Woman Showing Her Age (?)
Yes, indeed. I hate to be the style and fashion arbiter to point it out, but this lass is clearly signaling that her tastes (and thus her youth) trend back a considerable distance through what we euphemistically call the sands of time.
Oh where oh where upon her tricked-out personage shall we start?
I say, let us begin with the innocent-seeming dusky pink tattoo of a single rose upon her left shoulder. While that delicate flower may seem like a very up-to-the-minute fashion accent — akin to those sported by virtually every GenXer barmaid you are likely to encounter in a month of Manhattan pub crawls — our model in fact obtained that mark in the late 1920s, at a wharf-side San Franciscan tattoo parlor frequented by seafaring roustabouts and their stowaway Polynesian concubines, while just an ingénue.
And, how about that massive coiled cinnamon-roll-thingy of auburn hair planked against her cranium above her ear? No, despite your first guess, that is not derivative of the coif of Princess Leia Organa of Star wars fame, circa 1977. [Editor’s aside: Man, how suggestive was that romantic interest’s name? Leia Organa? George Lucas lust much?!] Our gal’s hairstyle is actually a virtual hair-for-hair replica of a do first presented to a breathless public by France’s Madame Vionnet in 1937.
Moving on! . . . to that peculiar bird perch affair atop her head and hairdo. That bonnet, consisting of three concentric planar tiers of fused and upright genuine mint chocolate discs of varying sizes, anchored by a sprightly posterior sprig of splayed mistletoe, and crowned by a young scaup’s nest, complete and entire, with greenery, egg and mama, also bears a tatted lace forehead veil of exquisite Swiss workmanship. It is not, unfortunately, an original, but merely a very faithful 1948 reproduction of an 1890s prototype fashioned in Vienna by Baron Anton of Vahrenviehl.
The woman’s snubbed — and practically nonexistent — nose is, of course, the sort of cosmetic surgical custom popularized in the mid-1940s by the Romanian Court of that nation’s last King, Michael (third cousin of Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain). So, too, were the ‘bee-stung’ lips, strategically placed aubergine mole, and the very heavily shadow-lidded eyes rimmed in kohl.
Meanwhile, her quite sizable single earring of hammered pewter with tinted blown-glass accents was created in autumn of 1956 by the master craftsman at the famed Murano Glass facility in Venice. For her appearance on the dais of the Kennedy inauguration, she purchased the thin choke-collar disk of lacquered onyx with pendant blue miniature pearls at the Fabergé showroom in Monaco.
Lastly, her daring off-the-shoulder dress of ruched and slashed magenta voile is a creation of none other than her childhood friend Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel — better known to the rest of the world as simply “Coco”.
It is indeed fortunate for our model that her rigorous and abiding attention to fashion, cosmetics, creams, spas, exercise, nips, tucks and the rejuvenating ministrations of successively younger boy-toys has kept her looking far younger than her 117 years!
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