing into the house. Francie was seated at the kitchen table, smoking a cigarette and sipping a Tom Collins. She was sober because she never really started drinking until the sun went down. Somehow that was supposed to be more respectable. When I told her about being the child of Paul Morand, a deceased veteran and showed her the scholarship application I had clutched in my left hand she stared at me, stunned. Her mouth dropped open. She took a drag of her cigarette and told me to sit down.

Then she dropped the next bomb.

She looked me straight in the eyes. Paul Morand is not dead!” she said in a flat tone.

“Paul Morand is not dead? Oh my God! Where is he?”

“I don’t know. We lost touch after the divorce.”

“But Mother! Why did you tell me he was dead?”

My mind was spinning. What? What? My father is alive!!!! I will find him, I thought.

 “I was eighteen like I told you. I wanted to get away from home because my parents were giving me a very hard time about becoming a performer. They hated show business and would not allow me to go to the city to audition. I knew I had talent. I had been appearing in the Strawberry Festival and other Long Island fairs and events to enthusiastic applause. I was born a ham. I wanted to perform.”

She took out the locked box with a scrapbook in it. She still never let anyone leaf through it. She would still only show me bits and pieces, one page at a time. She had other things in there, things that I was not supposed to see.

“So I did what all the girls were doing,” she continued. “I went to the city, picked up a sailor and married him quick. Were we in love? No, we didn’t really know each other. Paul wanted someone waiting for him, someone to fight for, and someone to come home to. I wanted freedom from Father and the prestige of being a wife. And the monthly allotment check,” she added, “which would enable me to get my own place. He shipped out and I did not see him for over two years.”

“Two years,” I said. “Wow that is a long time.”

“Especially when you are that young. So, waving goodbye to my heartbroken family I took off for the city.”

I was fascinated by this glamorous side to my mother. She had star power still and an undeniable beauty. I wished I could be like her. When she was sober.

She lit another cigarette. “I pursued a singing career and had some success in New York City and Long Island, singing for Big Bands. I was performing for celebrities and being invited to very chic parties. I had changed. I was twenty now and on my own for two years.

How I wished I could someday do those things. My life was so ordinary, sub ordinary really, that I live vicariously through movie stars and pop stars.

“Things were just beginning to get interesting.” she said, turning a page to show a flier announcing Frances Wilkes appearance in East Hampton with the Johnny Long Orchestra. I remembered the name. He had been very big back in the Forties. She let me look at the page.

There were pictures showing her as a young woman, as pretty as a movie star. She had posed for a few modeling shots. There was a picture of her looking very glamorous, peeking over her shoulder, her face wreathed in a beatific smile. She had a great look. Men would fall at her feet, even now. Of course, her being married to my stepfather, and having three bratty kids tended to slow them down a bit but she still turned heads wherever she went. I could just imagine how it was back then.

“My career was cut short when Paul Morand returned from the war around Christmas time in 1945. He disapproved of me being a performer.”

So he had come back. I had been wondering how I had been conceived.

“We set up housekeeping, but it just didn’t work out. He was morose and shell shocked, depressed. He couldn’t even make love to me most of the time. We fought. He wanted me to give up my career. For some reason he just left and has never been heard of again. I think he went to France where his family were originally from.”

“For some reason? What a louse!” I said.

The shock of finding out he was alive, but that he had deserted my mother and me was worse that finding out he was dead…or that he even existed in the first place. The elusive “ghost-angel” of my fantasies had now become the tarnished absconder. I knew there had to be a good explanation. I made up my mind to find him someday. This was long before the Internet makes everything so much easier now.

“He never paid any child support?” I asked, understanding Joe’s resentment. It certainly would have helped.

“No, he left the country and went to France. I got an uncontested divorce in Florida and married Joe. He made me put you up for adoption.”

“What? Someone adopted me?”

“Yes, but I got you back.”

She told me she had put me up for adoption because she did not want to raise a child alone. Somehow she married Joe Wagner and got me back from the adoptive parents. Joe was not happy about that and it put a big strain on their marriage. Later I was able to get the details about this from other family members.

1976

For the next fifteen years, until I was thirty a dreamed of finding the father I never knew. I searched throughout France, coming close at times, but never able to locate the elusive Paul. I grew up and became a model. I had lived in Europe and California but was now back in New York. It was now I took a trip out to the Hamptons where my mother now lived in retirement.

“Mom. Look, I really have to find my father. It is really important to me. I just feel it in by blood. I have to know the other side of my family. All my life I felt different from the rest of the family. There are mannerisms and talents and proclivities that only I have. No one taught them to me.”

“Dear you better sit down.” she said. She remained silent for a moment, a kind of sadness and regret passing over the features of her still beautiful face. Her chestnut hair was getting a few greys, but her smile was still brilliant. Only now she was not smiling.

“Paul Morand is alive, as far as I know.” she said. She took a deep drag on her ever present cigarette. “But Paul Morand is not your father!”

Now I was really in shock and furious. All those years of searching in Paris, of looking through files in obscure courthouses throughout France, the letters, the phone calls, the tracking down of all the Morands I bothered over the years.

And so she went on to tell me about my real father. How he was some big society guy. How she had been knocked off her feet that such a prince would be interested in her. How she had tried to resist, to play hard to get, after all, she was married, but that had only interested him more. How it felt to be pursued by a society playboy who had slept with every heiress, model and actress he met, if he fancied them. How she had finally succumbed in the most glamorous and romantic circumstances.

But when I asked for his name she only said his name was John. I named my son after him years later.

“You can’t just do this to me! I have to know!” I was no longer afraid of her. I was furious for the lies. “Why didn’t you tell us this before?”

“It was better for you if you did not know. I have my reasons. Don’t think I didn’t go to him when I found out that I was pregnant. It had to be him. He was the only one. But he didn’t believe me and he laughed in my face. He said it was my husband’s responsibility. I was brokenhearted. I was in love with him. It was not a one night stand. He was crazy about me. He said I reminded him of his daughter.”

“He had kids? Then I have sisters and brothers somewhere?”

“OH, no,” Francie said quickly. “The daughter…um … died.” She seemed a little nervous and I could tell this was another lie.  The next drink was starting to kick in, the trigger drink that would turn her into a bitch.

“Oh Mom, he sounds terrible. But still I want to know him.”

“You don’t need to be poking your nose into his affairs. Anyway your Father is dead. He died when you were eleven. You don’t want to mess with his family. I was warned.” she said ominously, as if he were some kind of dangerous sort.

Oh my God, another real father revealed…but also dead. Give me a break!

“But, Mom, I must know.  My blood calls out to me.” I cried.

“Oh, for crying out loud, don’t be so damned dramatic! Nobody wants poor relations poking around. There is nothing in it for you. The money is gone. And you would have a very hard job proving it anything.”

“Can you tell me anything about him?” I wheedled, wanting to scream at her but knowing that it would just shut off the small stream of information she was revealing.

“I don’t even know his last name. He was a married man and I was a little fool.” She took the last sip of her drink through her straw.  “Fix me another drink, will you?”

She was getting bored with the subject and retreating into that familiar veil of inebriation that would shield her from her regrets and guilt. I mixed a Tom Collins just the way she liked it and placed it before her.  I was so furious I wanted to spit but I stayed calm, trying to get as much information as I could before she turned on me.

 “What did he look like?” I asked, desperate for anything.

“Look in the mirror.” she said bitterly.

I looked in the mirror hanging over the sofa.  I saw the face of the child she had called “The Punishment for My Sins.” Now I knew what she was talking about.  I saw my wide set eyes, high cheekbones, strong jawline, and my mop of brunette hair.  It was the face that had got me into magazines and sometimes on the cover.  It was the face that had opened so many doors, which had made me a Viscountess that had allowed me to break into the circles of high fashion and high society, date movie stars and travel the world.  It was the face that had plucked me from obscurity and relative poverty and opened so many doors for me over the last decade.

After thinking about it and having been compared to Jacqueline Bouvier my entire life, I dared to ask the question that had been brewing for years.  All the years I had believed that Paul Morand was my father, and I did not question it. My mother had been so straight laced, so worried about being proper. Now I saw that she must have had another side. Who knew what she had done in New York City during the war?

“Mom,” I asked, my voice cracking a little, “Mom, could it have been Black Jack Bouvier?

She looked me right in the eye. “Of course not.” she said.

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Linda Meets Jackie Kennedy

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It was often pointed out that there was a very strong resemblance to the former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. Morand played that down by creating a very mini Mad MOD look.  In 1966 Vidal Sassoon created Linda Morand’s signature style, a closely cropped asymmetric cut.   Her favorite designer was Betsey Johnson, whose clothes she wore for many fashion layouts until she got the call to Paris, fulfilling a lifelong dream.

Linda Morand  met  Jacqueline Kennedy at P.J. Clarke’s in Manhattan during the height of her career as a model in the Mod era.   She was dining with a friend who ran into the White House Press Secretary Pierre Salinger, a friend and Jacqueline Kennedy.  Linda was presented to Jacqueline, who was seated.

As Morand tells it: “After being introduced she graciously said to me, ‘So you are the model that everyone tells me I look like.’ She turned the whole thing around and I just loved her for it.” The meeting was written up by syndicated fashion columnist Marian Christie.

Lindacomp

Discovered by FORD

Linda Morand at seventeen in 1964

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Jacqueline Kennedy and Linda Morand recently met at that chic New York “dive” where Lost Weekend was filmed: P.J.Clarke’s and the two eyed each other suspiciously. There was every reason for the prolonged glance of cool appraisal. The two are look-alikes 21-year-old Linda Morand being the younger, prettier version. Linda, a successful Ford model who hails from a little town on Long Island, now is one of Europe’s top models with her face currently, gracing the pages and covers of the slickest fashion, magazines, such as Italian Vogue, Elle and Jardin de la Mode.

Models Wearing Brightly Colored Knit Dresses

Looking like Jacqueline from the neck up and Twiggy from the neck down has catapulted her modeling career onward and upward. Linda, barely 115 pounds, measures in at five feet, 10 inches’ and she’s all flawless skin and well-placed bones with gangly legs. Designers can’t get enough of her.
During high-fashion openings in Rome and Paris, she works 16 hours daily at $30 an hour. In New York, she would automatically get double that price.

However, the pay loss is leveled off by the fact that she hobnobs with movie stars, aristocrats and European royalty, who look upon fashion modeling as an art. “Europeans erase class distinction once success has been achieved,” she says;’ After all, my parents run little restaurant in the Hamptons, and here I am traveling the world.”  

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In the past 18 months, the highly eligible Prince Albrecht of Liechtenstein has been an escort and they double-dated with Princess Grace and Prince Rainier at Paris’s famous Maxim’s. She also has socialized with Laurence Harvey, Rod Steiger and Fred Astaire. But last week, the dating game came to an abrupt halt. Linda is marrying French actor, Philippe Forquet, who recently did a movie with Sandra Dee, “Take Her She’s Mine’ and is presently starring in Aaron Spelling’s new ABC television series “The Young Rebels.” Philippe is a cousin of the world-famous Italian haute couturier, Frederico Forquet. The wedding will take place in a tiny community in southern France, St. Paul de Vance, in a Matisse-decorated chapel. The bride will wear a Valentino pantsuit for the religious ceremony. The Forquet de Dornes are upper class and moneyed.

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Valentino, the star of Italian high fashion, can boast that his most faithful and most famous customer is Jacqueline but he doesn’t. Instead, his little trick is to have Jackie’s look-alike model in his press shows. Valentino has never mentioned the obvious similarity in looks, but always there is that subliminal advertising. Linda can’t help but make comparisons. “Cappuci, another Italian designer, is much more flamboyant about making the most of my looks,” she says. “He stubbornly insists that I wear wigs exactly like Jackie’s lion mane hairdo. I’ve practiced walking and smiling like her and Cappuci tells me to go through the act on the runway. Valentino doesn’t treat me that” way. He “is cool, charming and polite, almost as if I were you-know-who.”

The look-alike business came to a head a few years ago when Linda, a teen-ager with no thought of being a mannequin, went to see the Broadway show, “Carnival.” During intermission, an announcer roamed the audience with a mike and unexpectedly came across Linda. “We have Jacqueline Kennedy in the audience!’ he announced. Linda says: “I was just sitting there peacefully, in the balcony with Aunt Martha and suddenly there was a minor riot over me. It was wonderful! When I got home, I went straight to the mirror and started mimicking Jackie. It seemed like such a groovy thing to do. Now, in high-fashion modeling, it has paid off.

Marian_Christy


Admittedly, looking like Jackie on and off the runway can be a bore: During off hours she wouldn’t touch a wig with a 10-foot pole. Her hair is shorn close to the head. And skirts, her forte on the runway, have no place in her private wardrobe, which consists of 20 pairs of cuffed trousers, made especially for her by Norwegian tailor, Astrid, who has a shop on Rome’s busy Via Sistina. Her impeccable silk shirts, all 20 of them, are custom-made by
Altertinelli of Rome. Linda’s explanation of her all-pants wardrobe: “If I dressed like Jackie in my private life, I would get too much attention on the streets. Being mobbed has certain built-in disadvantages. Pants and short hair are a route to anonymity.

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Philippe Forquet French Heart Throb

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In 1962, as a member of the celebrated Theatre Moufftard in Paris, young Phillipe Forquet was discovered by American director, _Robert Parrish, who gave him an important role in a movie based on Irwin Shaw’s novel, In the French Style (1963). Learning English as he went along, he played the handsome and somewhat naive younger boyfriend of Jean Seberg, who had won popular acclaim in France when she starred in the Otto Preminger film Saint Joan (1957). She was very popular in France.

Attractive French movie stars were very prevalent in Hollywood throughout the 50s and 60s. Maurice ChevalierYves Montand and Brigitte Bardot were household names and a new generation of new European ‘hotties’ were coming up such as Jean ‘Paul Belmondo’,Alain DelonCatherine Deneuve and Louis Jourdan. Highly regarded for his extraordinary good looks, Forquet was spotted by producers at Twentieth Century Fox, and was offered a contract. In 1962 he was flown to Hollywood to be groomed into the new French Heartthrob.

His first role was as a French artist and love interest in _Take Her, She’s Mine (1963)_, also starring James Stewart and Sandra Dee, a very popular teen star at the time who was married to Bobby Darin. Rather shy and introspective, intelligent and well read, the young Philippe began life as a rising movie star. His dark good looks, sharp wit and Gallic charm caused quite a flurry among the ladies. He received thousands of fan letters a week and was featured in fan magazines. He was being hailed as a new Montgomery Clift.

While working on the film, he fell in love with a young starlet, Sharon Tate, who was also under contract to a studio and they became formally engaged. They eventually broke the engagement as the pressures of her rising career began to interfere with their personal lives. As a result, he broke his contract and decided to go back to Europe.

He was type cast several times as a French aristocrat. In the cult film Camille 2000, he played the darkly handsome and dangerous Count De Varville. He played against ‘Rod Steiger (I)’ in the Russian co-production, _Waterloo_ as the Duc De LaBedoyere, the Generals aide De camp.

He did return to Hollywood in 1970 to star in the ABC TV Series, The Young Rebels(1970) produced by Aaron Spelling. As yet another French nobleman, he played the American Revolutionary War hero, General Marquis De Lafayette. He received thousands of fan letters and was featured in many fan magazines as the new French heartthrob again. Girls found his dimples and French accent “devastating.” They sent for posters of him and entered contests to win a date. The series, which was running against Lassie and Disney, rated third in the 7:00 time slot on network TV. It was canceled after one season.

