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30-10-2003
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Polly Allen Mellen - Editor & Stylist
From Yoox.com
Quote:

POLLY MELLEN’s astonishing career in fashion spans more than 50 years, from BALENCIAGA to VIKTOR & ROLF. Born and raised in West Hartford, Connecticut, Mellen acquired an early education in style at the hands of her family and acquaintances, including the young KATHERINE HEPBURN. As a protégé of the charismatic DIANA VREELAND, Mellen became a sittings editor first at Harper’s Bazaar, then at American Vogue, collaborating with such legendary photographers as RICHARD AVEDON, HELMUT NEWTON, and IRVING PENN, and eventually continuing her career at Allure magazine. "She was and still is the most creative sittings editor I ever worked with," says Richard Avedon.
Perpetually in search of the new, Mellen has championed any number of young designers, who have turned to her repeatedly for advice and moral support. "She’s never lost her enthusiasm, in a field where everyone seems so jaded," says ISAAC MIZRAHI.
In the late 70’s and early 80’s, HOLLY BRUBACH, curator of the YOOX Vintage project, worked with Mellen at Vogue, beginning an ongoing conversation sparked by mutual curiosity and respect. On this occasion and especially for YOOX, Polly and Holly bring their love of fashion and their historical perspective to bear on a selection of rare vintage finds, with commentary that alternates between anecdotal recollection and expert suggestions about how a specific item could be worn to best advantage in the context of the latest fashion.
According to VERA WANG: "Polly has the most extraordinary ability to adapt to the future. So many editors and even designers get bogged down in their own pasts. But her attitude has been consistently progressive—that’s why she has managed to remain in style for so many decades."
-> Yoox vintage tribute
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07-10-2006
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Well Polly Mellen of course has seen it all: from being told off by Vreeland at Harper's Bazaar and Vogue; being put in a difficult situation at Vogue with Mirabella and Wintour; posing in a Gap ad, influencing and giving morale to designers like Mizrahi and befriending di Sant Angelo, and doing great, great sittings with Avedon, Newton and Penn: Polly Mellen is a fashion treasure.

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26-01-2007
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i cannot believe the legendary Polly Mellen has a thread of only two posts!
well,here's an artical i found interesting from Dec 20,2004 issue of New York Magazine.

Quote:
Fashion lost five greats this year: Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton, Francesco Scavullo, Geoffrey Beene, and Joe Eula. Here, they are remembered by a fashion editor who loved them all.
By Polly Mellen. Text by Amy Larocca

All of these men, they had an individuality that they never veered from. They were pure. That clearly was a generational privilege—they were allowed to understand the commercial, but they were never overly influenced by it; today, those two worlds have merged. They were great visionaries, all of them.


“Before I get to Helmut . . . you have to know that I’ve been boy-crazy all my life. Early in my career, I fell in love with a married man and had an affair for a little more than ten years. It was a huge scandal, but what can I tell you? I had never really been kissed before, and I went from his kiss to his bed, and because of it I learned how to let go.


“I worked with Helmut Newton at Vogue in the seventies. To work with him was a complete head trip. [Vogue creative director] Alex Liberman would say, ‘Don’t you think this is a Helmut shoot?’ Helmut would come in and we’d all talk about it, and then I would be alone with Helmut and we would take it so much farther.


“He aroused me—we did not have a physical relationship, except that maybe we did. I mean, nothing happened, but he opened my mind. It’s letting go, and not everyone could do that, you see, but I had been there. But at the same time, he had a certain reticence because he was extremely in love with his wife, and she was always with him.


“He came from a very good family, and he was German. It’s a kind of discipline, and it was the way he looked at women. When he was a very young man, he was a gigolo. It influenced his picture-taking. He loved Aryan women: the blonde, strong Amazon with waxy red lips. To me, there is no vulgarity in a Helmut Newton picture. People will argue with you. But that just makes me look harder at the person who’s critical.


“My friendship with Richard Avedon started in 1951 at Harper’s Bazaar. When he met me, he said, ‘I really don’t want to work with her; she’s too noisy.’ [Then-editor] Diana Vreeland talked him into it. We did this shoot and it was Audrey Hepburn, and she was absolutely adorable and I didn’t say a word. But we became the best of friends.


