Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Monthly Muse - Dovima

Last month I completely forgot to write a muse post (apologies for that!) so this month I thought I better make it a good one so without further ado this months muse is 1950's model Dovima!

Dovima was born Dorothy Virginia Margaret Juba on 11th December 1927 in Jackson Heights, Queens, . Dorothy Juba first devised the name Dovima constructed the name by which she was known from the initials of her given names. It was the name of an imaginary companion she invented as a child when she was bedridden with rheumatic fever.

''I never thought of myself as a beautiful woman,'' she told an interviewer four years ago. ''As a child, I was a gangly, skinny thing and I had this ugly front tooth that I broke when I was playing dress-up in my mother's clothes.''

She was walking out of an Automat in 1949 with her first husband, Jack Golden, when a woman asked her if she had ever been a fashion model. The woman said she worked for Vogue magazine and invited her to have some test photographs made. The next day she was photographed by Irving Penn. She kept her mouth closed because of her bad tooth and the photo had a mysterious look that reminded those who saw it of the Mona Lisa. Within a year she was one of the most popular models at the Ford Model Agency, where she made $30 an hour when the other leading models made $25.

 She worked closely with Richard Avedon, whose photograph of her in a floor-length black evening gown with circus elephants—"Dovima with the Elephants"—taken at the Cirque d'hiver, Paris, in August 1955, has become an icon. The gown was the first evening dress designed for Christian Dior by his new assistant, Yves Saint-Laurent.
A supermodel before the term was invented, Dovima was reputed to be the highest-paid Manhattan high-fashion model of her time ($75 an hour) in the 1950s. Dovima worked closely with photographer Richard Avedon in the 1950s. When the musical Funny Face (1957) was produced based on Avedon's career, Dovima was given a role in the film.She had a role as an aristocratic-looking, but empty-headed, fashion model with a Jackson Heights whine: Marion. She left modeling in 1962, at the age of 35, saying, ''I didn't want to wait until the camera turned cruel.'' She had several small roles in television plays - appeared in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1964) and My Favorite Martian (1963) before retiring in 1975.

Dovima was married to Casper West Hollingsworth, Alan Murray and Jack Golden. Dovima gave birth to a daughter named Allison on July 14, 1958, in Manhattan. Allison's father is Dovima's second husband, Allan Murray.

She died of liver cancer on May 3, 1990 at the age of 62 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA.

 “I would just never appear in public without looking like Dovima, who was to me an image of myself.”

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