He and Linda Morand took time off and got married. They traveled throughout Europe. Forquet paid less attention to his acting career and became involved with his family businesses. By the mid-Seventies he was retired from acting. The couple divorced amicably in 1976. He now he lives a quiet life in France, remarried with three children

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Emerald Alexander

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1973-Ibiza Photo Essay

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Dinner with the Prince

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Meeting Royalty at Maxims

Tanara

Princess Diana von Furstenberg, Princess Tamara Nyman von Leichtnestein and Prince Albrecht von Leichtenstein.

I had not been in Paris long before I was introduced to a charming young man, who always seemed to be out and about in the posh night clubs that were popular with the International Jet Set.  His full name was Prince Albrecht Johannes Géza Augustinus Wilhelm Maria von Liechtenstein, a royal prince, who later was also given the title of Baron von Landskron. He was in line as heir to the throne of a tiny fairy-tale monarchy in the Alps, with an older brother who would inherit the crown.  I had not even heard of Liechtenstein but I looked it up in my guide book later. It was the only predominantly German-speaking country not to share a common border with Germany and the only predominantly German-speaking nation to have a monarch. It was known as a principality as it was  a constitutional monarchy headed by a prince. The country had a strong financial sector located in the capital, Vaduz, and had been identified as a tax haven.

Prince Albrecht was handsome and tall, with dark wavy hair and a slight Teutonic accent. I couldn’t help being attracted to him.  He seemed very knowledgeable about culture and society, and he took it upon himself to show me Paris in a way I had not yet experienced. He was familiar with the exciting world of theater, opera, ballet. He loved fine wine and gourmet dining, my weakness to this day. He always behaved as a perfect gentleman. He did not come on in s flirtatious way.  His manners were more Germanic than French.

Having eagerly studied “Berlitz Teach Yourself French”, I could already exchange greetings, ask for things, say please and thank you. I knew how to count to one million and how to order every item on the menu. With these rudimentary communication skills I could get around quite well. Thanks to my parents strict insistence on good table manners I was able to behave acceptably.

Later I became engaged to a French aristocrat, who gave me a crash course in French etiquette and protocol.    There was not too much I needed to learn, but there were certain important things I did not know. For example, you never slice  a cheese at a right angle. The greatest cheese faux pas is cutting off the end of the wedge, which is called ”le nez”, the nose of the cheese, with a cross cut. You must cut it at a 45-degree angle. Anyone who did otherwise was considered terribly gauche. I also had to learn not to freak out when and entire broiled trout was served to me, head, skin, fins, tail and all, with a great white hard boiled-eyeball staring up at me. Not only that, but I learned how to decapitate and de-bone the entire thing, using just a knife and a fork, in the French style, with my elbows at my side and without making a mess. There were many little things I had to learn. Another one was never to thank a waiter. But I constantly ignored that one.

I was very busy working for Pierre Cardin and other Couture designers.  In 1966, French Couture was still taken very seriously although later many houses closed.  The influence of London and the demand for affordable and attractive ready-to-wear fashions in the new fabrics changed the fashion industry.  I was lucky enough to have exactly the right look and proportions to work a bit as a model and see the world.

A few years earlier  an enterprising lady named Madame Lebesque had become the owner of the hotel at 56 Rue Jacob which had been the site of Peace Treaty signed by John Jay and Benjamin Franklin in 1783. She  brought her signature family style to every possible corner. The rooms all had antique furnishings and an eclectic decor.  In the early 60′s, the hotel had offered its very simple comfort to students from the nearby Fine Arts School (Ecole des Beaux Arts) and to painters and other artists. But, now it also housed a bevy of very young international fashion models who enjoyed its excellent location, reasonable prices and bohemian atmosphere.

One evening Albrecht called for me at the little old-world Hotel du Danube.It was only my first week in Paris and except for the dinner at Castel, I had seen nothing but the insides of couture houses and frantic all night shoots.  Susan Brainard, my roommate was working in Milan for a few days, and Ulla Bomser, my other chum, was off in Germany, working for the big catalog house Burda Moden. It was a Thursday night and I had nothing to do so I was happy when Albrecht called me at the last minute. I was impulsive in those days and an eleventh hour invitation was a passport to adventure. He suggested I come with him to meet some old friends for dinner.

Through the decades the former mansion had faded a bit, it might have been a bit shabby but it retained an air like a lady of faded beauty and presence. The elevator was  broken, as usual, so I took the little winding staircase down to the small lobby.  The little mustachioed concierge was seated behind the counter, in front of a wall of cubbyholes with keys and messages for the guests.  Sometimes he would snooze late at night and you could reach beside him and just take your key.  Or anyone’s key. That is how I was involved in a big robbery a few weeks later. Prince Albrecht was standing there, in the small shabby chic  lobby with shabby chic chintz covered chairs, waiting for me, looking tall, dark and debonair in his dark Savile Row suit, worn with a black turtle neck.

 

We exchanged the obligatory three cheek kisses and a hug. He led me to chauffeur driven Citroen, parked on the Rue Jacob just outside the hotel. His hair was slicked back and he smelled like very good cologne,  When I asked what he had in mind, he said we were going to dine with a couple of his old friends, who were in town for the evening, a distant cousin that he had spent a lot of time with as a child and young man. He said it was a last minute thing. He was smiling to himself.

The door shut with a substantial but muted thud, indicating a well made car. I settled back into the plush seats. The chauffeur got in the front seat and began driving slowly through the glistening cobblestone streets and made a left onto the Quai alongside the the eternal River Seine.  The evening was mild, the windows were open and the breeze from the river ruffled my short cropped hair. I leaned forward and put my head out the window a little. This was the Paris I had dreamed of.  Here was the River Seine. At my side was a fairy tale prince who was behaving as the perfect gentleman he was. We turned right onto Pont de la Concorde and crossed over. I saw the other Parisian bridges reflected in the deep irresident green river, I looked down the river. All the bridges looked like luminous circles as they were reflected in the smooth water.Couples were strolling along the banks, holding hands and stopping to kiss as the car turned onto the bridge. From the festive Bateaux Mouche passing beneath the bridge,  I could hear strains of Parisian music and laughter   Along the river bank there were several barges where people  lived on houseboats moored to the Quai. It was a coveted address if you had an excellent converted barge, I had been told. It all seemed like a dream.  I was so far from home, in a completely new world playing a very different role, but enjoying it immensely. I was ready for anything, full of youthful enthusiasm, good will, and a large dose of naivety, which I was told was part of my charm.

As we drove across the Place de la Concord I was very impressed with the obelisk in the center that had been brought from Egypt by Napoleon and the beautiful architecture. The driver stayed straight and we drove slowly onto the Rue Royal.

Where are we going, Albrecht, I asked.

“We are going to Maxim’s” Albrecht said nonchalantly.

I thought we would be staying on the Left Bank, which was the younger hipper part of Paris. I had never gone out to dinner n the Right Bank.  I only went over there for business reasons, meaning photography shoots. There were usually no go-sees, or auditions, If you came from New York and had tearsheets you worked.

There was actually too much work. I was on my feet all day, rushing form studio to studio, or to the airport, or the train station.  When I was in town, I usually ate at Café Flore with any of the models who came back, exhausted, to the Danube after their busy days running around Paris on bookings, some times two or three a day. This entailed getting from one side of Paris to another toting a large satchel full of a complete selection of scarves, necklaces, bracelets, shoes, make-up, hot rollers, combs, brushes, hats and wigs. Part of the expense of being a model was maintaining an up to date accessories collection. After wearing designer clothes all day, I just wanted to be casual. So I was dressed down.

 

As the car turned the magnificent Rue Royal, you could see the Obelisk of the Place de la Concorde at one end and the Madelaine church at the other, looking like a Greek Temple. The symmetrical beauty of it took my breath away.  We pulled up in front of Maxim’s, one of the most famous restaurants in the world. I had read about it in books and now I was actually here. A uniformed door man stood outside.

 

I had anticipated a typical evening , going to Brasserie Lipp, or Au Pied de Cochon, and then on to Chez Castel, the most exclusive private nightclub in Paris, for a night of dancing with the stars, which was becoming a weekly event for me. I was wearing my up to the minute black Cardin hip huggers and a black ribbed turtleneck sweater also by Cardin, and short white go-go boots by Couregges. It was what Mademoiselle was calling “The American Image”, pure snap, crackle and pop. I had on full Mod make-up, false eyelashes, pale lips and a closely-cropped, boldly geometric Sassoon haircut. As we entered this ancient citadel of dining, I felt hopelessly under dressed.  It seemed most of the clients were in cocktail attire or evening dress. There were plenty of Diors, Givency’s, and Balenciagas.

In 1913, Jean Cocteau said of Maxim’s: “It was an accumulation of velvet, lace, ribbons, diamonds and what all else I couldn’t describe. To undress one of these women is like an outing that necessitates three weeks advance notice, it’s like moving house.” Well, they were not dressed quite so elaborately when I was there, but the structured couture dresses were pretty formidable.

Of course, even I had heard of the legendary Maxim’s, the timeless symbol of a certain art of living, a mythical vision of festivities in all of their expressions. Maxims’s was the most famous restaurant in the world, and one of the most expensive ones as well with an international prestigious reputation  It had been founded as a bistro in 1893 by Maxime Gaillard, formerly a waiter. It later became one of the most popular and fashionable restaurants in Paris under its next owner, Eugene Cornuché who created the dining room’s elaborate Art Nouveau décor. I had heard that at the end of the Fifties when the restaurant was restored, the workmen found a treasure trove of lost coins and jewelry. It had slipped out of the pockets of the well-to-do diners and been trapped between the cushions of the banquettes for years. It certainly was believable.

For decades Maxim’s had always been filled with beautiful women and their glittering escorts. “An empty room… Cornuché would say : Never! I always have a beauty sitting by the window, in view from the sidewalk.” Renowned guests of that time period were Edward VII ,the notorious king who had abdicated the throne of England for love of his mistress, Wallis Simpson. They married and lived in Paris as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and remained steady clients for years, their every moved written about in the newspapers and magazines. Marcel Proust, Jean Cocteau, and Georges Feydeau, were regulars. Feydeau wrote a popular comedy called La Dame de Chez Maxim, which I had read in school.

The décor had not changed since those days. And now I was actually going to go in to this sanctum of glamor and history. Maxim’s was immensely popular with the present day international elite of the Swinging Sixties. I spotted Aristotle Onassis with Maria Callas at a table for two and did not allow myself to stare.
The opulent interior decoration, featuring a beautiful stained glass window, lush soft linen table cloths, glittering lighting and lots of dark wood reflected in large mirrors. We passed by a table for four, where two handsome men were with the popular French singing star Sylvie Vartan. One of was Johnny Halliday, France’s answer to Elvis and the other was Gunther Sachs, the handsome German Playboy who was married to Brigitte Bardot. The fourth chair was empty, awaiting the arrival of the number one French sex symbol who was on her way from a movie shoot.

The maitre d’ and the waiters were bowing and scraping to Albrecht and calling him “Your Excellency”. Up until this time I had not really thought about Albrecht being a Prince of the Royal family of Liechtenstein and all that title entailed. To me he was just another guy, although quite a special one. He, like many of the titled youth, did not want to make a big fuss. To him the to-do over the aristocracy was boring. The exciting world of fashion was very glamorous and interesting for these sons and daughters of very conservative families. Diana Vreeland had made people like Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton objects of fascination through the pages of Vogue.

The Jet Set and the Young Bloods were fascinated with models. The political climate was moving way toward the left as the working classes were beginning to get more and more power. The Beatles and the Rolling Stones set the tone and a working class hero was something to be. Sons of Dukes and Barons came to Paris, London and Rome to mix and mingle with the Mods, the designers, artist, and musicians and of course the models. And the Mods were mingling right back. And so it was that a regular girl from Long Island found herself in this fantastic place, and many others.

We were led to a table for six that had only four plush antique chairs around it. It was covered with a fine linen table cloth and set with crystal and Limoges china. The other “couple” was already there, waiting for us, seated on the plush red banquette, facing us with their backs to the wall. I could not believe my eyes when I saw who was sitting there.

Princess Grace

I don’t know how I kept my poise when I was presented to Prince Rainier, the reigning ruler of Monaco and Princess Grace, the former actress Grace Kelly. They were to be our dinner companions. Was I supposed to curtsy? And how do you curtsy in bell-bottoms? I kept calm and collected as Prince Rainier rose and kissed my hand, the first time anyone had ever done that to me. He was tall and dark haired, like Albrecht, not quite as handsome but with his own special charm. His hair was tinged with silver and he sported a neat mustache. He was dressed in a tuxedo and tails, a red diagonal sash across his chest covered in medals. Evidently they were in Paris for some state event.

Princess Grace remaining seated, of course, offered her hand for me to shake. Her blond hair was swept up in a chignon. She was wearing a long, white satin evening gown, studded with pearls, with a matching 3/4 sleeve jacket. I think it was Dior. On her left hand, she had THE RING, it was huge, a diamond set in rubies, and she had dazzling diamonds on her ears and throat. She was thirty-seven years old and very beautiful. Her white satin gloves were folded beside her. The maître d’ pulled out the chair for me opposite Her Serene Highness, as she was known. And I sat down. The waiter put my napkin on my lap.

Now I knew I was really hopelessly underdressed, and felt a bit awkward, but no one seemed to mind. Everyone else was dressed in cocktail or evening attire. The prince and princess were relaxed and natural and very nice to me. Fine Champagne was poured, and although I did not drink, I took a few sips. I decided to just brazen it out as if I dined with royalty every day. I couldn’t believe I was having this opportunity to have a conversation with these two world famous people. Because of Rainer’s close relationship with Albrecht, they were all acting very congenial and unpretentious, glad for an unexpected chance to get together. Ever the actress, I played along, as if to the manor born.

grace-of-monaco-prince-rainier-iii-grace-kelly

I was discovering that the rich and famous are just like everybody else when they let their hair down. They like honesty and they often are interested and intrigued by talented youth. Albrecht mentioned that I was known as Super Chick from another planet and they thought it very amusing. Everyone was fascinated with Outer Space and Super Heroes in 1966. My mother had always taught me not to talk about myself, but to take an interest in other people. One of my good points was being able to ask a question that the other person would enjoy answering. I learned a lot that way.

“How did you to meet” I asked naively. They had met and married in 1956. while I was still too young to read the tabloids, so I really didn’t know. But I had seen Grace’s picture very often on the covers of French magazines and was well aware that she was a former American movie star who had married a romantic prince and was living happily ever after.

“I was in the palace for a pictorial with Paris Match”. Grace answered, not at all taken aback that I didn’t know. “It was during the shooting of a movie I did with Cary Grant, “To Catch a Thief.”

I remembered the movie, but I had not seen it. I was only nine when it came out.

“The camera crew and I were there on time, but Rainer was delayed, so we decided to improvise,” she continued. “We were a little bit panicky, thinking he was not going to show up! Photographs were being hastily contrived. Someone suggested that I sit on his red-canopied throne, when suddenly the door opened and there he was.”

 

The throne room of the Palace at Monaco. Grace Kelly was seated there when the Prince first saw her.

 

She turned to the Prince and smiled. I could tell that she was proud of her husband and in love with him. What was not to love? He was quite good-looking, very smart and charming and he had his own country. I had recently seen a beautiful picture of the two of them and their three young children. The prince picked up his glass of red wine by the stem and twirled it around, savoring the sight of the rich garnet color making small swirls inside the sparkling crystal.

“The first time I saw Grace, she was sitting on my throne”, Rainier sighed., “And she looked pretty good there. For me it was love at first sight. I made up my mind that she would one day be my Princess.”

“He didn’t tell me that” , Grace laughed, “But, after the photo session he did take me on a tour of his exotic gardens and his private zoo with the most ferocious lions, and tigers and rare tropical birds.”

Rainer said, “I had to make up some excuse to see her again. I went to America to visit the wounded veterans, and I contacted her. Somehow I wangled an invitation to Grace’s home at Christmas time.” he smiled.

