Wednesday, February 6, 2008

the tree and the topless bathing suit

peggy moffitt

penelope tree

long before kate moss, alek wek, and lily cole, the modelling world already experienced two faces in the sixties that would forever challenge the notion of beauty. of course there was twiggy, that's pretty fucking obvious so i didn't bother google-ing her picture, but peggy moffitt and penelope tree aren't as known as that lesley hornby (thats twiggy for y'all who didn't know her real name). during a time when it was all about challenging long standing beliefs and traditions, beauty would eventually also experience a sense of revolution. in the fifties when models like bettina and dovima dominated the modeling world with their perfect posture and symmetry, penelope and peggy blew all that shit out of the water with their awkward appearance and rail thin bodies. these models were not just images on camera, they inspired the people that they worked with. moffitt, a long time muse of designer rudi gernreich, created headlines with the designers infamous topless bathing suit. tree became the fascination of photographer david bailey and he produced some of the most iconic fashion images of all time. but what was really important about these models is that in an era before stylists, make-up artists, and hairstylists, peggy and penelope invented their own image. well except for when vidal sassoon cut peggy's hair into the now legendary "five point". peggy's kabuki inspired make-up and penelope's false eyelashes and barely there brows was just part of who they were. unfortunately today the modeling world is full of blonde, expressionless models who are obviously just a blank canvas for designers to work on. its not to say that there aren't any good models today, there are actually quite a bit of them, but you must admit, seeing the same girls all looking the same can get to be like that one song you really like in the beginning and have it on repeat on your i-pod, but eventually shit gets boring and all you want to do is look for a new song that you can wild out to and scream "this is my jam" when you hear it at a party years from now.

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