THEO, a model life

THEO, a model life

In 1926, when Theo Graham was born, the profession of fashion modelling barely existed. But by the time she died six decades later, it had become a global phenomenon. As a teenager in New York, Theo started out as a darkroom assistant for a young, ambitious photographer named Richard Avedon. But before long, she found herself on the other side of the camera, as one of Avedon’s first muses – and in the decade that followed, she became one of the industry’s brightest stars. Her career spanned from pioneering swimwear shoots in the Caribbean to posing in Parisian haute couture, to covers for Glamour, Junior Bazaar, Mademoiselle, Charm and Vogue. Over the course of her career, Theo witnessed the end of couture’s golden age, and the birth of ready-to-wear fashion in America and Europe. She met, worked with, and befriended some of the century’s greatest photographers; Lillian Bassman,
Ted Croner, Louise Dahl-Wolfe,
Frances McLaughlin-Gill, Leombruno-Bodi, George Platt-Lynes and Francesco Scavullo. After her death, she left her son a unique treasure trove of images, correspondence and mementoes, containing the evidence of her brilliant career.

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