“And the rest is history” Albrecht added, slightly bored. “He proposed, she accepted and here they are!”

To him it was all old hat. He had been to the wedding where the world had gathered in its finest attire to pay homage and offer its congratulations. Champagne flowed freely and there was dancing everywhere as flags waved, cannons boomed and fireworks splashed in the sky.

Suddenly there was an uproar. Albrecht and I turned around in our chairs and Rainier and Grace craned their necks to see, Who, but Brigitte Bardot, the biggest movie star in France had entered the restaurant looking like she had just walked off the beach at San Tropez. She strode in, her long blond hair streaming, wearing a quite beautiful lace dress her pretty bare feet treading the luxurious Persian carpet. People were looking askance and murmuring, ” Dit donc” which is French for “ I say!”The buzz was not about who she was. The place was filled with stars. The problem was Brigitte had no shoes on.

Brigitte Bardot and Gunther Sachs Hippie Chic stars of the Sixties.

With a little flurry of activity the situation was deftly handled. The owner, Louis Vaudable, offered the beautiful Bardot his arm and escorted her to her table, the one with Sylvie Vartan, and everybody went back to their business. Nobody said anything about it at our table although Albrect was smiling to himself. The food was exquisite. I concentrated on eating with my best manners. I did not say much. I thought I should say something.

“I’ve never been to Monaco”, I said, but I’d love to go!”

“You must come and see us when you do”, said Rainier. Grace smiled at me. “By all means,” she said.

Too bad I never took them up on the invitation. But as fabulous as they were, they seemed a little old and stodgy for my Mod tastes. Besides the invitation was rather vague and probably just given out of politeness. We spent the rest of evening eating the delicious food, sipping the fine wine, joking and reminiscing and I even was able to come up with a few ‘bon mots’ of my own, but mostly I just listened. They told me a little about the history of Monaco and Albrecht and Rainier gossiped about mutual friends, using their first names, so I had no idea who they were talking about.

As they chatted in French, I looked over the Princes shoulder. The wall behind the table was dominated by a huge, beautiful oval mirror richly framed in ornate dark wood. It reflected the Art Nouveau lamp in the shape of a sensual flower which was placed at the top of the mirror The wall behind the mirror was an sumptuous antique painting of figures in classical robes interacting in a fantastical landscape. Reflected in the mirror was the high ceiling, consisting of beautifully painted tiles, featuring flowers.

As I listened to them chattering away in French, and English, laughing and smiling, it all seemed like a dream. I was thinking about the movie Sabrina, starring Audrey Hepburn, where a little Long Island nobody attends a culinary school in Paris and returns a very attractive and sophisticated woman. Perhaps that would happen to me.

Suddenly they began lifting their glasses and toasting, the crystal tinkling musically. I snapped out of my reverie and joined in. Prince Rainier toasted me and wished me great success. Then we had dessert and coffee and, all too quickly, it was over. When Princess Grace arose I was able to see the entire magnificent gown, truly fit for a queen. A hush fell over the restaurant as Albrecht and I followed the Prince and Princess out of the restaurant. Then they got into their Bentley and were whisked away, Grace’s white gloved hand waving good-bye.

On the way home, I playfully swatted Albrecht with my purse. “Don’t ever pull a trick like that on me again!” I said. Albrecht laughed and said the evening had been a great success. He had wanted to delight his friends with his interesting ‘mannequin Americaine’, and that they had been very happy to meet me. It was hard for me to believe that but it seemed to be true. After years of being the biggest geek in Lindenhurst, here I was living a fantasy. I decided to learn as much as I could and enjoy every minute of it while it lasted. Driving down the Rue de Rivoli, hardly seeing the beautiful Palais du Louvre. I peered at Albrecht, sitting back in his seat beside me, enjoying a Cuban cigar and looking like a cool, sassy pussycat. He was still laughing at me. I still thinking of the white bejeweled couture dress with the incredible jewelry.

“She had so many diamonds and I wasn’t wearing any.” I laughed. I actually didn’t have any at the time. Albrecht took my hand and bringing it to his lips, he gently kissed it. The second time I had had my hand kissed that evening, and by another prince! Then looking deeply into my eyes he said with a disarming smile.  ”My Dear, your eyes are your diamonds.”

The car dropped me off at the hotel again and I ran up the stairs to my room where Susan Brainard was already lying on her twin bed under the eves.  She loved my story about the evening and matched it with one of hers where she got forced down in Iceland on a private jet with Laurence Harvey and John Ireland, two very big movie stars,  These are the kinds of things that happened.  All the models have stories.

Shortly after I took off for  Rome and London and lost touch with my charming friend, Albrecht.  He married one of the most beautiful models of the time, Tamara Nyman, who was a very lovely Princess indeed.

 

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Linda Morand Sarasota Magazine.com.

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Heather Dunhill sits down for a chat with ’60s supermodel Linda Morand.

Original Article on www,SarasotaMagazine.com

Linda Morand in Pierre Cardin.

Linda Morand in Pierre Cardin.

A mod sartorial shift was in the air during the ’60s, a convergence of high fashion with the Space Age super chick and, as one of the decade’s supermodels, Linda Morand had the instantly alluring right stuff. She was discovered by the incomparable Eileen Ford, a muse to the illustrious Pierre Cardin, and was one of the ’60s supermodels who was photographed by the most celebrated names in the fashion world, like Helmut Newton and Richard Dormer.

The unflappable Morand also walked the coveted Parisian runways in the finest of prêt-a-porter and haute couture, most of which was made for her by fashion icons like Jean Patou, Karl Lagerfeld, Emanuel Ungaro, Paco Rabanne, Louis Féraud and Valentino.

In-Christian-Dior

During her mod M.O.D (model off duty) hours, the Long Island girl with the sleek and chic Vidal Sassoon haircut hobnobbed with those who retained exclusive European titles as well as those who were to inherit their own countries. One evening in particular, she even found herself on a surprise double date at Maxim’s with Prince Rainier and Princess Grace. And for a lifetime she’s been likened to former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, though it’s a comparison Morand intentionally shied away from as a model wanting her own distinct look.

morandadrianaliciaPhoto by Adrian Alicia. Stylist: David Frank Ray.

Today Morand is a fashion philanthropist who chronicles the industry’s history while keeping an eye on mentoring its current generation. If you’d love to know more, stay tuned: Her memoir is in the works. And in the following interview, you’ll gain insight into her stylish life, which most fashionable femmes can only dream of.

P.S. Merci beaucoup to my I Want to Be An Alt.com editor Kellina de Boer for the generous introduction that made this interview possible, and for allowing me to share it with my fashionably-minded Sarasota Magazinereaders.

Let’s begin with your first modeling job in Lilly Pulitzer. How did that come about?

It was the summer of 1964. Having graduated high school on Long Island, I decided to spend the summer in Key West before attending Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City in the fall.  One day, Jim Russell, the owner of Key West Hand Print Fabrics, approached me with the usual line, “Did anyone ever tell you that you look like Jackie Kennedy?” Did anyone ever tell me? I felt like saying, “I wish they would stop already!” but I said, “Yes, sometimes.”  He offered me a part in [the store's] fashion show.  They had a small building on Duval Street, in the heart of Key West, where they designed the exclusive fabrics for Lilly Pulitzer, just emerging on the Palm Beach scene. I was chosen to model the dresses in a sort of boutique modeling setting.  They also took a picture of me for an ad that appeared inThe New Yorker magazine, my first professional modeling job. I returned to New York in the fall encouraged to try the big time.

When were you discovered by Eileen Ford?

It is funny to say that she discovered me, but in a way she did.  I had a hard time being accepted by the Ford agency at first because at the time [Eileen] was only interested in Scandinavian blondes.  But the demand for someone with the Jackie look had become great, so she scooped me up, had me groomed into the ultra-mod, “space age super chick” image and sent me off to Paris. All doors were open to me.  Eileen was not happy when I did not return to New York for five years. But Paris in the ’60s, with London, Rome and Ibiza a hop and a skip away, was not to be missed. I made a new life for myself in Europe and do not regret my decision to become an ex-patriot for a while.

LindaCompFlore

Incredibly cool (and enviable!) that your signature hairstyle–a closely cropped asymmetric cut–was crafted by the master, Vidal Sassoon. What was that experience like?

I was always careful to wear my hair very differently from the former first lady while I was a model. At first I had it shoulder length, while Jackie wore hers in a chin-length bouffant bob. Eileen Ford sent me to the Vidal Sassoon salon, newly opened in New York City, the very hub of the mod look. They designed the little ergonomic bob that hugged the shape of my head, very short in the back with full bangs in the front.  It looked very odd at the time. I did not like it at first, but it seemed the magazines did, and I began to work a lot. I posed for some iconic images in Betsey Johnson dresses, which were so original at the time and still survive today in museums and galleries.  I also modeled for Mary Quant. The haircut was perfect with those clothes.

graceprince

I can’t let the opportunity pass to ask about your evening with Prince Rainier and Princess Grace. Whatever do you discuss with His and Her Serene Highness over a late supper at the legendary Maxim’s?

Shortly after I arrived in Paris to walk the runways and appear in magazines, I was invited to sophisticated parties that I could only dream about [attending] back home.  In Paris, London and Rome, the aristocrats, whom Diana Vreeland dubbed the Young Bloods, were fascinated by the middle-class youth, the mods, who were emerging as the top photographers, actors and models with a new way of looking at the world. It was the dawn of the Space Age; we were going to the moon.  Anything could happen.

I was introduced to a charming gentleman about town named Albrecht, prince of the tiny principality of Liechtenstein–he was young, handsome and the brother of the reigning prince. He invited me to dinner with friends.   They turned out to be Prince Rainier and Princess Grace, rulers of another tiny principality in Monaco. I was only 19 years old and was awed by the magnificent restaurant–Maxim’s–and the stellar company.  Princess Grace was radiantly beautiful. The royal couple was dressed in formal attire, having attended a state function earlier.  Grace was wearing a white pearl-studded Dior gown, diamonds and a tiara, and of course her beautiful engagement ring. We dined in a private room. It was quite informal, with no need to use titles or curtsy or anything, thank goodness.

They were so gracious as to make it all about me and ask me questions about myself, my ambitions and my successes, putting me at ease. I had always been taught not to talk about myself so much, but to ask polite questions. So I asked Princess Grace and Prince Rainier how they met.  They told me she had been in Monaco 10 years before while filming To Catch a Thief with Cary Grant.  There was to be a publicity photo shoot at the palace and Grace was to be presented to the prince.  But when they arrived, the prince had been delayed somewhere.  So the photographer began taking a few shots of Grace around the palace.  They were in the throne room when he suggested that Grace go sit on the throne, just as a joke.  At that moment, the prince walked in and that was his first impression.  “I saw this lovely vision sitting on my throne and took it as a sign,” he said. “I made up my mind, then and there, to marry her if she would have me.” They told me a bit more about their romance and marriage.  Albrecht had been in the fairy-tale wedding party. That evening is one I will never forget.

HELMUT-1HELMUT-2HELMUT-3

As a fashion editor who reviews Vogue Paris for I Want to Be An Alt.com, this question is a must.  The Helmut Newton shoot for Vogue Paris’s September 1973 issue: How amazing was that? I heard it was such a great success that Richard Avedon sent a telegram of congratulations to Newton with a note that said Jackie Kennedy was ready to sue!

I had been running from the Jackie comparison, which I felt limited my scope. When I went to see Newton, who was then the one of biggest photographers in the world, he immediately remarked on the likeness and asked if I would do a shoot dressed and coiffed like Jackie.  I said it depended on who the photographer was, and for what magazine.  He said “How about me, for Vogue Paris, shooting in Dior, Chanel and Givenchy–and we will use your name in the story.” It was an offer I could not refuse.

My eyebrows, which I had plucked into a thin line, were thickened and darkened.  That was all they had to do, really. Jean Marc Manaitis, a top stylist, brought in a long brunette wig, and my makeup was done to make me look a little older. In most of the shots I am wearing sunglasses but my favorite is one standing with a U.S. Marine outside the U.S. Embassy in Paris, where I am not wearing glasses.

Newton and I planned a paparazzi-style shoot in the streets of Paris. The pictures were so strikingly realistic that Jacqueline thought at first it was herself [when she saw them]. Then she was ready to sue the magazine because she hated to be imitated–which always put a big burden on me, who could hardly help it. She once sued Oscar de la Renta for using a model named Margaret Donohue and inferring that she was Jackie in a double-page ad in Vogue. But seeing my name in print deterred her. Avedon sent a telegram congratulating Newton on the spread. One life-size picture from this series is in the current Newton exhibit that is on tour around the world.

collage

Left: Linda Morand as Jackie Kennedy, makeup by Devon Cass. Right: Linda Morand.

Speaking of Jackie, did you ever have the opportunity to meet her? Did the “twin” subject come up?

Early in my career I met Jacqueline Kennedy. I was having lunch in P.J. Clarke’s, a famous New York restaurant, and who was sitting nearby but the famous lady herself, with Pierre Salinger, who had been President Kennedy’s press secretary.  It was like looking in the mirror. My companion knew them and introduced us.  Mr. Salinger said, “Boy, you two look enough alike to be sisters!”

My friend told them that I was on the cover of Mademoiselle that month. “Oh,” Jackie said with a smile, “You must be the model everyone is saying I look like.” So gracious was she to turn it around like that. It endeared her to me even more–I had always been a big fan. However, I left for Europe shortly after to escape the constant comparison. Jackie was not so well known there as she was in New York, at least until the ’70s, when she was married to Onassis.

It’s certain you’ve received numerous compliments in your lifetime – any one stand out as touching and memorable?

That is hard to answer. I was recently interviewed for Hamptons.com by Douglas Harrington, who said, “Although Morand, like many of us from the Flower Power generation, now qualifies for senior discounts at movie theaters, she is a still a stunner with intoxicating looks and a figure that the average 20-something would envy. In a word, she remains to this day an absolute beauty.” I was flattered that he would say that!

Now that I am semi-retired I have more time to lend to good causes.  I am involved Models Against Addictions and Super Role Models, an international group of successful leaders in the fashion industry who want to help create a better society via becoming role models. We acknowledge the power of fashion world and believe that we can set an example and spread the awareness throughout global society. I am also very fond of Last Chance Animal Rescue on Long Island, who do incredible work finding good homes for dogs on death row. So in the future, if I receive any compliments, I would like them to be for the work I am doing to help in some way, and encouraging others.  And if anyone wants to say I am a good mother, I would take that as the best compliment of all.

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Linda Morand in Yves St. Laurent

If you could go back in time, what would you whisper in the ear of that young mod model?

I would whisper, “Buy up property in Europe while the price was so low and the dollar was so high!” I did not understand real estate then, and missed some opportunities for very good investments. I would have also encouraged her to further her education, perhaps go for a doctorate in the subjects which interested her.  This would come in handy later in life, back in the real world. Oh, and not to fall in love at first sight.

I’m completely interested in your work as a fashion archivist. Please share some insight into what you’re working on…

Since the spring of 2006, I have led several educational groups consisting of models, photographers, art directors, agents, archivists and beauty artists who have been active since the 1950s through the present day. We have assembled, scanned, identified and cataloged over 25,000 fashion and beauty images of the famous models of the mid-20th century, especially the ’60s. Our archives are consulted by designers, Hollywood costumers, artists, beauty professionals, models and photographers.

For the fashion faithful: How about a few must-see documentaries from the Supermodels Hall of Fame collection?

We are working on one right now about the supermodels of the 1950s. We want to get the interviews done while many of the participants are still with us.  Through this project, I met Daniel Patchett, who is the webmaster ofjeanpatchett.com [a Jean Patchett tribute site]. He has extensive and excellent archives of original photos of his famous relative, who was one of the most celebrated models of all time.

