Guest post: Model History Lisa Fonssagrives
Not a name that really rolls off the old tongue, that’s for sure. Not that I can talk, my actual last name is Inveninato, but it doesn’t matter, because I’m not famous….yet. Anyway, continuing on with my model history series, this time with the fabulous Swedish model and wife of famous photographer Irving Penn, Lisa Fonssagrives.
Born in Sweden in 1911, she relocated to Paris in the 30’s to continue her study of ballet until she was discovered by a model scout and sent to Vogue. (of course) Very quickly she became one of the ‘models of the moment’ and is considered to be the first supermodel.
Wait a minute. So were all the others I’ve talked about. I have to say at this stage through the model history series, nearly all of them seem to have been considered the first supermodel, a photographers favorite/muse, the highest paid, the most popular. blah blah, they cant all be the first supermodel and what’s Janice Dickinson on about then? She’s clearly delusional)
I do take all I find out about these women with a pinch of salt. Depending on the site that I gather the info from, they are different heights, sizes, ages… One site, claimed Lisa’s waist to be 23 inches, another just 17. 17? I sincerely doubt that.
What I can confirm for sure, is that she was married twice (2nd marriage Irving Penn) and had a 3 children, one in the first marriage and 2 in the second.
She continued to dance ballet and was also a very talented sculptor, painter and photographer. She passed away in 1992 at the grand old age of 81, leaving behind a stunning legacy of art and photographs.
One of my favorites is this first one, took my breath away. On the Eiffel tower 1939. Erwin Blumenfeld.