Linda Evangelista

Linda Evangelista photographed by Steven Meisel for the cover of Vogue Italia February 1990
Vogue Italia, February 1990. Photo: Steven Meisel. Image: Bellazon.

In celebration of Canada Day, this models post is devoted to Canadian supermodel Linda Evangelista.

Born in St. Catharines, Ontario to Italian-Canadian parents, Linda Evangelista (b. 1965) was discovered by a scout from Elite at the 1981 Miss Teen Niagara beauty contest. (She didn’t win.) At eighteen she signed with Elite and moved to New York and later, Paris. Evangelista became one of the world’s most successful and influential models, especially after Julien d’Ys cut her hair short in 1988. (More on Voguepedia.)

Linda Evangelista photographed by Patrick Demarchelier for the cover of Harper's Bazaar, March 1997
Harper’s Bazaar, March 1997. Photo: Patrick Demarchelier. Image: Top Models of the World.

Some of Evangelista’s early work can be seen in 1980s Vogue patterns and Burda magazine.

1980s

The young Evangelista made the cover of the Spring/Summer 1985 issue of Burda international:

Linda Evangelista on the cover of Burda international magazine, Frühling-Sommer 1985
Burda international, Spring/Summer 1985. Image: flickr.

She also starred in a jazz club-themed Burda editorial shot by Günter Feuerbacher (click the image for more):

1980s Linda Evangelista editorial in Burda international, Frühling/Sommer 1985
Linda Evangelista in Burda international, Spring/Summer 1985. Photo: Günter Feuerbacher. Image: Magdorable!

Evangelista’s work with Vogue Patterns was for the Paris Originals line. Here she models a popular, pleated wrap dress by Emanuel Ungaro, Vogue 1799:

1980s Emanuel Ungaro dress pattern featuring Linda Evangelista - Vogue 1799
Vogue 1799 by Emanuel Ungaro (1986) Image: Vintage Patterns Wiki.

Evangelista can be seen on a number of Yves Saint Laurent patterns. Vogue 1720 is an elegant dress with blouson bodice and wide, bias roll collar. The pattern includes the contrast sash:

1980s Yves Saint Laurent dress pattern featuring Linda Evangelista - Vogue 1720
Vogue 1720 by Yves Saint Laurent (1986) Image: Paco Peralta.

Here Evangelista shows off advanced-class colour blocking in Vogue 1721, a Nina Ricci pattern for a dramatic hooded blouse, mock-wrap skirt, sleeveless top, and sash:

1980s Nina Ricci evening pattern featuring Linda Evangelista - Vogue 1721
Vogue 1721 by Nina Ricci (1986) Image: Etsy.

This editorial photo from the Autumn 1986 issue of Vogue Patterns magazine best conveys the different colours:

Linda Evangelista wears Vogue 1721 by Nina Ricci, Vogue Patterns, Autumn 1986. Image: Magdorable!

Evangelista also appeared on the cover of the July/August 1987 issue of Vogue Patterns:

Linda Evangelista on the cover of Vogue Patterns magazine, summer 1987
Vogue Patterns, July/August 1987. Photo: Gideon Lewin. Image: tumblr.

1990s

In the mid-1990s, Evangelista’s runway work for Yves Saint Laurent reached home sewers on Vogue pattern envelopes. From the YSL Rive Gauche Spring 1996 collection, Vogue 1862 is a pattern for cropped jacket, blouse, and high-waisted pants (see a detail shot on firstVIEW):

Vogue 1862 by Yves Saint Laurent (1996). Image: Etsy.

Evangelista brings out the drama of this Yves Saint Laurent Cossack-style coat, Vogue 1652:

1990s Yves Saint Laurent coat pattern featuring Linda Evangelista - Vogue 1652
Vogue 1652 by Yves Saint Laurent (1995) Image: Paco Peralta.

Happy Canada Day, everyone!

Billie Blair

Billie Blair on the cover of Interview magazine, August 1974
Billie Blair on the cover of Interview magazine, August 1974. Image: Lipstick Alley.

