Go for color!—the freshness of white, the surprise of palest yellow: Halston's easy double-faced white wool coat that goes all year, all places. With a white wool skirt, and bare little tank top in yellow ribbed cashmere. Halston III coat and skirt, about $480. Top, about $50. Halston Ltd.
This editorial of supposedly "seasonless" clothes is the perfect antidote to a cold December's day. Meant to capture a "scenario for modern lovers", the photographs by Avedon show at Rene Russo at her easy, breeziest beauty—coquettishly playing with the hunky Tony Spinelli, while clad in loose Halston and Beene silhouettes and accessorized with chunky bangles and oversized pendants. Subtle makeup and hair, by Way Bandy and Harry King respectively, is the perfect complement to the equally subtle colour palette of the garments: all cream, bisque, pale yellow, and lettuce green. While I wouldn't want to wear any of these looks out in NYC right now without a heavy coat, the easiness of the silhouettes and lightness of the fabrics is immediately evocative of the first warm days of spring.
While the images below appear to capture the light and joyful ease of new love, this is not the full original editorial. Cherie and I decided to present it here without two additional images that are very disturbing—if you would like to see them you can click here and here, but pleased be warned of their violent nature. In them the male model is shown screaming at and then hitting Rene Russo. These incredibly angry images are in sharp contrast to the rest of the story and it is very difficult to understand how Grace Mirabella and Vogue believed they were a healthy illustration of "modern lovers." No stylist is listed on this story but the fashion directors were Polly Mellon and Frances Stein—it was likely Polly who styled this story. The mid-1970s were definitely a time when violence towards women was highly prevalent in fashion photography—many of the most famous images of the period by Guy Bourdin, Chris von Wangenheim and Helmut Newton depict women as victims. These images have become so well-known and loved that we often gloss over the murders, blood, and gore, yet this is definitely a subject that needs to be called attention to and discussed—why was '70s fashion photography such a breeding ground for misogyny? And why do we continue to celebrate it? Usually Richard Avedon is not noted for the same violence in his photographs, but he was obviously affected by the currents coursing through fashion magazines during those years, leading him to include two very unsettling images in an otherwise tasteful editorial.
Rene Russo and Tony Spinelli photographed by Richard Avedon for Vogue, December 1975.
The big news—the big change!—in fashion is color. Clean, soft, tint-of-color color—the prettiest to come along in years (if ever!). Color that gives a whole new feeling to all the clothes you want for warm-weather places now, for summer later... Photographed by Avedon—as a scenario for modern lovers—in the extraordinary Fort Worth Water Garden, designed by Philip Johnson and John Burgee.
Seasonless, versatile, a find!—Geoffrey Beene's shirting-striped pyjama in palest yellow, grey, and bisque silk crêpe de Chine, with an oversmock of bisque handkerchief linen (to wash and wash—it gets softer and softer). Pieces to move around—i.e., just the smock, the pants, and the bare open neckline at night—or wear together, as here—super hot-weather layering for day! About $1,000.
The unbeatable cool of all-white for hot weather—the soft, easy shirt that just falls open, in white crêpe de Chine; the lean cotton skirt with a couple of stitched pleats for ease. By Oscar de la Renta. Shirt, of silk, about $58; skirt, about $48. Necklace, Elsa Peretti of Tiffany.
Key to warm-weather dressing—a perfect small-fitting black cotton knit T-shirt and good-looking trousers in soft beige pongee—what everyone always wants more of! Beene Bag. Pants, about $92; top, about $34.
The thinner-than-thin maillot in an ultra-light, lustrous (pretty!) black jersey with a low-cut tank top and narrow white belt. By John Anthony. About $50.
The perfect wrap-up—white terry and enough of it!—a wonderful oversized poncho to pull over a bathing suit, to slip on at home after a bath. By Calvin Klein. About $54.
Nifty pieces for warm weather: soft, super warmed-up new neutrals—a pinky--beige lisle cardigan, a dash of cinnamon tank top, and great shorts—trouser-tailored natural muslin. By John Anthony. Cardigan, about $60; Nyesta tank top, about $16; shorts, about $40.
The kind of dress a lot of women have been beating the bushes for for years—a short, simple pretty late-day/little-dinner dress—banana silk crêpe de Chine, bare-necked, with sleeves that just slip off the shoulder. Morty Sussman for Mollie Parnis. About $365.
News at night—the look of a top and, instead of pants, a long slim skirt—this season's newest "pyjama dressing!" Here (seen from every angle), Geoffrey Beene's super-soft north-or-south version—bisque-yellow-and-grey plaided silk crêpe de Chine. With the slip-and-slide ease of his new T-shirt-based top. And a skirt that wraps—and unwraps—beautifully. About $1,050.