Happy Mardi Gras! To celebrate the last day of Carnival, here’s a look at the star of Helmut Newton’s 1966 Venetian shoot: Italian model and socialite Mirella Petteni Haggiag.
Born in Bergamo, Mirella Petteni moved to Milan to work as a model. As the wife of film producer Robert Haggiag, Petteni was also a society figure with residences in Venice, Tuscany, New York, and Rome’s Palazzo Mengarini. (See T magazine.) She retired from modelling to become an editor at Vogue Italia.
Petteni can be seen on many Vogue Couturier Designs by Italian designers.
Petteni also appears in a Vogue holiday editorial that includes two Vogue Special designs (Vogue 6084 and 6054):
Here she wears Galitzine’s halter and culotte:
Here, in Pucci’s bestselling cape-jacket ensemble, Petteni’s aspirational hair is an added bonus:
In the mid-1960s, Helmut Newton photographed a two-page Vogue Patterns editorial for Vogue magazine on location at Wanda Beach, near Sydney, Australia.
The editorial features two pieces from a single beachwear pattern: Vogue 6211. The cowl-neck coverup is shown in white terry cloth, the one-piece drawstring bathing suit in double-knit Orlon; the linen hats are by Adolfo and Halston (click to enlarge):
As always, back views and yardage could be found in the back of the magazine:
Newton’s photograph shows a woman standing in the well-appointed bathroom of a Parisian hotel. (Another campaign photo shows Karen Mulder in the parking garage.) She wears the long-sleeved version of Vogue 1016, sans cami and done up in black Bucol silk. The dress is worn with big, dramatic accessories: a collar, ear clips, and a pair of gold (!) booties. On a shelf before the mirrors are two glasses of red wine; written in lipstick on one mirror is the message ‘ADIEU ET MERCI, SUSAN.’ Although the model’s elaborately coiffed head is turned away from the camera, she looks back out at us from the inscribed mirror.
The photo’s grand hotel setting and atmosphere of bad-girl mischief are pure Helmut Newton. (On the photographer and his work see Lindsay Baker, “Helmut Newton: A Perverse Romantic.”) Some might relegate its subject, the Vogue 1016 dress, to a period of post-Eighties decadence, but the interplay between photographer and designer is interesting. The two had a long-standing professional relationship, and Anna Wintour, quoted in Helmut Newton’s WWD obituary, hints that Newton’s photos of Yves Saint Laurent’s work could be as influential as the work itself. Does Newton’s photograph colour our view of Vogue 1016?