Bettina: Personality as Beauty

“I think, in retrospect, I had a different style, because I can’t say I was the most beautiful. It’s not a question of beauty. You have to have personality.”

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Bettina Graziani, who passed away last week in Paris aged 89, was the world’s first Super Model.

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During the height of her popularity in midcentury Paris she was called the most photographed woman in France.

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Muse to Hubert de Givenchy and Jacque Fath, with her close cropped red hair (copied by Audrey Hepburn) and lithe figure, Bettina (as she was known) came to epitomize the sophistication of the New Look in post war Paris.

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It was the look of cinched waists, full skirts and elegant silhouettes.

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Bettina posed for some the most important photographers of our time.

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Gordon Park (1951)

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Henri Cartier Bresson (1951)

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Robert Capa (Jacques Fath, 1951)

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Irving Penn (1950)

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Henry Clarke (Maggy Rouff, 1952)

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Givenchy named his popular “Bettina Blouse” with its tiers of ruffles down the sleeves in her honor.

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“You are the embodiment of the modern woman.”

(Part of the praise for Bettina when she was appointed to France’s Order of Arts and Letters.)

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I agree, don’t you?

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All images via Pinterest.