I’ve chosen a few of my favorite pix of you – would you share a story or tidbit about the shoot and who you’re wearing?

Linda

This picture is by Gunnar Larsen, a Danish photographer who had me under contract for a week along with Jeanette Christjansen, who was Miss Denmark and later married John Casablancas, the founder of Elite Models. We drove around Paris to all the fashion houses just after the shows. Jeanette and I would be hastily fitted into the latest creations, including the shoes and jewelry. We went outside to be photographed in the nearby streets, then did a quick change and were onto the next couture house. This Yves St. Laurent two-piece look was made of black satin with long wide pants and a leather and gold chain belt.

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Here is another Dior dress.  This was taken at the Vogue studio in the Place du Palais Bourbon by Richard Dormer.  It was my first job in Paris.  I was thrilled to see Jean Shrimpton, the British supermodel, and Brigitte Bauer, a top model from Germany, who were shooting for Vogue with David Bailey. Catherine Deneuve was in the studio, too.  Love this dress. My hair was cut by Alexander de Paris, whose clients included Liz Taylor.

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This picture was done for Italian Vogue.  You can’t see much of the location but it was the beautiful Villa d’Este in Rome. I was often photographed in a beret, which was my favorite headgear and still is. You always look jaunty and chic in a little beret.

LANVIN

Here I am in Lanvin.  This was done for Vogue Patterns.  They made the dress on me. I worked for them a lot and had the experience of having dresses made to my size.  It was a thrilling experience to be in heart of Christian Dior, Pierre Cardin, Yves St. Laurent and others, and to see just how much skill and artistry goes into making a couture outfit.

You’ve crossed paths and enjoyed the company of fashion icons.  For fun, tell us three words you’d use to describe the following:

André Courrèges:  Handsome, dynamic, daring.

Helmut Newton:  Complicated, brilliant, droll.

Valentino:  Suave, handsome, refined.

Pierre Cardin:  Brilliant, excitable, mean.

Karl Lagerfeld:  Proud, genius, remote.

Vidal Sassoon:  Charming, innovative, heroic.

Paco Rabanne: Original, flamboyant, insightful.

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Photographer: Miguel Dominguez. Creative director, hair and makeup: David Frank Ray.

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Models Against Addictions

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Linda Morand, MAA Director of Iconic Model Division:

Writer, Former Iconic Cover-girl and Haute Couture Mannequin, Actress, Fashion Archivist.

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After retiring from professional modeling to raise a family of four children, Morand stayed marginally active in the modeling industry as the owner of a small exclusive modeling school in the Eighties, a national photography studio and appearing from time to time in special bookings. Currently, she is a journalist, beauty expert and maintains a non–profit website with the pictures and biographies of over 500 top models of the Sixties. She has signed on to “The Supermodels Hall of Fame” as co-executive producer and is in production for several documentaries on the fashion and modeling industry. She is very interested in mentoring young people, helping those with addictions to recover and in helping abused animals.

http://www.lindamorand.com

MAA  Founders

 

Asia Janina Dyrkacz and Meret Hulliger, international models, global citizens,  spiritual searchers, alcoholism and substance abuse counselors  ,meditators & yoga lovers, are pleased to welcome you  in the Models Against Addictions nonprofit (501)(C)(3) foundation.

Being involved in the modeling world, we have experienced the best, modern civilization can offer.  Still we both had a yearning to explore the deeper meaning of life until we discovered Yoga & Meditation.

The magnificent ancient eastern knowledge helped us to find balance & happiness in our life and we feel compelled to share. We are conscious of the global impact that models and fashion industry has on the whole society.  We would like not only to stand in the spot light, but to be Role Models and introduce to models and society the gift of personal freedom by practicing Yoga & Meditation.

All Models are welcome to join  Models Against Addictions (MAA) and help us to create the movement and make the world a better place to live .

We are honored to welcome you to join us on the quest of self-discovery and spiritual growth with the MAA project !

—-

Asia Janina Dyrkacz
Model / Certified Meditation Coach / Certified Addictions Counselor

“The addiction of my father took away my childhood and his life…

The addictions of my kids prevented them from continuing their education…

The addiction of my soul mate destroyed our ability to trust & love…

The addiction of my brother took away his life…

My addictions have prevented me from a conscious and balanced life…

I became strong enough and aware to get motivated to stop this vicious circle, liberate and heal.

The tremendous amount of loss that I experienced in my life was my motivation to start Models Against Addictions foundation  to help others “.

Asia has accumulated all her knowledge and life experience to create Models Against Addictions Foundation /MAA/. She feels that society is at a turning point in the way addictions are viewed and we are transcending to a place where dependency can addressed with more compassion and love, recognizing the need for complete, holistic approach to the treatments

MAA promotes through the powerful fashion world and influential modeling community the vision for holistic healthy beauty of the mind, spirit & body and educates the society in order to eliminate the stigma of addictions which are among the major global health problems of urban life, affecting more than 20 million people only in America.

As a Model she has been experiencing an unusual, yet fascinating career. She started modeling relatively late, at 40 with Elite Model Management, one of the biggest fashion agencies. Asia has been walking runways in Paris for brand such as Hermes. She was seen in various commercials:  BMW, Trump Towers Target, and TV serial such as Sex and the city, 30 Rock, W.E, etc. She has appeared in Marie Claire, O the Oprah Magazine, Newsweek and More magazines, Discovery Health Channel, WVVH-TV, Hamptons TV and LTV- Hamptons Hello Morning talk show.

As a Certified Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor, she has developed deeper understanding of the intricacies, causes & treatment alternatives for addictions. She promotes the vision that dependency is a symptom not the actual problem. People who are seeking relief through substance abuse are on a quest to find inner peace and awareness. The path to personal freedom from addictive behaviors lies in a spiritual, inner journey of self-discovery via meditation. She volunteered in the Chemical Dependency Program in Harlem and Project Renewal Shelters, introducing meditation in group therapies .

As a Meditation Coach, Asia made several pilgrimages to Rehabilitation/Ashram centers in India to study and practice Eastern techniques and treatments, including Vipassana – 10 day silent meditation. She visited many times the Yogi Bhajan Ashram in New Mexico and practiced Kundalini Yoga and Meditation. She received a certificate from Super Health, a system of Yogic Sciences for breaking addictive habits and behaviors.

As a Woman, Asia has had diverse experiences, ranging from the impoverished childhood in communist Poland, difficult emigrant survival time, to the vibrant cosmopolitan urban life in Paris & New York. This   cultivated in her appreciation of the small things in life, open mind and eagerness to embrace and explore new sets of values or belief systems that come in her way. She went through difficult emotional period, struggling to prevent her bi-polar son’s cognitive abilities and memory from deterioration and ultimately found a holistic approach for his healing.  This challenging, winding and diverse path made her stronger & wiser and motivated her to create a 40 days holistic program for recovery and mental illnesses healing.

—-

Meret Hulliger
Model / Certified Addictions Counselor

Meret was born and raised in Switzerland, and moved to New York in 2003. She studied the Science of Communication at the University of Lugano, Switzerland. Meret has worked extensively as an international model, which gave her the opportunity to travel all over the world and explore different cultures. Her modeling work has appeared in Glamour and Maxim magazines among others. She has worked on campaigns for Lise Charmel and appeared in runway shows for Calvin Klein and Dior . Meret is a devout yoga practitioner and has attended numerous yoga retreats across the country and in India.  She also was involved in the Practical School of Philosophy in New York City. She is studying currently at ‘Shen Men Institut’ and ‘Akademie zur Berufsausbildung für Heilpraktiker’ in Berlin to become an alternative practitioner.

Asia and Meret have both received a scholarship from ACNY (Alcoholism Council of New York) and finish studying for their CASAC (Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor) Certificates in 2010.

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Mademoiselle Super Hero Issue

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Paris Planning Agency

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In the mid summer of 1966 I was having a lot of fun.  I was an art student, studying fashion illustration  in New York City.  Because I was so tall and thin, people were constantly encouraging me to try to be a model.  I did not think I had a chance, but after a slow start I was accepted by the Ford agency and sent to Paris to pose for the magazines and walk the runway of Pierre Cardin and Jean Patou and others. I was under contract to Paris Planning.

The  Paris Planning agency was on Rue Tronchet in Paris, near the Madelaine, a monumental church with columns. I remember going up an elevator into a beautiful, very Mod office, decorated in a very futuristic style with white walls, gleaming glass,  plastic and chrome.   They had am overhead slide show of all the models playing, projected on the wall, quite innovative at the time.  Many of the top American models of the day were in the show.  They had added my pictures from Mademoiselle.

Francois Lano, the owner was such a dear, so fastidious and good humored.  He was dapper, elegant and well dressed with a little mustache, who treated the models as ladies.  Maria was his partner. I remember they were measuring our hips.  They were excited about sending me over to Pierre Cardin for a fitting. I would be modeling his spring 1967 Collection on the runway for private clients, exclusive buyers and the invited World Press. Diana Vreeland and all the top editors were going to be there, including my editor friends from Mademoiselle, Nonie Moore and Deborah Blackburn.

The photos were to be taken in the evening when the clothes could be borrowed from the designers.  They had to be photographed quickly and sent back an hour later.  Hundreds of couture dresses were being sent around Paris all  through the nght by special messengers.  Thew would  appear in newspapers and magazines through the news bureaus, sometimes the very next day. By dawn all the dresses had to be back and put into order for the fashion show the next day. it was a frantic time, fraught with anxiety. Sometimes an important dress might be lost for awhile or delayed.

These pictures have resurfaced today in the book Cardin: 60 Years of Innovation.

In the evenings, Francois told me that Vogue Patterns had booked me for their selections from the Cardin Collection, as well as Dior and Patou, Yves St. Laurent and more,  The photographer was Richard Dormer.  Those pictures are on the Internet in several places today.

 

With all the new media attention, Cardin needed girls that would look good in the glare of the flashbulbs at the end of the runway. He decided he would have the current crop of new young American cover girls and editorial models. So the opportunity was opening up for more American photo models to conquer the sacred runways of Paris. Forget about the fact that we had no idea how to walk properly. None of us ever did runway in New York. All that mattered is that we would look pretty on camera.

The regular house mannequins were still used for private showings to the actual clients, the aristocrats and movie stars that could afford these super expensive one of a kind fabrications.  They hated us for taking their places at the main press show, and we really couldn’t blame them.  In New York, we had to put up with the influx of Swedish, Danish, German, Dutch, Swiss, French and British models, being imported by the Ford Agency. It was the survival of the fittest.  Models were sent to Europe to get tear sheets from European magazines.There were no model scouts, no great chains of modeling schools, no Internet to post your pictures to.  If you wanted to be a model you could find out who was the best agent and send your pictures in.  Ford used to get 1000 a week.

 
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Paris in the 70′s

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After a long, hot and sparkling summer in Ibiza I asked Wedigo to take a few shots of me with the rustic background of our finca, which was an adobe brick house we had rented for the summer.  I had not cut my little short hairdo in three months and it was growing out nicely.

In an olive grove next to my house in Ibiza 1973

 

 

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1968 Linda in Rome _ Photo Essay

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Linda Vogue Italia – Photo Essay

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Linda Vogue Paris – Photo Essay 1974

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One of the brightest moments in my modeling career was meeting Willy van Rooy a phenomenal young woman who was so much more than a model.  She is a talented designer of jewelry, clothing and shoes.  You can read more about the fabulous Willy on her very interesting blog Willy van Rooy 

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Mary Quant

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Betsey Johnson

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Linda Morand on Mademoiselle, Betsey Johnson, Gosta Petersen and Arthur Elgort.

by Samantha Perez 2010

I had a couple of years experience in the modeling world of the Sixties.  The things I saw, the creativity I experienced and the people I met left an indelible impression on me. I never forgot the beautiful faces of my fellow models and those who came before me.

In New York I was taken up by Mademoiselle, a magazine for sophisticated  College Girls, Career Girls (pre-womens’ lib term)  and Young Marrieds.

Because of my involvement at a very young age with my future husband, I dropped out of an active and rising modeling career.  The lifestyle and romance he offered me was irresistible and involved constant traveling between Paris, Rome, LA, New York, the South of France and Munich.  Fashion was a volatile world, and everyone knew it would be a short ride.  And so it was.  But for me it was a sweet ride.  However, I remained active on the fringes in all those cities, occasionally appearing in a fashion show, or a bit part in a movie.  I returned to the catwalk in the Early Seventies working with Karl Lagerfeld and other top designers. Those experiences changed me forever.

 

I was around when some of the greatest designers were still very big  in Paris as the British Invasion was becoming an international phenomenon.  I was lucky to work with someof the greatest photographers and meet most of them.  I worked with, partied with and had lunch with some of the most beautiful and interesting people, the models themselves.  I was not the biggest model, probably not very important at all, but I was there in the beginning and did get to participate in the creativity.  I also did many bread and butter jobs as a catalog queen in Europe. The work was dull, but the locations were superb.  Before the German clients discovered it was preferable to set up in South Beach, Florida, they would pay to transport groups of models, a photographer, stylists, assistants, tons of equipment and dozens of dresses to exotic locations around the world.

Here is a series I did for Mademoiselle in 1966.

This photo cannot be seen well because it is behind glass. but I have a better scan of the version that ended up in Mademoiselle. Below. I like this one much better.These dresses were by Betsey Johnson. At that time she was the hottest designer in New York. Her dresses were works of art. Mine was made of metallic silver and was very form fitting. Kathy Jackson’s dress was even wilder made of see-through plastic over soft silk-like fabric. The top had cutouts which gave an illusion of nudity, very outrageous, but done with a whimsical sense of humor.

Models were encouraged to make odd and unusual poses, very different from the Fifties and early Sixties when the poses were stylized, but graceful and lady-like. My technique was to do something different, quirky and off beat. I chose to lean back to add movement to the image. Models and photographer and assistant working as a team, all with the vision in their heads. It was breakthrough.

We actually did the hair and make-up ourselves. Christophe of Sassoon had done my cut, which helped me to stand out a bit from all the other brunette models who were my type. It was literally wash and wear, very easy to maintain. There were only a few people in the studio, the models, Gosta Peterson, his very bright and creative assistant: Arthur Elgort and the editors who were the stylists, armed with wonderful accessories.

The background was created by Artie, as he was called. The studo was rendered pitch black while the models held the stylized poses for about 30 seconds.

Such photography had never been done before and now a few top photographers were experiment with techniques that look like futuristic computer images. No one had a computer and there was no Photoshop. Fantastic effects were created literally by smoke and mirrors, or in this case neon lights and double exposure.

I thought of this whimsical pose, very unusual. It was hard to stay still for 30 seconds on one leg

Then Artie would wave a neon light in the background in varying patterns, painting with light. Once the streaming colorful lines lines had made their imprint on the film, Gosta would press the button on the end of a long cord connected to the newest lighting technology, the Strobe Light. The strobe light and the Nikon camera changed the way fashion could be photographed. Young people, mostly young men, flocked to the cities th try their hands as fashion photographers. There was so much work, so much opportunity for new talent. The economy was good, at least for us. Lot’s more adventures and creativity lay ahead.

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Linda in the MOD 60s

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Linda Morand Hamptons.com

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Read More at Hamptons.com

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 Linda Morand Super Chick 

One of the most photographed models of the mid-1960s Linda Morand was, like her contemporary Twiggy, an “It Girl” that set the style for a generation of women. Hamptons.com sat down with the supermodel known as “SuperChick” at Café Maison in her Upper Westside Manhattan neighborhood.
Linda Morand with fellow 1960s model Susan Brainard

 New York City  Although Linda Morand, like many of us from the flower power generation, now qualifies for senior discounts at movie theaters, she is a still a stunner with intoxicating looks and a figure that the average 20-something would envy. Albeit now gray, her hair still has a similar asymmetric short cut created for her by Christope of Vidal Sassonin 1966 at the insistence of Eileen Ford. In a word, she remains to this day an absolute beauty. 