Born in Flint, Michigan, Billie Blair (b. 1946) worked as a model at the Detroit Auto Show before becoming one of the highest-paid fashion models of the 1970s. Moving to New York City, she got a job at Halston and soon found success as an editorial and runway model. Blair was among the African-American models at the historic 1973 fundraising event, Le Grand Divertissement à Versailles, known today as the Battle of Versailles. (The event was the subject of a recent documentary by Deborah Riley Draper, Versailles ’73: American Runway Revolution [2012)].)

Billie Blair in Donna Karan for Anne Klein, Virginia Slims advertisement, 1975
Billie Blair in Donna Karan for Anne Klein, Virginia Slims advertisement, 1975. Image: Stanford University.

Billie Blair can be seen on a number of Vogue designer patterns from the mid-1970s. Here she wears a tweed skirt suit and pussy-bow blouse by Oscar de la Renta; this design was marked as ‘suitable for knits’:

Billie Blair models a 1970s Oscar de la Renta suit and blouse pattern - Vogue 1163
Vogue 1163 by Oscar de la Renta (1975) Image: PatternVault on Etsy.

Stan Herman designed this casual hooded top, skirt, and pants. The illustration shows some American Hustle-worthy aviator shades:

Billie Blair modelling a 1970s Stan Herman pattern - Vogue 1169
Vogue 1169 by Stan Herman (1975) Image: Vintage Pattern Wiki.

Here Blair wears a girlish, vintage-style ensemble by Nina Ricci, a cream-coloured dress with matching cape:

Billie Blair models a 1970s Nina Ricci cape and dress pattern - Vogue 1175
Vogue 1175 by Nina Ricci (1975) Image: Vintage Pattern Wiki.

From Jean Patou, this maxi dress may date to the period when the young Jean Paul Gaultier was assistant designer. Blair brings out the glamour of this haute couture loungewear:

Billie Blair models a 1970s Jean Patou loungewear pattern - Vogue 1344
Vogue 1344 by Jean Patou (1975) Image: PatternVault on Etsy.

In Vogue Patterns‘ 1975 holiday issue, Jerry Hall wears the Patou dress while Blair models an off-the-shoulder party dress in an editorial devoted to evening sparkle (the headline reads, “Be a Star the Vogue Way”):

Designer evening wear Billie Blair Vogue Patterns November December 1975
Vogue Patterns, November/December 1975. Image: eBay.

Here she models a fabulous, evening-length Dior caftan with piped neckline:

Billie Blair models a 1970s Christian Dior caftan pattern - Vogue 1346
Vogue 1346 by Christian Dior (1975) Image: Etsy.

This Nina Ricci separates pattern includes a poncho with shirttail hem, convertible collar, and big patch pockets:

Billie Blair models a 1970s Nina Ricci pattern - Vogue 1376
Vogue 1376 by Nina Ricci (1976) Image: Betsy Vintage.

Blair is the model on this rare pattern by Sonia Rykiel, Vogue 1378—check out the matching coral sandals:

Billie Blair models a 1970s Sonia Rykiel pattern - Vogue 1378
Vogue 1378 by Sonia Rykiel (1976) Image: Etsy.

Billie Blair’s commanding presence and approach to modelling as performance don’t seem too unusual today. But she was unconventional for the time, and even felt the need to under-report her age when she first became famous. A 1974 profile of Blair in People magazine says she is 22 years old and remarks on her size 9 feet. (In a letter to the editor, a high school classmate wondered how Blair had stayed 22 when her peers were 28.) She continued modelling into her thirties—here she appears in a dynamic 1978 Vogue shoot by Andrea Blanch:

Billie Blair, Renée King, Toukie Smith, Iman, Alva Chinn, and Dana Dixon in Vogue, December 1978
Billie Blair, Renée King, Toukie Smith, Iman, Alva Chinn, and Dana Dixon in Vogue, December 1978. Photo: Andrea Blanch.