“I didn’t work from 1952 to 1963. I got married and lived on the Main Line in Philadelphia and had two children. I learned to play golf. I wanted to be with my children during those really formative years. But it was a turbulent marriage. My husband turned out to be a homosexual. I was too strong for him, I guess, and he fell in love with a beautiful young man. I think he really loved me, but he knew I wasn’t in love with him.


“And then Mrs. Vreeland said, ‘Come back.’ She was at Vogue by then. The first sitting I did was five weeks in the Orient with Dick. Can you imagine? I didn’t have a friend at Vogue, and I said, ‘Mrs. Vreeland, I just feel like I’ve alienated everybody,’ and she said, ‘Polly, who needs friends? Get on with it.’


“There was never anything physical between Dick and me; however, it was a love affair. “Photography had become rather stilted; he brought a reality, a beauty, a sense of movement. For me, he was the most exciting, important photographer working and remained that until his death. “I wanted to do this picture with a Rei Kawakubo body stocking, where she pulls up her dress and shows that area and just stands there. And Dick said, ‘Why do you want to do that?’ I said, ‘Young women are going through a terrible time right now, what with the Pill and men, and there’s a fixation on youth,’ and he said, ‘Okay, but who will do that?’ I said, ‘Stephanie Seymour.’


“Stephanie was sort of in love with Dick. Very much so. You know, Dick was very easy to be in love with. That does not mean they were having an affair. Intercourse. ****ing. It does mean that he was a charmer for certain women. Not for others.


“Helmut and Dick, we’re talking about men. Now we’re really going to talk about women. Francesco Scavullo had so much woman in him! Scavullo was a lovely person, but he believed in beauty and he was uncomfortable going farther than that.


“Now, Joe [Eula] is an interesting thing. He did wonderful things for Halston. He was multifaceted, and sometimes when you are, it’s hard. He could design fabric, he could throw pots, he could do a quick sketch. And then he was a great cook!


“Geoffrey Beene gave a tremendous sense of style to American fashion. His clothes were beautiful and minimal, and they were all about line. He was a modernist in its truest sense. He was always experimenting with fabrics and with cut. I think all fashion designers look to his collections when they start, but he never really captured the young; he never was watching the street. But he was such a great talent—his gardens were extraordinary. How to describe this very important designer? God, he was really the big time.”

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12-02-2007
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More Mellenisms from Polly
WWD March 8, 2002

NEW YORK -- Polly Mellen is sitting in a chair in the lobby of the Four Seasons Hotel discussing fashion's weakness for nostalgia.

"People are too steeped in retro. I'm interested in what's going on now."

The remark is a classic Mellenism. In her 52-year career as an editor and stylist at Harper's Bazaar, Vogue, and Allure, Mellen has weathered every trend from HotPants to Eskimo Boots, and stayed on top of the zeitgeist longer than Madonna and Graydon Carter put together. Now she's announced her retirement. But will she go through with it?

Prior to her interview, Mellen was meeting with her lawyers in a room at the Four Seasons to discuss a possible business venture that she isn't ready to discuss with the press. When the talk turns to how she sees fashion today, Mellen seems as inspired now as she ever was. She speaks of Nicolas Ghesquiere, Marc Jacobs, and Phoebe Philo for Chloe with particular fondness and authority.

On Ghesquiere: "I can safely say that he is for me the most exciting young designer. I think there are innovators and I think there are stylists. I think there is a difference. Nicolas Ghesquiere is an innovator. I won't answer the next question, as to who is a stylist."

On Helmut Lang: "I love his clothes, but I would like to see him make a change. Designers cannot keep repeating themselves."

On labels and one season trends: "I have never believed in buying clothes for a single season and then throwing out. I don't do that kind of shopping. I like glamorous classics, not fancy clothes. Why do women love blue jeans? Because Levi's, and now other companies, know how to cut. You are never out of style in a pair of blue jeans. I don't care what anyone says."

On fashion magazines: "What interests me is the growth of almost a catalog book. Marie Claire in Europe started it. Well, catalogs started it, actually. I think the woman on the street is a pretty savvy lady, and she knows what looks good on her and what doesn't. And she can look at a page that is filled with scarecrow-like images, they're like paper dolls. She knows what to do with it. She can take the least expensive version of an outfit and make it look just as good. That concept works for a savvy young woman that loves clothes. That's why Lucky works and I will tell you that a magazine does not build a readership of 750,000 people in a year with just teenagers reading it."

