Peggy Guggenheim, Fashion Eccentric

I offer this 1950 portrait of Peggy Guggenheim as part of my ongoing effort to trace the history of older fashion eccentrics. Guggenheim was 52 here, just barely meeting my arbitrary cut off for an older woman.

The sunglasses are the wildest thing about her outfit, but everything else is also unusual. The very wide collar on her dress (or perhaps a small cape) is adorned with large beads and embroidery. The wide, stiff necklace looks very fancy, too. And of course small dogs are the ultimate accessory.

Not one to give up a good thing, she remained fond of those glasses. This photo shows her still wearing them fifteen years later.

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5 Responses to Peggy Guggenheim, Fashion Eccentric

  1. Carolyn S. says:

    And adding to the high fashion aura is the setting, the terrace of her palacio overlooking the Grand Canal in Venice.

  2. Fabrickated says:

    Glorious. I have been trying to analyse what makes an eccentric and what makes someone stylish and artistic. Geometric hair, red lips, loud spectacles, interesting often ethnic or architectural jewellry, hats, “ugly” shoes, coloured tights, peculiar handbags, more than three colours, striped tops with patterned bottoms, striking colour combinations eg mustard and pink; emerald with black and white; cobalt and tan. Peggy has it all – and a dog.

  3. eimear says:

    i adore that cape/collar – but i would personally find it too cumbersome to wear (i cannot even wear false nails). she seemed like a whirlwind of energy.

  4. JetSetSewing says:

    I always loved that picture of her. It’s amazing how much fun women of (outsized) means had in that era. If you had money, you could break all of the rules.

  5. The dogs, the glasses, the dress collar, Venice–what’s not to love? And you have reminded me that I need to go see Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict, the documentary about her that’s playing now at my local art theater.

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