Saturday, September 24, 2011

Millicent Rogers Style - It's All In The Mix

In case you haven't read this article from last week's Wall Street JournalThoroughly Marvelous Millie
Life and style lessons from the rebellious, glamour-to-the-gills icon Millicent Rogers
Biographer Cherie Burns gives us a how-to on living like the over the top Standard Oil heiress
Wear what you love. Millicent Rogers was known for mixing it up and bending the rules in the days when fashion was dictated by editors and designers. When she liked a simple local style, whether it was a Tyrolean look or the squaw skirts she saw on Native Americans in New Mexico, she still relied on good tailoring to pull it off. She bought or sketched the item and then sent it to her couturiers—often Charles James, Elsa Schiaparelli or Mainbocher—to make a version to her measurements out of fine fabrics. When she liked the lines of an Italian truck driver's jacket, she had it recreated down to the bright orange lining, but as a ski coat. Then she added a red fox collar.

Buy in multiples. Ms. Rogers ordered four dozen nearly identical Charles James blouses.


Make the most of accessories. Ms. Rogers altered the buttons on dresses to achieve the look she was after. She always wore gloves a size too large. She added her own monkey muff to a navy wool suit and eschewed popular cloche hats for Tyrolean toppers with feathers. She dyed a moleskin cape, muff and hat bright red.

The magnificent Millicent had money, tons of it, or should I say oil wells of it, and she wasn't afraid to spend it on multiple men, mansions and mainbochers.

This is a woman who did things her own way, especially when it came to her sartorial style.
She was considered one of the best dressed women of her time and pulled off an traditional Tyrolean dirndls when she was married to a near do well Austrian aristocrat as easily as she wore Southwestern get-ups in her adobe home in Taos.

Accept for maybe Daphne Guinness, we don't see trendsetting heiresses like Millicent Rogers anymore.
I love the way that never did anything in a small way, whether it was decorating her houses, amassing her art collection, travelling with her seven dachshunds or piling on the turquoise bracelets.

Millicent set her own fashion standards and easily mixed Southwestern silver jewelry with her formal silk gowns making her the boho chic fashionista of her age.
I like her style
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Miss Cavendish said...

Love looking at style from MR's era! So chic . . .

Anonymous said...

Thanks it was fun to learn about her!
A style icon.

Seaside Studio vintage jewelry said...

What fun to learn about her. Thanks.

Jill said...

She had such flair!

Belle de Ville said...

Miss C: MR was the epitome of chic during her era. She was over the top...but in a good way.

Anon: I can't wait to read her biography. I love the way that she bailed out of NY for New Mexico.

SSVG: Yes, but now I want to know more...especially because she had lots of interesting husbands and boyfriends.
And I wonder, what happened to her jewelry collection.

Jill: She was like Babe Pailey...but much richer...and more bejewelled.

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