Mellen's perennial fascination with the next is proof she's not a big fan of nostalgia. As she says in another of her oft-used Mellenisms, "I am not a history major."

She has a right to be. In May of 1971, while Mellen was employed as a fashion editor at Vogue, the legendary editor Diana Vreeland was abruptly fired from the magazine and replaced with Grace Mirabella, a young woman who had been Vreeland's assistant for eight years.

"It was a shock," recalls Mellen. "Nobody had any idea it was about to happen. And I remember leaving her office at six o' clock the night before with those red walls and her leopard carpet. The next morning, everything was beige. Beige, beige, beige." She pauses. "I am not a beige person."

Indeed. During her six-year tenure at Vogue under Vreeland, Mellen had made a career out of highly stylized shoots. For her first shoot at Vogue after leaving Harper's Bazaar, Mellen was sent to the Orient for five weeks with Richard Avedon. It was the most expensive shoot Vogue had ever done.

In one photo from the trip, Verushka walks through the snow-covered mountains of Hokkaido, in head-to-toe white fur. In another, Verushka sits topless in the lotus position as a Japanese fortune teller stands over her looking down at her erotically. The photographs were not in line with Mirabella's more practical taste.

"Mrs. Vreeland was a very fanciful editor, but there were not a lot of clothes real women could wear. Grace Mirabella was about the working woman."

The fanciful spreads of women in Paco Rabanne chain mail dresses Mellen had done with Richard Avedon were replaced with women in the street wearing Yves Saint Laurent pantsuits and carrying briefcases. Where Vreeland had resisted listing the prices of the clothes photographed, Mirabella insisted on it. She also forced editors to include modestly priced clothes.

"There is a word that comes with being a strong editor," says Mellen. "That word is responsibility."

She pauses. "I remember the first time we shot the cover with a black model. It was Peggy Dillard." As Mellen explains, "the world was changing. Priorities were shifting."

So was fashion.

Mellen shot Lauren Hutton in all her gap-toothed glory and gave Patty Hanson her first cover. She pulled clothes from the magazine's biggest advertisers and brought newcomers like Halston and Calvin Klein to the pages.

"There is a thing that Polly has," says Phyllis Posnick, executive fashion editor at Vogue and a colleague since 1970. "It's this ability to look at a collection and instantly get the essence of it. She knows immediately what works about it."

Mellen's instincts, however, could not sustain the magazine when her editor in chief began to lose her touch in the early Eighties. The economy was down and as Mellen herself points out, "the magazine was getting boring."

Mellen sent an editor from New York magazine to meet with Mirabella. The editor's name? Anna Wintour. In their meeting, Mirabella asked Wintour what job she was looking for. "Yours," responded Wintour.

As everyone now knows, she eventually got it -- in a manner as brutal as Vreeland's dismissal had been. The writing was on the wall for Mellen as well, especially after Wintour hired the renowned British stylist Grace Coddington as the magazine's creative director and she was bumped over to become a special projects editor.

"I'm not dumb," says Mellen. "You begin to realize that you're a bit of an extra." She claims Wintour was very polite about the whole thing, but the experience clearly stung.

In 1992, Mellen moved upstairs at the bequest of S.I. Newhouse, head of Conde Nast, to become creative director for Allure, a beauty magazine he had started the year before with editor Linda Wells.

"Polly put the magazine on the map," says Wells. "Our magazine had a circulation of 200,000. The attention we got from her was astounding. Polly gave us fashion legitimacy just by joining."

Mellen helped usher in a new crop of photographers: Carter Smith, Tom Munro, Nathaniel Goldberg and Michael Thompson all worked with Mellen during her seven-and-a-half-year stint at Allure. Three years ago, Mellen announced she was leaving to pursue other things. She continued to freelance, styling for magazines such as Talk and W.

Now she has moved on again. She admits her priorities have shifted somewhat since 9/11. "I have a husband that is totally supportive and enough money to be able to travel," says Mellen, who has four children and five grandchildren. "When Ricky Vider's [a fashion editor] husband died [in the World Trade Center attacks], she told me `go home to Henry'. And I decided to do just that. I spoke to her and was home the next day."