“It Girl” Linda Morand in Mod Style for Conde Nast. (LindaMorand.com)

Starting our conversation at the beginning, she explained her first foray into modeling, “I was actually discovered in Key West of all places, where I spent the summer after Lindenhurst High School before starting college at FIT [Fashion Institute of Technology]. I was discovered by a man named Jim Russell that had Key West Handprint Fabric, which is still there. He made the fabric for Lily Pulitzer.”

Russell literally stopped her on the street and asked Morand to model for him at his store where she spent the summer as a sales associate/model. “For me it was a big shock, because I had always been the tall, skinny dork in high school. At least I felt like I was because I was taller than the other kids, so I was thrilled to do this. The best thing that came out of it was that I now had pictures.”

Summer over, Morand started classes at FIT with the intention of being a fashion illustrator, but as she noted, “I was the one they always made stand up on the table to draw pictures of during the fashion illustration classes. Classmates kept telling me ‘You should be a model.’ So I took my pictures to a couple of different agencies, but I knew Ford was the best.”

Morand’s striking resemblance to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis helped her land a contract with the agency, “I looked so much like Jackie Kennedy that people would stop me on the street. Although Eileen Ford had always really preferred blondes, she was looking for models at the time that looked like the Jackie type, but Eileen said I had way too much hair so she sent me to Vidal Sasson and they cut it all off.”

Evidently the short hair worked because Morand found her way to the cover of Mademoiselle and the status as the new “It Girl.” Ushering in the “Mod” look along with Twiggy; Morand quickly became one of the most sought after models in America.

 

Controversial 1974 French Vogue photo spread with Linda Morand as Jackie Kennedy shot by Helmut Newton. (Helmut Newton for Vogue)


In 1967 a deal was struck between Ford and European agency Paris Planning for Morand to work the runways and fashion magazines of Paris, Milan and other European capitals. She was based in Rome until 1969, but moved to Paris where in 1970 she married French actor Philippe Forquet. The marriage was short lived and she returned to modeling still sought out by the world’s leading fashion designers and photographers.

Although she had graced the pages of literally every major fashion magazine in the world, it was her 1974 shoot with photographer Helmut Newton for French Vogue that may be the defining moment of her spectacular career. For the shoot she was made up to look exactly like Jackie Kennedy, which as already noted was not a far stretch. There was a rumor that the former First Lady might actually sue, but Morand was clearly identified by name in the article so the suit would have been moot.

 

Linda Morand and actress and former model Rene Russo at the Supermodels Sorority Reunion in Los Angeles, 2010.(LindaMorand.com)

Morand actually met Kennedy at P.J. Clarke’s in Manhattan during the height of her career as a model when she was dining with a friend who knew Pierre Salinger and spotted Salinger and Kennedy at a table. As Morand tells it, “After being introduced she graciously said to me, ‘So you are the model that everyone tells me I look like.’ She turned the whole thing around and I just loved her for it.”

Although Morand retired from modeling in 1975 to remarry and raise a family in Florida, she kept her hand in the business through a modeling school and a photography studio. In the 1990s she posed once again as Jackie Kennedy in special bookings with iconic American photographers Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair and Peter Beard for Esquire.

With plenty of time on her hands, she actually considered starting a new career as a Jackie Kennedy look-alike with appearances on both the Rosie O’Donnell and Joan Rivers shows. However, with the passing of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in 1994, Morand’s class and sense of propriety compelled her to abruptly put an end to any further Jackie photo shoots or appearances.

With her children grown and out of the house Morand recently decided to move back to New York City. Her present passion is “The Supermodels Hall of Fame.” Although no date has yet been set, the two hour television awards special will be directed by multiple Emmy Award winning producer/director Gary Smith and Morand’s co-executive producer is Hollywood publicist Steve Jaffe.

 

The stunning supermodel Linda Morand at the height of her career. (LindaMorand.com)


The concept grew out of an incident relating to a 2006 QVC infomercial Morand was planning regarding her technique of facial exercise. An investor told her that although she may have indeed been a top model, when he Googled her nothing came up on the Web. “Well, of course not, there was no Web back then, nobody was on the Web. So I decided to fix that and I started my own amateur website,” Morand said.

In creating her website, LindaMorand.com, she included a section about 1960s models and fashion and 900 people left messages and started sending her pictures. She then started a linked site called miniMadMOD60s.com and posted the images of the 1960s supermodels. Ex-models and fans started adding images and now the site has 25,000 images spanning several decades of the world’s most famous fashion faces dating back to the 1940s.

 

1960s “SuperChick” supermodel Linda Morand at Cafe Maison in NYC, 2010. (Douglas Harrington)

All this led to Morand’s involvement in The Models Reunion. The fourth reunion was held recently in Los Angeles and the gatherings still remain illuminating for Morand, “Everybody is so interesting in the way they have turned out. They range from vagabonds to multi-millionaires to totally unknown drug addicts to still in the news. It is amazing the range of what has happened to these ladies, but most of them are still in top form. They give us inspiration when you see 70 year old girls looking like they are 45.”

Morand was, of course, speaking to the choir, as I had just spent an hour in conversation with the iconic “SuperChick” of the 1960s. A beauty that in my opinion could still walk any runway at New York’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and still draw an eye to the cover of Vogue on any newsstand anywhere.

For more information go to www.LindaMorand.com, or www.miniMadMOD60s.com, orwww.supermodelshalloffame.com.

Stacey Cooper and Linda Morand

Stacey Cooper and Linda Morand

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Linda Morand
Linda with her young friend Ross van der Heide

Linda with her young friend Ross van der Heide

Linda at the Vreeland Exhibit

Linda at the Vreeland Exhibit

Linda on the left withs Supermodels Kim Alexis and

Linda with Supermodels Kim Alexis Kelly Emberg and Anne Bezamat

 MODEL HISTORY

Linda speaking at a class

Linda speaking at a class with Ross van der Heide

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Lilly Pulitzer and Key West 1964

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Lilly-Pulitzer

 

FROM DIARY OF A MOD MODEL 1965

Age 18,,Key West Florida for Lilly Pulitzer

I married him on the Fourth of July 1964 and lived a fabulous year with him in Key West, Florida. He was a Junior Officer in the Navy stationed on a sub-marine tender, in the amazing tropical Paradise that was Key West in the Sixties.  He was brilliant with electronics and could practically make a radio out of a coat hanger, if you know the type. Nowadays we would call him a techie. He was twenty, I was eighteen and we were in love.

He wound up working for IBM on their newly invented electric type writers.  It came to the attention of upper management that Michael was having amazing success in location and fixing problems in the typing pools of IBM users in Manhattan.  He was offered a job in the engineering department.  IBM would give him on the job experience, and pay for his further education to become an engineer.  He was to have a part in developing the next big thing: Computers. (more on that later).

Although he was stationed in Key West, we did not have to live on the base.  We rented a little gingerbread  house on a street of other little white ginger-bread houses each different in its own way.  Palm trees of all kinds and different bushes and flowers bloomed.  The breeze was fragrant with the winds of the Atlantic  the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico that all met at the point of Key West.

keyWest (2)Michael had to work on the base all day and he came home at night like any husband.  I was supposed to stay home, go to the beach and cook and clean.  I explored the island a bit but it was hard to walk around, a lone woman, with sailors every where.  I was always getting whistles.  At first I almost had to look around and see if it was really me they were whistling at.  After all the jibing I had gotten back in Lindenhurst in those formative years, it felt good to have male attention.  Fortunately I did not have to do more than just show up.  I was married and therefore untouchable.  I liked being married. So I decided it would be better for me to stay home.

I found a library nearby, within walking distance.  Since I did not know much about the “wifely duties”  I decided to get some books about sex.  One was a huge tome called “Of Love and Lust” by Theodore Reich.  It must have weighed ten pounds.I was disappointed to find that it was a dry treatise on sexual aberrations that I could hardly understand.  When I got home there was a giant Palmetto bug (read huge cockroach) in the corner of the shower.  I had never seen such a frightening thing.  I killed it with the book.

I enjoyed this little residential part of paradise, and did not take part in the raucous night life on the main streets.  Michael and socialized with other young couples.  Sometimes we would go to the movies downtown and I would catch glimpses of a West Village atmosphere and It seemed interesting.  But the military was not really welcome and they were warned by their officers to stay out of that part of town at night. I could hear the strains of music as we walked back to the little cottage, with me looking over my shoulder like Lot”s wife.

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Finally I got very bored and told Michael that I wanted to get a job.  We could use the extra money and it would give me something to do.  I worked for one day as a soda jerk in Woolworth’s.  I was terrible.  Of course I said I had experience or they would not have given me the job. From behind the counter all you see is a long row of hungry people all gesticulating wildly and expecting you to remember their ketchup and that they wanted their hamburger done just so.  Each one is only interested in himself and his needs and you are expected to make them all happy.  I went home that night and never even returned to pick up my pay.

A few days later I decided to try my luck again. There was a lively restaurant left over from the days when Hemingway lived on the island.  It was built like a Cuban beach shack, rustic with a fishing theme.  There were old salty nets nailed to the wall in which various starfish and conch shells were trapped.  The food was spicy and delicious, genuine Cuban conch chowder and the best Key Lime pie I have ever had before and after.

I still had no experience as a waitress, except the few hours at Woolworths soda fountain, but I lied again and said I did.  The owners were an American woman and her husband, a Cuban chef.  He was always trying to pinch my butt and she was very mean to me. I only worked there a few days when one of the regular customers offered me a job. That was the day I dropped a tray of six steaming bowls of spicy conch chowder, the specialty of the house. The wife was furious and fired me on the spot. As I rushed to the door after grabbing my purse from its designated spot under the cash register a glared at the chef. I was glad to be leaving.

Just then I saw a darkly handsome man in a silk print shirt waving at me from a table near the door.  In my short stay he had become my favorite customer, always complimentary and leaving a big tip.

“Darling!” He cried. “Perfect timing.  Please come over here.”

He was Jim Russell, a gorgeous Hollywood type who had moved to Key West after an unsuccessful career in Hollywood. He was much better suited to design, despite his Rock Hudson looks and George Hamilton tan. He became the leader of the fabulous openly gay community that Key West was known for.  He owned the Key West Hand Print Fabric company that made the most beautiful hand silk screened fabrics.  They sold the fabric by the yard and it was quite expensive.  Lilly Pulitzer had an exclusive contract with them and they silk-screened her designs and had the dresses cut and sewn.

Linda Morand wearing the classic Lilly Petal Dress and showing a more mature version, the Shirtwaist Dress.

Linda Morand wearing the classic Lilly Petal Dress and showing a more mature version, the Shirtwaist Dress.

“I was just going to offer you a job.  I need a model!”

I was fortunate enough to be given four of these darling dresses to wear in the boutique where I served as model/sales clerk.The original fabric was designed and manufactured upstairs in the small building they owned.  Silk screening is an art form and these beautiful fabrics were the finest examples on polished cotton.  The relative stiffness of the fabric allowed the whimsical dress be cool for resort wear but still have a modicum of structure, like the clothes Jackie Kennedy was wearing.

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Lilly Pulitzer introduces “The Petal Dress” 

 KeyWestNYAs Jim’s protege with the coolest scene and wound up starring in The Key West Players version of "Under The Yum Yum Tree."  The other actors and all the customers were encouraging me to be a model.  They took out an ad in The New Yorker, with me as the  model.  I had no idea what to do, but tried to look like Veruschka, of all people.

When I got to New York I had to throw these pictures out. They were way too rustic and unprofessional for the Mod New York scene.

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50s Documentary Concept

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50s Fashion Stars

Since the spring of 2006, I have led several educational/dialogue Internet Groups consisting of models, photographers, art directors, agents, archivists and beauty artists who have been active since the 1950’s until the present day.

We have assembled, scanned, identified and cataloged over 25,000 fashion and beauty images of the famous models of the mid-Twentieth Century.

Through this I met Daniel Patchett, who is the webmaster of jeanpatchett.com (Jean Patchett Tribute). He has excellent archives of original photos of his famous relative who was one of the most celebrated models of all time.

With our rich resources of quality photographs, historical film footage and eye witnesses, we decided to produce a documentary about the vibrant post World-War II period that stands out in the history of fashion: The Fabulous Fifties.

ONE MINUTE VIDEO PREVIEW

http://youtu.be/4ainXsda0Qs

Executive Producers
Linda Morand and Dan Patchett

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1966 Off to Paris

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New York 1966

I was an art student, studying fashion illustration  in New York City.  Because I was so tall and thin, people were constantly encouraging me to try to be a model.  I did not think I had a chance, but I was accepted by the Ford agency, had some success with the younger magazines like Mademoiselle. Then I was invited to go  to Paris to pose for the magazines and walk the runway of Pierre Cardin and Jean Patou and others. I was under contract to Paris Planning. It was a dream come true, to be young, a top model and have a chance to see Paris and to be paid for it.Upon my arrival in the seriously futuristic Orly Airport, I was met by a kindly Frenchman with a sign saying Mademoiselle Morand. Groggy from lack of sleep,  but somehow bristling with energy, I could not stop oggling the Airport decor.  There were clear tubes with escalators and converoy belts carrying people up and down, like a Jetson cartoon. The French were very into futurism and the Space Race. The driver helped me get my luggage into the Citroen, the ultimate luxury French car, and we sped off to the Agency where my future awaited me.  I could not believe I was really in Paris.  As many people have done, I felt completely at home in Paris after awhile and would not dream of leaving, especially if I was able to work and live well.

The  Paris Planning agency was on Rue Tronchet, near the Madelaine, a monumental church with massive Greek columns. I remember going up an elevator into a beautiful, very Mod office, decorated in a very futuristic style with white walls, gleaming glass,  plastic and chrome.   They had am overhead slide show of all the models playing, projected on the wall, quite innovative at the time.  Many of the top American models of the day with the Mod Look were in the show.  They had added my pictures from Mademoiselle. The current crop of Ford girls, over for the Collections were prominantly featured includin Dayle Haddon, Susan Brainard, Joanne Vitali, Christine Biddle and  Lois Chiles

Francois Lano, the owner was such a dear man, so fastidious and good humored, who treated the models as ladies.  He was dapper, elegant and well dressed with a little mustache,   Maria was his partner. I remember they were measuring our hips.  They were excited about sending me over to Pierre Cardin for a fitting. I would be modeling his spring 1967 Collection on the runway for private clients, exclusive buyers and the invited World Press. Diana Vreeland and all the top editors were going to be there, including my editor friends from Mademoiselle, Nonie Moore and Deborah Blackburn.I was also booked by Vogue to shoot the Vogue Pattern books and some editorial shots. When I found the studio in the quaint building on Place de Voges, I was amazed to be ushered into the dressing room where the other models were sitting.  They were Jean Shrimpton and Birgitta Baur, both the top models of the time. I was honored to be in the same shoot.  I was not too blown away because I had worked with some of the top girls in New York, like Babette, Colleen Corby, Heather Hewitt, Lauren Hutton, Ulla Bomser and Candice Bergen. Birgitta was very impressive, very tall and made up with the heavy eyes and false lashes.  Her lips were a pale pink. Jean Shrimpton was sweet and down to earth.  We all talked about our dogs and our boyfriends just like any other models stuck in dressing rooms in photo studios all over the world.

