As Betsy Ross On George Magazine

Happy 4th Of July! Barbra Streisand appeared on the cover of the Nov. 1996 issue of GEORGE magazine dressed as Betsy Ross. Art director Matt Berman later talked about his experience on this shoot saying “I told her that Betsy Ross would be a great character for her, how we’d execute it perfectly. Then I suggested a photographer to take the photos. She agreed and said it would be easier to shoot at her house in Malibu than at a studio.The shoot was elaborate. We’d hired the costume people who had done the gowns for Dangerous Liaisons, and we’d gathered flags, thimbles, threads, pincushions, and fabric stars as props for Barbra’s transformation into Betsy Ross. Debating possible background choices, we looked at cloth backdrops that the photographer had brought. One was authentic for the period but dull and brownish. However, it was pure Americana, and I knew Barbra would love it. Barbra fanned her nails out on either side of her head and asked, “Should I crimp my hair?” Barbra wriggled into lots of different poses on the Revere sofa. It became apparent to me, watching her move as the camera flashed furiously, why she was a star. It was impossible to take your eyes off her. She saucily pulled her skirt up to display her garters and bloomers. She coyly pulled fabric stars from her cleavage, saying, “Oy, what are these doing here?” Next, she cut some stray threads with her teeth. “Oh, that’s some thread!” Then she took one long stitch through the flag, flashed a long-awaited Fanny Brice smile, and said, “This is going to be one hell of a flag, boys!”

For this shoot Barbra wore a classic 1770’s colonial gown in pale blue/grey satin. During this time women’s clothing styles retained the emphasis on a narrow, inverted conical torso, achieved with boned stays, above full skirts. White silk organza forms an apron and bell sleeves, which are trimmed with matching satin. A white ruffled shawl collar ties at the plunging V of the gown. This is topped with a classic ruffle cap (used at the time to protect womens hair from dust and dirt so it could be washed less frequently), and a lace cameo chocker.