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12-02-2007
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Dressed to perfection: there are certain women in the limelight who have mastered the art of dressing to complement their age. Polly Allen Mellen discusses her favorite fashionable faces.
July 1, 2002


BIANCA JAGGER
Bianca is a smoldering beauty. When she was young, she dressed in antique clothes, like a flower child, and then when she got a little older and married Mick, she started wearing Yves Saint Laurent. She was enamored with Yves and wore his clothes all the time--that little white suit! She also understood the attitude and the swagger of wearing a suit. In the '80s she began her Calvin Klein phase; she has such loyalty to designers whom she's friends with. She looked gorgeous in his silver satin gown. Tailoring is still very much a part of her wardrobe, and she still wears a lot of suits because, well, they work.

CHARLOTTE GAINSBOURG
She has innate style; just look at her mother [Jane Birkinkj! Nicolas Ghesquiere's Balenciaga clothes work well on her. They're cut small and look slightly aggressive, and the way Charlotte wears them is too. She doesn't look like she's wearing a designer--her clothes could be plucked from a flea market.

GWYNETH PALTROW
It's obvious Gwyneth really follows fashion, but she doesn't buy the package; she buys away from the package. Sometimes she'll go fancy, then the next day, she'll be really tailored. I like her best when she's neat. You can tell she's coming into her own. I think she's extremely interesting to watch.

JACKIE ONASSIS
I have three words for Jackie: classic, beautiful, and safe. She was never seen in anything daring, out of line, or outre. Never in anything that wasn't just perfect. She had a responsibility to the public, and she knew it. She is a true icon that all women can relate to. I loved her best when she was laid-back, walking in Capri in a black T-shirt and white pants. There was a consistency that always came through. She personified the shift dress, that dumb little black dress that skimmed the body and had a bateau neckline. But it really worked for her. And her hair was major! Kenneth was responsible for that.

AUDREY HEPBURN
She was such the gamine, in her simple Givenchy! She came at a time when Hollywood was va-va-voom. And here was this waifish girl. Givenchy guided her completely. He likes flamboyance, but she was uncomfortable with it. Through him, she learned how to handle it. Everything was simple but very raffinee.

CAROLYN BESSETTE KENNEDY
She was so American: her nonchalant attitude, the way she put on a white T-shirt and jeans. She had the most captivating, warm smile and an aura about her. She set a trend with her slightly above midcalf skirt length. A lot of people think that length is dowdy; she never did. She liked the strictness of those skirts.

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16-02-2007
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these are all great...thanks for posting them...
excellent reading material..


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29-08-2007
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US Vogue April 1990
Dress Lineup
Styled by Polly Mellen
Hair by Michael Tammaro for Bumble + Bumble
Makeup by Sonia Kashuk
Photographed by Walter Chin






source | scanned by MMA


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02-09-2007
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SHOWSTOPPER
Geoffrey Beene by Katherine Betts
Styled by Polly Mellen
Photographed by Arthur Elgort





source | scanned by MMA

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15-11-2007
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Self Service



{scanned by berlinrocks}

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21-12-2007
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^^I can not thank you enough for posting all of this,THANK YOU MMA and BerlinRocks.

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21-12-2007
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Quote:
Polly Mellen is one of the most lively figures in fashion working closely with Diana Vreeland, the arbiter of style and elegance, as the Sittings Editor for Harper’s Bazaar and separately with Vogue. She has collaborated with many top designers - from Balenciaga to Viktor&Rolf – and legendary photographers - Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton and Irving Penn. For YOOX, Polly Mellen and Holly Brubach curated an exceptional vintage selection that reflected upon Mellen’s extraodinary career by showcasing some of the most important pieces of the last 50 years.
http://www.yoox.com/corporate/us/areeIstit_1317704.asp

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14-01-2008
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Here is a GREAT editorial that Polly styled,scanned by MissMagAddict.

US Vogue July 1983
The Contrast: the polished style / the freer spirit
Models: ?
Stylist: Polly Allen Mellen
Hair: John Sahag
Makeup: Tyen of Paris
Photographs: Helmut Newton & Hans Feurer




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14-01-2008
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continued...




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21-07-2008
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Polly by Avedon in 1976
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File Type: jpg polly.jpg (198.1 KB, 18 views)

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23-07-2008
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wow..#16,#17so 80's...and hans feurer


btw,i think the name of this thread should be Polly Mellen - Stylist,this would be more accurate

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