Sunday, September 4, 2011

China Machado, the Original Glamazon

Richard Avedon  - China Machado (1958)Two weeks ago, New York magazine, chose a woman in her 80s for the cover of its fall fashion issue. That's a bold move in and of itself but it's even more amazing because the woman on the cover is the groundbreaking supermodel you've probably never heard of. China (the Spanish pronounciation--Cheena) Machado was Richard Avedon's muse in the 50s and 60s and the first nonwhite model to be shot for major magazine covers.

Born Noelie Dasouza Machado in Shanghai, China and her family escaped to Buenos Aires during World War II.
After a sort of beautifully fucked up relationship with the dashing Spanish bullfighter Luis Miguel Dominguin which ended with him leaving her for her idol Ava Gardner, Machado moved to Paris and fell into modeling as a fill-in for a sick Givenchy model. She became the highest-paid freelance runway model in Europe. Richard Avedon, fictionalized in Funny Face, spotted Machado in New York in 1958 and they worked together until his death in 2004. Ms. Machado is a deeply fascinating woman who's working on her memoir from her home in the Hamptons. She changed fashion even while thinking she wasn't beautiful. Jesus, was she blind? The photo above is incredible to me: the cheekbones, the smile of a woman who's just told a witty but slightly raunchy joke. Read the rest of the article here and enjoy.

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  1. I don't get it. Is she 80 in this photo or was it shot when she was younger and she is not 80? She looks like 40 or 50. Amazing! She seems perfectly fashionable, still young and very chic.

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