Archive for the ‘Millie’s Letters’ Category

Mary and Linda

Monday, November 7th, 2011

Darling B,

Jennifer is working away on a letter filled to the brim with adorable shots of a young Linda Ronstadt.  It wasn’t until she and I were going through them that it finally dawned on me . . . my goodness is she a ringer for the young Mary Pickford!  A set of searing, melancholic eyes, the tenderly set coiffure, those expressive pouty lips,  I cannot believe I’d missed it before  . . .

With love,


  • Mary Pickford (1892 – 1979):  Hollywood’s first ever film star, founding member of United Artists, the highest earning professional female the world had then seen, the pioneering, trendsetting Pickford will forever have cement under her delicately manicured fingers, care of the multi-billion dollar industry she laid many a brick for.
  • Linda Ronstadt (1946 – present):  Winner of 11 Grammy awards (and another 17 nominations), Broadway star, opera too, prolific recording artist and cover girl, at one time the highest paid pop star, Ronstadt has been carving her very own tier for the entirety of her lengthy career.  From dreamy ballads and stirring covers, to Trio, the Stone Poneys, even Gilbert and Sullivan, Ronstadt is without question one of the most admirable American singers.

Gloria and Lillian

Saturday, May 14th, 2011

Darling B,

You’re absolutely right, the Royal Wedding certainly had its share of inimitable hats.  But you know me, always glancing back, I couldn’t help but think about two of early Hollywood’s most intoxicating stars, each a dazzling, pioneering milliner’s dream:  Gloria Swanson and Lillian Gish.

Wishing you well,


Silent film stars Gloria Swanson and Lillian Gish

Gish, early 1920's

One the screen's first provocateurs

i like them to think of them as an orchid and a rose



The adolescent years of moving pictures were stunning, weren't they?

Lillian Gish, October 14, 1893 – February 27, 1993

A surge of divine. Gloria Swanson, March 27, 1899 – April 4, 1983

Art Begetting Art

Saturday, May 14th, 2011

Dearest B,

Recently you sent a few stunning photographs my way, pairing creator and muse.   Do you like?



Degas Dancer, Chanel Spring 2011

Le Bar des Folies-Bergère (1881-1882) by Edouard Manet, Carolina Herrera Spring Bridal 2010

Christo and Jean-Claude's "The Gates", 2005; Spiderman on Broadway, 2011

Gown today, here tomorrow

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Dearest B,

I simply cannot stop thinking about that Fred Astaire comment you made the other day.  That man, as you so truly claimed, wholeheartedly understood the power of the dress – and how to make it sing!  It set me to thinking about that fabulous dance picture he did with a young Joan Crawford, his first actually, Dancing Lady, yes that’s the one . . . well, that led me to thoughts of  Ms. Davis, Joan Fontaine, Princess Grace, and so I thought Jennifer and I could make a game of it!  I’ve chosen a favorite dress from some of my most cherished Hollywood starlets, and she’s pairing it with a more contemporary piece, inspired of course, by wonderful you.


Millie and Jennifer

Fred Astaire and Joan Crawford in Dancing Lady (1933), Jean Paul Gaultier robe, 2000

Grace Kelly in Edith Head's design for Rear Window (1954), Zac Posen Spring 2011

Joan Fontaine and Noel Stewart, Spring 2011

Bette Davis (early 30's), Nina Ricci, Fall 2010