In this 1955 photograph from Mark Shaw (1921–1969), top right, a model with alabaster skin reclines against a bed of ivy. She is wearing a Dior dress embroidered with gold—and ruby lipstick to match.
This photograph, now being offered by Liz O’Brien (New York) in conjunction with the Mark Shaw Photographic Archive, was originally taken for a cover story in the September 5, 1955 issue of LIFE magazine, the preeminent publication dedicated to American public life at the time. In the text that accompanies the photo shoot, the writer opines, “For fashion professionals at the fall collections, it seemed like the old Paris. The French designers were not attempting to enforce new shapes [but] were presenting a big showcase of beautiful and splendid clothes. These pictures give Americans a first chance to see in color the gay, rich and varied new Paris fashions.”
In effect, Shaw had staged a fairy tale in Technicolor, assembling a cast of immaculately-dressed models to gambol in the streets of the Marais. . .