Saturday, March 16, 2024

Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn, Paolo Roversi


Colored sketches of models
Thursday was a double-header. 

Metro poster announcing fashion exhibit
I hit 2 fashion photography shows in one day.

Inside gallery with large photo of woman jumping
I first read of the Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn MEP exhibit in Adrian Leeds’ very newsy newsletter 👍 
Woman posing in empire sofa
Some background notes on Lisa - a multi-talented woman excelling as a dancer, model, photographer, designer, sculptor & aviator (1911 -1992).
Lisa as a toddler
She was born in Gothenburg, Sweden (we have the same birth date). It’s also Norwegian Independence day FYI.
Lisa posing in the Eiffle Tower
She studied expressionist dance in Berlin with Mary Wigman at 20. Then returned to Sweden and formed her own dance troupe. 
Lisa posing in black and white suit
Her inherent grace and athleticism was key to her career as a top model.

Photo contact sheet of Lisa in different poses.
Did she graphically design her poses to match the design of the garment. She certainly knew how to place herself in front of the camera 📸 
“I was a form in space” she said.
Lisa in 2 black evening dresses
In 1936 in Paris she was discovered in an elevator (of course) by photographer Willy Maywald who asked her to model hats. The photos were sent to Vogue where Horst P. Horst took test photographs of her. 
Lisa sitting with husband Irving Penn
In Paris Lisa met her second husband, fabulous, Irving Penn = a coupe de foudre/instant love ❤️  They married in 1947 and together created an indomitably pair in the world of fashion. 
Later photographers as Richard Avedon, Louise Dahl-Wolfe, Erwin Blumenfeld, Man Ray among others eager to capture swan-like Lisa in their cameras. All represented in the nearly 150 vintage prints exhibit. A must-see for fashionistas.

Metro poster of Paolo Roversi exhibit
Ever onward 

To Palais Galliera in the afternoon 
For the Paulo Roversi exhibit.
Roversi’s first exhibit of 
50 years of photographs, 
Revealing how the artist uses fashion to create unique photos manipulating Polaroids. Alexander McQueen’s Rape of Scotland dress.
This Comme des Garçon ‘garlic head’ dress might have worked for Arianna on the red carpet
. Grande’s pink duvet dress was designed by Giambattista Vialli haute coutureA side note* during Fashion Week I got a rush email from Vialli’s PR asking if I could come address ✍️ 300 invitations & seating place cards immédiatement. Plus be onsite ‘the day of’ the show to do ✍️ extras. If only 🙏😳 
Roversi likes his models front and center, staring straight ahead. Naomi in John Galliano.
Photographers like artists put up snapshots on the wall to study.
Le Trench coats are out. It’s sunny 🌞 today in Paris…whatev
More abstract-shaped women from Roversi. 
Quite a different view of women than the Fonssagrives exhibit.
Outside, waiting for bus 63 I spotted a woman looking ‘Springy’ in riding boots and white cardigan.
A closer look and I saw it was a discreet white Chanel jacket!
The ridding boots were à propos. Saut Hermés is on the weekend. Tickets probably sold out in January. 
If you enjoyed this post, you can support it 
buying my Paris letters & watercolors
Or you can buy me a KO-FI ☕️ 


  1. The first photo of Lisa reminds me of the emoji you sometimes send🤸‍♂️. She was very beautiful. I like the wide brim hats, so elegant.

    1. Anonymous8:07 AM

      Ha! Sharp eyes 👁️ Yes, she was energetic and fearless!

  2. You're killing me. All the wonderful exhibits you manage to find and see and then report back to us. Lovely and interesting.

    1. Anonymous8:43 AM

      I could probably hit 2 a-day and still not cover them all. Paris is a museum Mecca

  3. Bonnie L8:34 AM

    What a timeless, ageless beauty! That photo on the beach with sailboats is extraordinary. And you…two exhibits in one day?! You are indefatigable!!

    1. Anonymous8:42 AM

      YSL was around the corner as well as Tales of Genji but I know when to stop 🛑

  4. J Caymus11:46 AM

    Oh, please do the Saut Hermès! 🏇❤️

    1. Anonymous2:22 AM

      I will try. RAIN ☔️ is predicted

  5. Anonymous5:09 AM

    Happy Birthday Carol
    Thank you for all your wonderful emails, your blog and those treasures on Etsy. You enrich so many lives, people who you may never so much as pass in the street, but we all love and appreciate you!

    1. Anonymous6:20 AM

      Thanks for the advance Birthday 🥳 wishes and all the rest 🙂

  6. Two great exhibits, thanks for sharing.


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