3 posts tagged "Greta Garbo"
In a gesture of atypical extravagance, Greta Garbo would order up to a hundred pairs of shoes at a time from Salvatore Ferragamo. At the Saturday opening of a Ferragamo-sponsored exhibition devoted to Garbo’s style, Salvatore’s widow Wanda shared her impressions of the actress. “Her bearing,” she said, hauling herself up ramrod straight in an echo of Garbo’s posture. “And her eyes. They were gray.” Which helps account for Greta’s mesmerizing gaze in the black-and-white movies that sealed her reputation as the most enduringly timeless of stars. The impressively comprehensive show should also help to consolidate her status. Exhibitions of the bits and pieces that belonged to Hollywood legends tend to leave you flummoxed by how minuscule the greats were. (It’s not just exhibitions either. Can that truly be Elizabeth Taylor’s footprint sealed in cement outside Grauman’s Chinese? Is the woman a leprechaun?) Garbo’s Ferragamo footwear, at least, was reassuringly normal in size. And, according to the show at Milan’s Triennale, her outfits maintained the same remarkably consistent real-woman silhouette from the thirties to the sixties. Hence that timelessness. You could imagine almost anything she wore stepping out onto the Milanese catwalk right now. In fact, in a week where Miuccia Prada celebrated womanly shape, there couldn’t have been a more timely museum opening.
“When Greta Garbo died, her family sold off all her belongings, including the knickers in her drawers—except her Verdura watch and bracelet,” said Harry Fane, the gallerist behind the 70th anniversary exhibit of the great Italian jeweler Duke Fulco di Verdura, at the exclusive sneak preview in London today. (The show will open to the public in October.) Seventy of Verdura’s prized pieces were on display (with a few even for sale), including Coco Chanel’s beloved Maltese Cross cuff bracelets, Garbo’s watch, and the now iconic “Rapt Heart,” commissioned by Tyrone Power. The Duke’s influential fans included his lover, Vogue editor Nicky De Gunzburg; his muse, Babe Paley (and wife of CBS founder Bill Paley); and Marella Agnelli. Today’s fans—Sarah Jessica Parker, Halle Berry, and Elle Macpherson included—are no slouches, either. Does the idea of selling multi-thousand dollar baubles during these hard-luck times worry vice president Nico Landrigan? “Verdura started the company in 1939, one of the worst years in economic history,” he said. “2009 doesn’t scare me.” With a client base like that, why should it?