The photos, which were to appear in different Vogues, were to be taken in the evening when the clothes could be borrowed from the designers.  They had to be photographed quickly and sent back an hour later.  Hundreds of couture dresses were being sent around Paris all through the night by special messengers, the anxious ladies who ran the couture houses, fretting until they were returned, inspected and pressed. By dawn all the dresses had to be back and put into order for the fashion show. Sometimes an important dress might be lost for awhile or delayed causing several near heart attacks.

In the evenings, Francois told me that Vogue Patterns had booked me for their selections from the Cardin Collection, as well as Dior and Patou, Yves St. Laurent and more,  The photographer was Richard Dormer.  Those pictures are on the Internet in several places today.

 

With all the new media attention, Cardin needed girls that would look good in the glare of the flashbulbs at the end of the runway. He decided he would have the current crop of new young American cover girls and editorial models. So the opportunity was opening up for more American photo models to conquer the sacred runways of Paris. Forget about the fact that we had no idea how to walk properly. None of us ever did runway in New York. All that mattered is that we would look pretty on camera.
Models: JJ and Linda Morand on the runway. Cardin Spring 1967
The regular house mannequins were still used for private showings to the actual clients, the aristocrats and movie stars that could afford these super expensive one of a kind fabrications.  They hated us for taking their places at the main press show, and we really couldn’t blame them.  In New   York, we had to put up with the influx of Swedish, Danish, German, Dutch, Swiss, French and British models, being imported by the Ford Agency. It was the survival of the fittest.  Models were sent to Europe to get tear sheets from European magazines. 

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The Chic Cult

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The Chic Cult

Syndicated Article by Mariane Christy:


Jacqueline  Kennedy Onassis and Linda Morand recently met at that chic  New York “dive” where Lost Weekend was filmed: P.J.Clarke’s and the two eyed each other suspiciously. There was every reason for the prolonged glance of cool appraisal. The two are look-alikes 21-year-old Linda Morand being the younger, prettier version.  Linda, a successful Ford model who hails from a small  town on Long Island, now is one of  Europe’s top models with her face currently, gracing the pages and covers of the slickest fashion, magazines.

Looking like Jacqueline from the neck up and Twiggy from the neck down has catapulted her modeling career onward and upward. Linda, barely 115 pounds, measures in at five feet, 10 inches’ and she’s all flawless skin and well-placed bones with gangly legs. Designers can’t get enough of her. During high-fashion openings in Rome and  Paris, she works 16 hours daily at $30 an hour. In  New York, she would automatically get double that price.

However, the pay loss is leveled off by the fact that she hobnobs with movie stars, aristocrats and European royalty, who look upon fashion modeling as an art. “Europeans erase class distinction once success has been achieved,” she says;’ After all, my parents run little restaurant in the Hamptons, and here I am traveling the world.”

In the past 18 months, the highly eligible Prince Albrecht of Liechtenstein has been an escort and they double-dated with Princess Grace and Prince Rainier at Paris’s famous Maxim’s. She also has socialized with Laurence Harvey, Rod Steiger and Fred Astaire. But last week, the dating game came to an abrupt halt. Linda is marrying French actor, Philippe Forquet, who recently did a movie with Sandra Dee“Take Her She’s Mine’ and is presently starring in Aaron Spelling’s new ABC television series “The Young Rebels.

Philippe is a cousin of the world-famous Italian haute couturier, Federico Forquet. The wedding will take place in a tiny community in southern France, St. Paul de Vance, in a Matisse-decorated chapel. The bride will wear a Valentino pantsuit for the religious ceremony. The Forquet de Dornes are upper class and moneyed.

Valentino, the star of Italian high fashion, can boast that his most faithful and most famous customer is Jacqueline but he doesn’t. Instead, his little trick is to have Jackie’s look-alike model in his press shows. Valentino has never mentioned the obvious similarity in looks, but always there is that subliminal advertising. He “is cool, charming and polite, almost as if I were you-know-who.” says Morand.

The look-alike business came to a head a few years ago when Linda, a teen-ager with no thought of being a mannequin, went to see the Broadway show, “Carnival.” During intermission, an announcer roamed the audience with a mike and unexpectedly came across Linda. “We have Jacqueline Kennedy in the audience!’ he announced.

Linda says: “I was just sitting there peacefully, in the balcony with Aunt Martha and suddenly there was a minor riot over me. It was wonderful! When I got home, I went straight to the mirror and started mimicking Jackie. It seemed like such a groovy thing to do. Now, in high-fashion modeling, it has paid off. However I am always looking to evolve my look and develop my own personal style.

Admittedly, looking like Jackie on and off the runway can be a bore: During off hours she wouldn’t touch a wig with a 10-foot pole. Her hair is shorn close to the head. And skirts, her forte on the runway, have no place in her private wardrobe, which consists of 20 pairs of cuffed trousers, made especially for her by Norwegian tailor, Astrid, who has a shop on  Rome’s busy Via Sistina.

Her impeccable silk shirts, all 20 of them, are custom-made by Altertinelli of Rome. Linda’s explanation of her all-pants wardrobe: “If I dressed like Jackie in my private life, I would get too much attention on the streets. Being mobbed has certain built-in disadvantages. Pants and short hair are a route to anonymity.”

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Linda Morand La Carmargue

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In 1972, Linda Morand Forquet de Dorne photographed by Roland Bianchini in La Camargue, France.  The winds of Le Mistral were blowing strong creating some dramatic images featuring Parisian Haute Couture.

Photos contributed by Alfred Osting

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Linda Morand l’Officielle 72

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Photos courtesy Alfred Osting














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Linda Morand in Europe

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Posters of Linda Morand

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Linda Morand by Helmut Newton

Linda Morand by Helmut Newton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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First Modeling Jobs in Paris

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LindaVogue67a lindaVogue67b LindaVogue67e LindaVogue67f Lindavogue67g

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Mod London

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Linda Hairdo & Beauty

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One way for a new model to break into the business was through the Hairdo Magazine.  Some of the top models of the Sixties were on the cover of Hair Do.  I was so happy that they wanted to put me on the cover.  Here Julius Caruso created fanciful hair styles using bows made out of human hair pieces.
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This picture was done by Jack Ward.  His studio was in Carnegie Hall., with floor to ceiling windows. I found the whole experience fascinating as he was the first really hip, young good looking photographer I had ever worked with. He was able to bring out a depth of expression, so important for a young model to learn.
TeenArticle
What a kick for me to be in Teen and on the cover!  Still in my teens myself, I found the experience very glamorous and safe.
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Coming up: Linda Becomes Super Chick
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Comp Cards

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Models used comp cards to get work.

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Posters and Museum

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One of the lasting images of the mid Sixties.
Hanging in the Norton Museum of Art in Miami
The picture shows Linda Morand and Kathy Jackson
 posing for Gosta Petersen assisted by a very young Arthur Elgort. 1966

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
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Super Chick

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Model Friends and Families Found After Forty Years

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Interview of Linda Morand  by Emerald Alexander  - July 2008

How did miniMadMOD60s get started?I was working on a business plan and was advised to mention that I had been a top model for awhile in the Sixties.  After receiving my proposal, the investor did a Google search on
me. Nothing came up but two walk-ons I had in a few movies, mostly just for
fun because I knew the directors. He actually said that for a top model there
was nothing at all about me on the web. It was almost embarrassing.Luckily I had my yellowing tearsheets, to prove that I was telling the truth.
As I looked through my scrapbooks and the loose magazine pages I noticed
that they were getting fragile with age.  I thought about  having them
scanned and put onto a CD so that I could preserve them.But it got me to thinking.  Why shouldn’t there be a website about the
great models of the Sixties, Seventies and before?  These girls who were all
over the covers of Vogue and Bazaar and doing ten page spreads inside. If
there had been a web then, they would all have been all over the Internet.
Today, if a company or even a person does not have a web presence they
are often overlooked.How did you get the idea to launch a website?I did a Google search for the Sixties Models.. Hardly a thing was there, I
was able to come up with Jean Shrimpton, Twiggy, Veruschka, Lauren
Hutton, Susan Blakely
 and a few super models who had remained in the
public eye by becoming television and movie personalities, or who married
rock stars.  The only thing about Dolores Hawkins, one of the greatest
supermodels of the Fifties and Sixties, was her part in “Adventures in
Paradise.” And even if their names were well known there was very little of
their work archived. I just could not stand to see all those glorious days
forever forgotten. I put my video project on hold and began this independent
research project.So far besides miniMadMOD60s, nothing else exists about some of the
very great models that graced the covers of the top magazines and were in
major cosmetic campaigns. Nowadays if you are not found on the Internet
you are not really that relevant.  Even now, you can search for any of their
names and our site is the only one that comes up. Even if they had dozens
of Vogue and Elle covers and were the toast of two continents.One Sixties model did have a tremendous amount of data online.  It
was Colleen Corby.  She had a fun, informal fan site, that had attracted
several hundred followers.  I joined the group and introduced myself in
2006.  The advent of a “real Sixties model” caused a little stir and I was able
to answer a lot of questions and contribute pictures of myself and my friends
and colleagues.How did you build the archives?People had started sending in pictures of Colleen’s peers, like Terry
Reno
 and other interesting Sixties models. Many started sending in pictures
of me. Soon a few other Sixties models “came out.” and helped the site gain
in credibility. It was really a fan-site, celebrating that happy image of Colleen
Corby 
and her entourage that colored the coming of age of the Sixties
Generation. (see Angora Sox’s story about Colleen)There were two really outstanding  members: A person  called
“ModelHistory”
 and Patty Holmes, with incredible memories for faces.
Each continued to scan and send in many pictures of other top models, and
still do.  There was an album started for “Models Without Albums” and
“Mystery Models”  “Models Composites” and “The Sixties Look” etc.
Soon these were overflowing as images came pouring in.   It was clear that
these girls needed their own albums.
It was agreed that I would splinter off and create a separate group with a
website dedicated to all the models, from Vogue and Bazaar and all the
other international fashion magazines and open it up to the international
models.  The two sites would promote each other. Some of the Colleen
members joined too.  I made the most prolific ones managers. Slowly, only by
word of mouth, with no advertising, the miniMadMOD60s has grown and
grown. We have had to open a new group, miniMadMOD60s 2 to handle
the overflow. Angora, from the Colleen site has added many artistic
impressions of the models. See Angora GalleryHave other Sixties Models contacted the website?Yes, little by little, as people began to realize that our website, obscure
though it may have been, was legitimate, several models and/or their families
began to contact us. Several prefer not to reveal themselves to the public.
Others are happy to help and lend their support to this endeavour to
preserve our work and the work of our model colleagues. I was urged to start
a real website.Several models have granted us exclusive interviews. I am happy to say that
Willy van Rooy, Joan Thompson, Sue Murray  and Terri Smith have
been very helpful.  We have been contacted by Sunny Griffin, Mona
Grant, Jaan Stephens, Gail Reaben, Kecia Nyman
 and several other
Sixties models.  Their input has been invaluable. The family members of
some deceased models have contacted us and given us wonderful pictures
Many of the models have found their old friends including myself. I have
been in contact with Wallis Franken’s daughter, Cathee Dahmen’s
daughter and Agneta Frieberg’s sister.  We have also communicated with
Charly Stember’s daughter and Denise Hopkins’ daughter.  There are
many others who have only revealed themselves to me..I found my long lost best friends, Susan Brainard and Sara Vane, two
girls I worked with in Paris.  Now I am meeting top photographers, stylists,
make-up artists and editors through the site. The great Model Card
publisher, Peter Marlowe joined us.  He has thousands of images of model
composites, which are a great source of information. We have been
contacted by the family members of such great models as Susan Blakely, 
Sondra Petersen and Joann Webb.How big are the Archives?We now have about 25,000 images at last count.  Our goal is not to sell
anything or to judge who was the best model but just to celebrate them all
and make their images freely available to anyone who wished to glimpse
back to those golden days.  The pictures look ever so much better when
properly scanned at a high resolution then in a scrapbook with the edges
crumbling.So many models and their family members have contacted me privately
and on the site to say how grateful they are to see their work celebrated
here.  Many had lost their portfolios over the years or had never seen some
of the pictures we have found.  Back issues of magazines are becoming
more and more rare as the years go by and very expensive to obtain.What is your goal with miniMadMOD60s.What  we all  have tried to do with miniMadMOD60s is to continue to create
an anthology so that each model, her friends and family as well as her fans,
has an overview of the highlights of  her career.  However, some who worked
prolifically have only a few pictures and other lesser known models have a
hundred pictures.  This is because the site is contributed to by dozens of
independent members  from all over the world, who are partial to certain
models. These members have not been sought, they have found us through
interest and word of mouth.miniMadMOD60s is now being noticed by talented and creative people.  I
am happy to say that the forum is visited from time to time by many noted
models, other fashion personalities from the Sixties as well as modern
fashion aficionados, professional and amateur. Artists, designers and stylists
pore over our archives for inspiration and a lesson in the history of design
and fashion photography. Many contact me. I am particularly happy when
young people and artists are inspired by the Sixties and all the wonderful
pictures we have made available to everyone.

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Super Mods

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First Modeling Jobs

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Many models were discovered in Florida but I was the only one discovered in Key West.
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Sharon Tate the Untold Story

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Linda-andRoberto1-510x10243Interview of Linda Morand by Sharon Tate Fan Club

Former Ford Model, Linda Morand was the wife of
French actor, Philippe Forquet. Here she discusses the
sensitive issues surrounding his relationship with Sharon Tate,
his former fiancee and her tragic death. 

 

Sharon Tate and Philippe Forquet – The Untold Story

 

 How serious was Philippe’s relationship with Sharon? It has been said that they were engaged, is that true?

LM: The relationship of Sharon Tate and Philippe Forquet was as serious as it gets. It was 1962 and Hollywood was still under the control of the big studios and powerful producers. Stars were still put under contract, which had strict morals clauses. The stars were compelled to adhere to the studio’s guidelines and standards.

 We all know the story of how Sharon Tate was being groomed to be Hollywood’s brightest new star, mysteriously being kept under wraps by a Svengali-like producer. A wealthy man, son of a successful California family, the producer was a brash, powerful figure, who took one look at the incredibly beautiful young beauty and signed her on the spot. He had found someone with the polished class of Debra Kerr, the cool beauty of Kim Novak, the clean cut innocence of Natalie Wood and the warm naiveté and natural sexiness of Marilyn Monroe. Moreover, she could do her own stunts.

Sharon Tate with Martin Ransonfoff

 She was bright, articulate and altogether lovely. During the next several years, hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars were invested by the production company to tweak and tone her fabulousness into a perfect package. Everything was going along perfectly but the studio had not reckoned with the prospect of her falling in love….


Philippe Forquet “In the French Style.”
 

Philippe Forquet was one of the handsomest men in Hollywood in the early 60′s. He was being compared with a young Montgomery Clift. In the Sixties French film stars were all the rage. Brigitte Bardot, Jeanne Moreau, Yves Montand, Charles Boyer, Alain Delon and Louis Jourdan were big box office names. There was room for a new young, Gallic hero with an edge. When 20th Century Fox was looking for a handsome French star for their newest film “Take Her She’s Mine,” the natural choice was the Forquet.

Not only had he proved he could act well in the role of a sixteen-year-old French aristocrat, who falls in love with a beautiful twenty-something, played by Jean Seberg, he also had star-quality, a certain self-assurance and inherent breeding.  He was flown over from France as the hottest young French heartthrob, fresh from a very successful film debut in “In the French Style.” He was enjoying the delights of A list Hollywood, attending the parties, meeting the stars and working with the beautiful and beloved teen star Sandra Dee and the super star, Jimmy Stewart. He was appearing in fan magazines, working with the best acting coach to perfect his talent and his English, and getting tons of fan letters a week.

