Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Incredible Miss Dorothea

Dorothea (Towles) Church was one of the first models of color who hit it big. She was a favorite of Christian Dior's, after he quickly hired her to replace a model who was on vacation. She loved Paris so much that she never returned to California, despite having a husband there who was several years older than her. She was known for her incredibly regal stride on the catwalk. Alas, I can't find a video to show you, but she was amazing, and opened doors for all of the US women of color who would come behind her. She once said "If you're beautiful, (the French) don't care what color you are."

This photo is from a 1955 fashion show. I imagine the color is navy, because navy blue and white are a beautiful combination. And as much as I miss beach coats, I really really love this one, with its cape effect.

I wish I could see the shoes, though.


  1. Cool, I didn't know this!

    Funny, because now it's big news that French Vogue has a woman of color on it's cover after 8 years and then there is the huge L'Oreal Cosmetics scandal with them lightening all of their ads with women on color in them, even Beyonce who is pretty light to begin with.

  2. The older husband she left was her first Los Angeles Dentist Nat Fearonce. The photo(I know it well. I have many of them.) is from a fashion show she did in Oakland with her sister Lois(Towles)who was a concert pianist. I am working on two different films on both of them.