happy new year!
i apologize for my absence the past few weeks. i was busy visiting family in ottawa and quebec, getting stuck in atlanta for a few nights on my way back to town, celebrating my birthday in el paso with friends and dear ones, attending a fabulous great gatsby themed new years party, skiing in ruidoso, and soaking in the hot springs in truth or consequences, hiking the franklin mountains and painting icky brown walls white. (you can follow most of this via instagram @whimrove.)
the new year is off to quite a remarkable start with new perspective, new goals and resolutions, new love, new career directions and prospects, and many new plans for adventure! i hope you all are feeling just as refreshed and reawakened for this new year! i, for one, have never felt more happy and more alive (cheesy, i know.)
since my visit to taos, i have become quite enamored with learning more about the beautiful, artistic and emboldened, millicent rogers. i read her biography, “searching for beauty,” by cherie burns while flying to canada in an effort to learn more.
i have always had a penchant for learning about powerful women who challenge the status quo–which may have influenced my decision to attend an all women’s college– and have decided to dedicate a series of blog posts to the women i find inspirational. so without further ado, the first of these posts will be about the ethereal, fashionable and rebellious millicent rogers.
//10 things you need to know about millicent rogers//
- millicent was born in 1902 and died only 51 years later, her life was short, but she lived her life with rigor.
- as a young lady, she was a tabloid regular and news columns would follow her around new york city and southampton to report what the heiress was wearing at all of society’s most fashionable events.
- millicent was married three times: once to an austrian count, once to an argentinean aristocrat and once to ronald balcom, a man of american cafe society. she had many other love affairs, including ones with actor clark gable, james bond author, ian flemming, and children’s author roald dahl. (her relationship with roald dahl makes you completely rethink your childhood favorites like the bfg and james and giant peach.)
- millicent’s wealth was from the standard oil fortune and she had no qualms with spending much of it on fashion and beautiful things, even if it was a 24 karat gold toothpick.
- when she traveled, she would always bring her beloved pets with her–this usually meant a pack of seven daushunds.
- she was living in austria when world world ii broke out and she did not hesitate to leave her ex-pat life and jump to action. “when the nazi flag was hoisted near her house in st. anton, she erected a taller flagpole on her property with the american flag. (Burns, 160)” she also delayed her departure from austria to help plan rescue routes for jewish friends and acquaintances.
- she had a unique relationship with fashion designer, charles james. she was his main benefactor and eventually gave all of his pieces back to him to open a museum to commemorate his clothing.
- millicent was the inspiration for john galliano’s dior spring 2010 collection.
- as she became weaker with age, millicent found a penchant for jewelry design and designed and casted many of her own pieces.
- millicent lived her final days in taos, new mexico in her self-designed home, turtlewalk. one of her three sons opened the millicent rogers museum to commemorate her life and collections.