 

LM:There are different accounts of how they met. I forget if he told me or not. I believe it was outside a Hollywood restaurant with mutual friends. Oh yes, it was the Swiss Cafe and they were with Hal Gretzky, Sharon’s agent. I only know that one day he met by chance this most lovely of all women. It was love at first sight for both of them. However, for the young French leading man it was a date with disaster.

SharonPhilippe2a

What ended their relationship?

The relationship ended with a bang after the stress of living with Sharon’s obligations to the studio culminated in a dreadful scene. There was a huge fight between Sharon and Philippe and a third party. The third party was very influential. There were not paparazzi like there are now and the studios still had power over the press. Philippe Forquet’s contract with Fox was cancelled and he was blackballed in Hollywood. His career was in shambles and he lost Sharon too. As far as his fans and the public were concerned, he just disappeared. I remember looking for him in the fan magazines, where he had often appeared, before I met him.

No mention was made of him any longer in any newspapers. Little or nothing was reported about the incident. There were only rumors. It was assumed that he had voluntarily returned to his homeland. Things were different then. Scandals would be hushed up; stories could be invented or embellished. Stars were born but in order to shine they had to be made. Nowadays a violent incident between two Hollywood hotties would be front-page news. However, because of who was involved it was all hushed up.

 What is the truth behind the rumored violence in their relationship? 

 LM: I only know of the incident on the last day that they ever saw each other. I was told that there had been much throwing of dishes throughout the relationship but that no one had gotten hurt. They were both young, proud, gorgeous and on the road to fame and fortune. Career pressures, the demands from the image-makers, contractual obligations put stress on the relationship. He wanted to marry; she could not and would not. Her understanding with the studio was that she should remain an object of desire. Being married would have greatly reduced her sex appeal at this stage of her career. Maybe later. He was jealous and she was a free spirit. He no longer cared about his career and became obsessed with Sharon.

But she would not, could not fulfill the engagement.

 

 What did Philippe tell you about Sharon? (i.e.: stories/memories, vacations they went on, her personality, etc.)

LM: He told me a lot about her, but a lot was critical. All during our courtship, she was always in the news and she came out in four movies. We were just starting our relationship. It was hard for me to have so many reminders of her everywhere. I remember he was not pleased with the Playboy spread. We looked at it on the newsstand and he made a wry face. He was not going to say his real thoughts to me. Who knows how it feels to see your former love on display like that. However, he did say she should not have done it. He was very conservative. I thought she looked beautiful. My ideas were a bit more liberal than his were too. He was adamant about not appearing in nude scenes. In the Seventies things loosened up a bit more and he became more open to nudity in film although he never did so himself.

Shaton weating a red wig in Vampire Killers

Philippe thought she should have tried to be more serious and not for the sex-goddess route. He had started in theater and considered acting an art form. He believed she was a very good actress, but that acting was not a good career choice for a womwn, and even for a man.  But there was nothing he could do now and there was nothing he could do when they were together. That was in the program.

Sharon was to be a sex-goddess. What’s more, Sharon had nothing at all against it. She jokingly referred to herself as “Sexy Little Me.” She was like a Flower Child with her attitude toward sex and nudity. She thought these things were entirely natural and inherently beautiful and good. And you couldn’t help believing her.


Philippe did not approve of the opening scenes of “Don’t Make Waves” Sharon’s second movie. This was the POV of Tony Curtis being dragged by Sharon who played a lifeguard named Malibu.
 

 We went to see “Don’t make Waves” together. He almost died when the film opened with a close up of a very shapely bikini clad butt and it turned out to be Sharon’s. Quite undignified, He hated the movie. He wanted her to be represented in a more serious light. More like Jean Seberg, his leading lady in the Robert Parrish movie, In the French Style. Her role as Odile in Thirteen was much more serious and she played it well.  He liked that film.

Philippe had been brought up in a very Catholic and very old aristocratic family. His title was Philippe Forquet Viscount de Dorne. He was Old School, kind of a conservative outlook. He had wanted to legitimize their relationship. She would become a Viscountess, they would move to France on his family’s estate. He would put lawyers on her contract with the producers and buy her out.  But there was no getting out of the contract.

 For a few months they ran away to New York where they were happy for a while keeping house on the Upper East Side  and socializing with the New York literary crowd, Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams and John Knowles.  Philippe attended the Actor’s Studio. But Sharon was summoned back to Hollywood when their engagement was announced in the gossip columns. That is when the real trouble started and the studio made a concerted effort to break them up.

 When/how did Philippe find out about her death? How did he handle it? Did he attend her funeral?

LM: That fateful summer of 69 found Philippe Forquet, his friend the American author John Knowles, and me in a villa in the South of France. We had just run into Sharon and Roman in Rome coming out of the Cafe des Paris. She was in town shooting Thirteen Chairs with Orson Wells, one of her favorite actors. She looked well and happy.

Philippe was notified by  an attorney friend in Rome by telephone. He was profoundly affected. Put yourself in his place, someone you loved and lived with was killed in such a grotesque way. And don’t forget, for quite a while no one knew who did it. Philippe himself was a suspect at first. The significant other, former and current, always is a suspect.

But, of course, he was 6000 miles away. So it was a horrible mystery for about two agonizing months. We were constantly seeing headlines in the papers and reporters were calling. John Knowles was in the middle of writing a book based on Sharon and Philippe’s story and how they broke up. He had spoken to me about his impression of their relationship. We were all deeply shocked at the news;

None of us attended the funeral. We would have if we had been in LA. Philippe was due to shoot Waterloo in Rome. John did finish the book, though. It was called “The Paragon” The story was changed around but the lovers are Sharon and Philippe. The book is even dedicated to Philippe.

 Many people have said their lives completely changed because of it – they never felt safe again, etc., is that true with Philippe and you as well?

 LM: Because I lived so far from LA, in Europe, I was not fearful in the way that people who lived there were. When I look back, I see that I was so self absorbed that I did not really realize the depth of Philippe’s pain. Perhaps I could have helped him more but I was only twenty and in the middle of planning my wedding, which was called off because of the tragedy and another strange incident that happened a week later. Philippe himself, as well as John and I, were attacked by a knife-wielding maniac. But that’s another story.

We were constantly bombarded with headlines in the international press accusing Sharon and her friends of horrible things, trying to say she brought it upon herself. This was very hurtful and offensive to anyone who knew her. There was endless speculation about Satanism etc. Her fans know all about it. Philippe refused to read about it, but I read some.  He turned down interviews. Fortunately, he had to go deep into the Russian countryside, behind the Iron Curtain, to shoot Waterloo at the end of 1969 and got away from the whole circus of the Manson trial. We were living in Rome at the time, but she was known and written about there as well as in France England and Spain. So there was no escape from the headlines, the magazine covers and the endless speculation.

How were you affected by the tragedy?

 LM: The tragic deaths affected my life in many ways.  First of all, as I said, my wedding to Philippe which was to take place in September of 1969 in the South of France. a few days after the murder, had to be called off.  Philippe was devastated and frankly I was very upset too. We finally got married the next year in carmel, California.

When he returned from Russia, Philippe and I moved to LA so he could shoot “The Young Rebels.”  On every street corner, in every restaurant, there were reminders of Sharon for him.  He was depressed and withdrawn, throwing himself into his work but moping around most of the time.  He redoubled his efforts to keep me out of show business, which he blamed for their break up and her eventual tragic death.

 What was his relationship like with Sharon’s family?  

LM: .I don’t really know much. From what I understand, her mother and sisters liked Philippe at first. However, when it became clear that he was going to be interfering in Sharon’s life, causing problems with the studio, and talking about taking her away to France, they encouraged her to break it off.I know that he liked her father and sisters, but has lost touch with them. He said they were very nice people and that Sharon had been well brought up, something important to him.  He could not abide vulgarity.

 What were his, and your, thoughts about Roman? Did Philippe approve of their relationship?

LM: Philippe did not like Roman much.  He did not know him, but from what I could see Roman was the antithesis of Philippe in every way, physically, mentally, philosophically and politically. We both respected his work.  I believe that Sharon truly loved him. And this time she was allowed to buy out of her contract. He was not warm  toward me, but he was polite and nice the times I met him. I thought then and still do that he is tremendously talented. I could see what she saw in him.

Did he remain in touch with Sharon after their relationship was over?

LM: Philippe said he had run into her in London and Rome a few times before he met me. As far as I know, the only time he ever saw her again was the day we both ran into Sharon and Roman coming out of a café on the Via Veneto in Rome. This was sometime in 1969. She and Philippe exchanged the ritual French cheek kissing and she introduced him to Polanski. We exchanged a few pleasantries and spoke of mutual friends and acquaintances but she did not mention the baby. She was  wearing a loose dress and I did not realize that she was so pregnant. She looked positively radiant. She said she was happy and on her way to LA. I do know that she remained in some sort of contact with John Knowles and other of their mutual friends, who sometimes mentioned what she was up to. I got the impression she was on top of the world. She was glad to get out of her contract with the producer and was eager to be a wife and mother.

I don’t know if you could answer this but a fan would like to know… Did Philippe ever mention one thing that he would always remember about Sharon, like a certain characteristic or memory?

LM: Philippe was not really into talking about what he liked about Sharon to me. As we all do, when speaking of ex’s, he tended to downplay his fonder feelings for her. He wanted to reassure me and, I guess himself, that it was over between them and that he was able to give his all to our relationship. However, I got the impression that she was very special. I know he and John Knowles said that her actions had hurt him very much

At that time, she was in all the magazines in Europe and on the covers. I could not escape seeing that beautiful face. It was a bit daunting. Philippe encouraged me to give up modeling and all thoughts of being an actress. I did not have as much at stake as Sharon and tried to comply. I knew that a model’s career is limited and I was in love and wanted to get married.


What about you, what has stuck in your mind about her and allowed you to still remember her today?  I was struck by her incredible beauty, inside and out. I think she would have been a worthy successor to Marilyn Monroe as far as Sex Goddess goes, but I thought she could have gone very far in her career. Not only was she beautiful but she was NICE. Didn’t seem to have a bitchy bone in her body. There was no guile in her.

 You’ve mentioned meeting Sharon twice, what – aside from her looks/beauty – has stuck in your memory about her?

 LM: She held herself in good posture; she was very well groomed and spoke in very clear tones. If you have ever seen the promo film “All Eyes on Sharon Tate”, you will know how she was. She was like the “finished” Audrey Hepburn in “My Fair Lady.” She had obtained a European polish, which was charming. She was very straightforward. People seemed to take to her as they took to Lady Di a few decades later, of course not yet on such a grand scale. However, she had the potential of a superstar.

 As fans, it is always nice to hear people’s thoughts on Sharon. What do you have to say about her and your impression of her as a person… for example: did she have a good personality? Was she quiet/shy or very bubbly? Did she have an ego? Etc.

 LM: Of course, my meeting was short, only a few hours, but I did get to know her a little when we ladies of the dinner party, all went to the Powder Room of Chez Castel in Paris together. In Paris when two Americans meet, they tend to bond immediately, strangers in a strange land, and that happened between Sharon and me. Of course, it was strengthened by the fact that I was engaged to Philippe Forquet.

At the beginning of the romance.

 I had quite a few questions for her. We spoke for some time and she told me many things about them as a couple, about him and about his friend, John Knowles. She seemed to be concerned about me, to care. She was an absolutely lovely person. We continued our conversation at the dinner table where I was seated across from her and beside Polanski. Fortunately, he was engaged in a long conversation with his partner on the left, so Sharon and I had no one else to talk to anyway. We chattered away about the handsome and elegant, yet somehow tragic Philippe.

According to some, Sharon had slept around with a lot of men and tried to further her career by doing so, did Philippe ever mention if Sharon was unfaithful to him?

LM:  I don’t know about Sharon sleeping around with a lot of men. I do know she dated Richard Beymer and he helped her. He was a big star at the time. But she genuinely liked him. I did not get the impression that she slept around a lot to further her career. She did not need to anyway. She had her producer and he was the one to give her work. Their relationship has been spoken about by those who knew her.  I will not go into what was said.. What she did before she met Philippe, I don’t know. Philippe did mention one incident, the one that led to  violence..

Sharon had been summoned to the studio one evening after they returned from New York and she was trying to continue seeing him while pretending to the studio that she was not. He had been visiting her in her apartment when the phone rang.  He told me he followed her along the Pacific Coast Highway.  He found her with someone. There was a fight. She got caught by flying debris. Whether it was deliberate or an accident I don’t know. I only know they both told me the same story. She had to be taken to the hospital.  I have left out some of the details because I don’t want to mention any names. This is what I have been told, but I have no way of knowing if it is accurate.

 Did Philippe ever mention Sharon having a temper with him?

LM: He said she stood up for herself, but her argument was wrong. She wanted to carry on like the rising sex goddess and keep her fiancé a secret. It just could not work. There was yelling and throwing of things. It has been written about before. I doubt there was any physical hitting. However, flying objects can be dangerous.

Did Sharon ever discuss Roman or Jay Sebring with you and/or Philippe? If so, what did she say?

LM: She mentioned in the ladies room in Paris that she was planning on marrying Roman and that she was very happy. When one of the other girls pointed out that Roman was a real ladies’ man, Sharon said she didn’t care. That is just the way men are. Some of the European girls agreed. I was not so sure. She never mentioned Jay Sebring. Philippe did a few times.  But, I have heard from others who knew him that he was a very nice guy.

 In your last meeting with her she was pregnant. Did she discuss the baby with you? If so, what all did she say? Did she seem upset about anything? Some people feel she was going to leave him, did she mention any problems, etc.?

LM: Unfortunately, the last meeting was brief, just two couples running into each other. Polanski and Forquet wanted to separate us two chattering magpies. Were the circumstances different, I am sure Sharon and I would have been friends. At least I would have liked to be. She did not seem upset about anything at all. I doubt that she was planning on leaving him.

 I believe she was planning to join her two best friends in being Hollywood Wives and putting her career on the back burner, just as I was doing. It was more usual then. She was greatly looking forward to the child as far as I know. Philippe always said that she really did not want to be an actress. It was more or less thrust upon her a combination of luck and location and of course those incredible good looks. She thought of it as an opportunity for an interesting life, fame and fortune. But she could have been just as happy raising babies in the country, Philippe seemed to think. That is not to say that she did not take her career seriously. Once she signed that contract, she did her utmost to become what the studio wanted her to be. She was highly intelligent and a quick study.

 What is your favorite Sharon film? Modeling session?

LM: My favorite film was Valley of the Dolls. I thought Sharon did a great job. I don’t have a favorite modeling session…I liked them all. She was wonderful in Thirteen. 

 Do you think she and Roman would have been good parents?

LM: That’s hard to say. Being in the limelight as they were, it may have been difficult to maintain a good home life. I know she would have loved the child dearly. In addition, she would have had the support of her family who were good people. I believe family life, something that Roman probably never would have thought he could have, would have tamed him a bit. He would have made sure the child had a good education and never wanted for anything. But he never got that chance. That part of his life is such a tragedy and I doubt that a day goes by that he does not think of the terrible fate of his wife and child. My heart goes out to him, Sharon’s family and Philippe too.

 Do you still keep in touch with Philippe? What are both your lives like today?

 LM: I spoke to Philippe a few years ago and he was doing quite well. He gave up the acting profession and went into art, antiques and other businesses. I heard he also owns a thriving French boulangerie where he supervises the creation of wonderful French pastries. Cooking was a hobby of his and he was a fine chef. He remarried twice and has three children. His last wife and he have been together for years and are very happy.Once in awhile someone contacts me about him and he still has a few fan clubs on the net. People just do not realize how his life was destroyed by his love for the beautiful Sharon Tate. Somehow, he just rates a few speculative lines, with some unattractive allegations. There was never a police record and he was never indicted for anything. He just stepped on some big toes.

 Things got better as the years went by but we began to drift apart, too. Because of his experiences with Sharon, he did not want me to work in the entertainment or modeling industries.  It was the cause of many arguments,  He felt that I was too naive and trusting and would get into some bad situations with unscrupulous directors and producers.

After Philippe and I divorced amicably in the mid Seventies, I went back to modeling and had some success in Europe. I remarried and have four children. I live in New York City where I am writing my memoirs. These questions have helped me think about that fateful time and organize my thoughts.



Below are just a few of the magazine headlines that Philippe had to see everywhere.

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Super Chick

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These fanciful and artistic interpretations of the Sixties Super Chick Motif were created by Mary Beth Acosta, who works with actual magazine tearsheets, hand snipping her favorite Retro images into works of art.

 Model Linda Morand. Photographer: Gosta Peterson.

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The Feral Housewife

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“Armed only with a sharp pair of embroidery scissors and a glue stick, Mary Beth, a.k.a. the Feral Housewife has set out to liberate women from every walk of life; alive or deceased, real or imagined. She is on an endless hunt for vintage magazines for her work, favoring those from the 1920s to the early 1960s, her richest source of materials.

Here is a favorite of mine, featuring Italian photographer and former  topVogue model, Benedetta Barzini. This is not photoshop.

She literally swoons over the images as she pages through them, ripping out anything that catches her eye. She snips out coy smiles, backward glances, a well fitted girdle, women fascinated with telephones, nylon fetishes, and sexual innuendo of every ilk.

The Feral Housewife’s collages started out as part fun, part journal, and all self expression. They are hand assembled the old-fashioned way, involving endless snipping with tiny scissors using a magnifying light.

Components and backgrounds are carefully selected and everything painstakingly glued into place. Pieces are then burnished with wax paper and pressed to dry in a heavy tome. Color giclee  prints can be made from the original collages.”

 

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Willy van Rooy

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One great model of the Sixties and Seventies is Willy van Rooy. She was a muse to Yve St. Laurent and David Bailey. Newton loved her sultry Dietrich mystery. She inspired many classic photo shoots which have been preserved by miniMadMOD60s, with the cooperation of Ms. van Rooy.

Video (click link)

Willy van Rooy: Modeling Career Highlights

WILLY VAN ROOY’S BLOG

Photo Montage by Angora Sox

MMM60s: First of all, we would like to thank you for sharing your photographs and stories with us. It is not often one gets such an intimate glimpse into that vivid and wildly romantic era. We understand that because of your visibility on MMM60s, you were recently contacted by Italian Vogue to participate in a photo shoot.

Willy: Yes I got an email to ask if I would be available and interested to do a shoot for Italian Vogue the 9th and 10th of June. The photographer would be Steven Meisel. I was a bit nervous and nothing was for sure but I answered that I would be thrilled. I kept my fingers crossed. I have learned to not make myself any illusions and I figured I would probably be an extra and appear in some picture in the background… Still, I was excited about it and just to work with Meisel is already a trip.

I am only 5.7″ and I do know now my measurements because I had to give them to Vogue, 35- 27-36. Not as thin as I used to be, but carry the same weight always, somewhere between 116 and 122 pounds. They asked me for some recent snapshots.

Self Portrait

MMM60s: We saw the test shots, they are really good. You look amazing! Who took the pictures?

Willy: I took them myself. You know I don’t know why they came out so good, I was really surprised. Make up makes a lot of difference. I really did only 12 pictures around the house. You know when you do it yourself, you click the button but than have to run to your place and strike the pose and you have no idea what it looks like. That’s why I was surprised they came out so well, no Photoshopping, only the levels to make them nice and light.

MMM60s: I’ll say. You look incredible. Are you thinking of getting back into modeling?

Willy: I think if something is bound to happen it will. Of course I do all my best to keep my mind lucid and free so things can happen. Anyway it is very important to know what one really wants but once you know the doors will open by magic. You know that just a few days before I got the email I was talking with my friend, Rory Flynn, who was a model too in the 60′s and 70′s, and now is a head shot photographer, that we both should go back to modeling and that we could have fun making a whole day of pictures of each other and then find an agent (still with the illusion that they are really waiting for us).

Willy in Paris 1975 in an outfit for Pierre Dalby. Designed by WILLY VAN ROOY

And then out of the blue comes that email and I was working for Italian Vogue! It is a sort of miracle. Of course, I realize that it would be totally impossible for me to be a commercial model unless I would really be allowed to look like a grandmother, no glamour or beauty, and only with the very best people. Then it becomes interesting because you know they wanted you because they saw something that inspired them.

Steven Meisel for Vogue Italia

MMM60s: So how was the booking? How was it working with a fabulous photographer again?

Willy: To work with Steven was a great pleasure. You know you are going to look great because you know he wants to make a good picture and you also know he can. Everybody was very kind and what a setup! There were at least 60 people and tents and dressing-room-cars and toilets and an incredible catering and many people walking around doing something.

The make up was by Pat Mc Grath and her artists, and Jeffrey did mine. He was very funny! All the hair was by Guido and his equipe and several young stylists supervised by KARL TEMPLER the Vogue editor, I know he is one of the fans of your site. All this was done in a big cemetery and of course all the clothes were black. Beautiful clothes, D&G, Chanel, Dior, YSL etc.

Autographed picture from YSL to Willy van Roy

MMM60s: Wow, just like the kind of clothes you modeled in the Sixties and Seventies. Were there any other models?

Willy: Linda Evangelista was there and she is very beautiful and very kind. There were three other girls, one by the name of Karen and she is soooo beautiful, too. Wow! And two very young lovely models named Iris and Guinevere as well as three handsome male models. All together, on the first day, I did five pictures, two group shots and three by myself.! I think it went well and it was a very nice day.

They even came to pick me up in a beautiful car with chauffeur who opens the door for you and in between shoots they immediately came running with a chair and a bottle of water and you see the pictures straight away ( I never dare to look at mine) they have enormous computerized machines, enfin unbelievable! .

MMM60s: Did you work a second day?

Willy: I did work the second day too and all together I was in nine pictures ,of which three of them were solo. It was fun to work with Linda, she is very kind and at a point even said to me that she it was an honor to work with me! What do you know!?

Some of the models are interested in seeing my jewelry which is great. Now I realize, though, that it is not that easy to start modeling again, for me at least. Of course to work with Steven Meisel or another very good photographer is OK. They can make you look good, especially for magazines like Vogue and so on, which is fun but does not bring home the bacon and I am afraid I am not commercial at all. The clothes fit me perfect though, really amazing and the stylist even said they looked so elegant on me, that’s why I thought of maybe returning to the catwalk, but the heels…….We will see…

MMM60s: We think you are being too modest, Willy. You have not lost a thing. . Once again, thanks for all your very interesting input. You really brighten up the site.

Willy: My working for Vogue again is all because of MMM60s. They never would have found me if not for this site. Many people on the set there read your website and some knew all about it and follow my story and told me it was fascinating, so funny! Thank you, Linda.

MMM60s: We thank you Willy for continuing to be an inspiration to us all.  Thank you for all your help in making MMM60s what it is today. I look forward to reading your blog and that of your daughter and your son. What a creative family. I hope all our readers will read your blog. It is an amazing chronicle of an era in Fashion History and Culture.  Having been there, I can appreciate the authenticity of the experience.

Willy van Rooy: Modeling Career Highlights

Willy is a wonderful jewelry and clothing designer and a gifted story teller. Her fascinating blog can be seen here. Well worth a look, if you like model and fashion history and a glimpse into the artistic and modeling world of late Sixties and Early Seventies.

 

Willy’s Story in NY TIMES

WILLY VAN ROOY’S BLOG

Willy van Rooy: Modeling Career Highlights

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Birthday Video

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Linda Morand

Happy Birthday:

Super 65!

Birthday Video

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Modeling In the Sixties

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     Being plunged into such a sophisticated society as the international fashion world was a bit overwhelming for teenagers from the USA.  Each of us dealt with it as best we could.  I went a different route than many because I got involved with the aristocrats and the literary set, by accident really, not by design. Most models dated photographers and sometimes together they made a great creative team.
I never really got involved with a photographer, although I found some very attractive.  I did like Arthur Elgort, but it was not to be. It’s a funny story and I will tell it later.
    I started out as a plain tall skinny nerd, talented in Art and English, but a hopeless outcast in high school society. By my junior year I had attained a level of popularity because of my resemblance to the First Lady, Jacquelyn Kennedy but I still did not fit in with the  different cliques at school.  I was the Art editor of the school newspaper and appeared in the high school plays, but my friends were usually older.    That made it altogether more fabulous to be turned into Cinderella for a season.  I was swept from an ordinary existence as a typical Long Island girl into a world of glamour and intrigue, jealousy, madness and even murder.     What have I learned over the years is that  having seen life at the “top” as one of the so-called “beautiful people” did not make me any happier.  Happiness comes from within.  You will see a little of my point of view emerge as I try to show the that even with all that wealth and glamour, people still have their problems, triumphs and tragedies, and that beauty and fame are not guarantees of happiness.  Many of the people I knew ended up tragically, Sharon Tate, Donyale Luna, Wallis Franken, etc.

As I piece all these stories together, I will go into the effect the great rebellion against our parents’ generation had on us and society as a whole.  The shortening of skirts, the emergence of  the birth control pill, the popularity of drugs, the androgynous look,  the Women’s Movement, all these had effects on society, some good, some bad.    I try to be objective in my reporting, while still being subjective in my experiences.

     Somehow such incredible opportunities were thrown at our feet in those days. International models were considered eligible young ladies and were welcomed into aristocratic circles and the jet-set, as individuals with character and personality, as well as beauty. Academy Award winning movie stars, European Royalty,  Hollywood producers, international executives and whatever other dashing personalities were around, were courting us, much to our amazement. They would send private jets to pick us up, just to attend a party. And no one was expected to do anything they did not want to do. Before this I had dating been good old American college boys and of course Michael. They were wonderful but this was a whole new ball game.  I was playing in the Big Leagues now. Still, I was interested in being in a relationship.  I was pretty old-fashioned despite my Mod clothes.  I mostly went out with Susan Brainard and and Ulla Bomser.  We would run into other New York models.  Most of us lived on the  Left Bank in inexpensive, but clean and quaint hotels.

Top models were independent contractors, signing with the best agents and  working hard. You could say we were rootless mercenaries, traveling the world and earning our own way. I loved living in hotels, eating in restaurants and traveling by plane and train, for free because the client paid all expenses.  And I loved buying new clothes in each city. Such wretched excess, is what I am thinking now. But that was the way it was.  I had to travel light.  I left so many suitcases in so many hotels and bed and breakfast places because I could not carry everything back to my home in Paris. All the models were always dressed three to six months ahead of what was shown in the magazines and the stores, because of course we had seen it on the shoots. So I did not really miss the clothes I left behind. Later I learned to buy classic styles that could be worn for a long time.

     Models did not get ten thousand dollars a day in the Sixties but we made as much as any big CEO of a corporation. We were sole proprietorships. Very large responsibility was placed on us. Thousands of dollars were riding on us showing up in the right country, in the right studio and on time and in good working order. We didn’t have teams of stylists, designers and hairdressers to give us support, but I sure wish we did. We had to schlep huge bags filled with all kinds of wigs, hairpieces, scarves, jewelry, hats and other necessities. Professionalism was stressed. and insisted upon by the top agencies.  It was a blessing to have hair and make-up artists once in a while, for covers or beauty ads and editorial.  But mostly I did my make-up myself and my hair.  I had many wigs and hair-pieces so I could change my look.

There was no time for ego-trips, temper tantrums, lateness or no-shows. We did not consider ourselves as sex-objects and were not asked to pose in compromising pictures.  There were still certain standards of behavior although they were more relaxed in  Europe. Still you were not expected to do anything you would not want to do.We wore some very short skirts and were sometimes very scantily clad, but because it was haute couture, and we were so skinny and looked so cool and classy.  We set the standards for a generation.

Below are some of the pictures I did in New York, before I took a helicopter of the PanAm building which took me to the airport.  I looked down on New York City not realizing then that i would not see it again for many years.  I was off to Paris, meant to stay for six weeks, but the life of a model in Paris in the Sixties was so appealing, I decided not to return.  I worked a lot, traveled and played.  And then I fell in love with a dream man.  Or so I thought…..

My first composite before the Vidal Sassoon haircut that set me apart.
Betsey Johnson bathing suit shot with a wide angle lens  Gosta Petersen for Mademoiselle
Click to enlarge
It’s easier to stop traffic in a mini-skirt.
I never liked these long skirts but I was booked for an editorial in on
the new phenomenon The Midi  .  These pictures are for sale on the Intenet by Life magazine.
 
My first booking in Paris for Pierre Cardin.  The hair was by Carita.  
This was shot by Gosta Petersen.  It was done live.
The studio was dark.  He held the lens open and flashed once, I jumped into the second pose,
showing the dress underneath and the light flashed again.  It was very a very new photo technique.
 
This is the first shot I did for Mademoiselle by Gosta Petersen.  It can be ordered as a poster from Conde Nast.
I actually was very displeased with these pictures which were distorted on purpose.  But they were very well received.
 
 
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60s Modeling

Being plunged into such a sophisticated society as the international fashion world was a bit overwhelming for teenagers from the USA. Each of us dealt with it as best we could. I went a different route than many because I got involved with the aristocrats and the literary set, by accident really, not by design. Most models dated photographers and sometimes together they made a great creative team. I never really got involved with a photographer, although I found some very attractive. I did like Arthur Elgort, but it was not to be. It’s a funny story and I will tell it later. Continue reading

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Heather Hewitt

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Diana Vreeland

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Ulla Bomser

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[slideshow]

The unique face of Ulla Bomser was everywhere during 1965-1968 and after. She was a Danish import, discovered by Eileen Ford and invited to come to New York. Ulla was one of the first models to sport a Vidal Sassoon haircut, which made her stand out amongst the other gorgeous Scandinavian models taking New York by storm in the Sixties. Her straight strong blonde hair was ideal for the head hugging ergonomic asymmetrical cut which help to springboard them both to fashion stardom.

1965 Ulla Bomser and Vidal Sassoon

1967 Ulla Bomser in a shorter cut a couple of years later,

1968 Ulla Bomser was a chameleon in this double page spread which featured saveral hair pieces and extensions.

Ulla Bomser

Ulla Bomser

Ulla Bomser Celebrity Endorsement

 

Ulla Bomser Coty

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Clairol Models

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“Is it true blondes have more fun? “Does she or doesn’t she?  Only her hairdresser knows for sure.” Clairol was a top employer of Sixties Super Models and used only the best.  Here are some of the most popular and … Continue reading

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Paris in the 60s

Modeling in Paris In the mid summer of 1966 I was having a lot of fun. I was an art student, studying fashion illustration in New York City. Because I was so tall and thin, people were constantly encouraging me … Continue reading

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Willy van Rooy

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One great model of the Sixties and Seventies  is Willy van Rooy.  She was a muse to Yve St. Laurent and David Bailey.  Newton loved her  sultry Dietrich mystery.  She inspired many classic photo shoots which have been preserved by … Continue reading

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Eileen Ford

 Eileen Ford and Swedish Models ~ 1951  Very rare early photographs of legendary model agency mogul Eileen Ford and Swedish actress, Anita Ekberg, who began her career as a Ford Model.  Eileen gave modeling tips to 20-year-old Miss Sweden Anita Ekberg: October 8, … Continue reading

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Magazines Shaped Our Lives

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Magazines shaped our lives in the Sixties. Before there was an Internet and cable TV the best way to find out what was going on in the world was by reading magazines.  Growing up in the Fifties and Sixties,most Boomer … Continue reading

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